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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71056
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I allowed my friend to drive my car because i feared I

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I allowed my friend Jane to drive my car because i feared I might be over the limit and she felt she wasn't. I was in the passenger seat. She hit a parked car. A passer-by called the police and while we were waiting for the Police to arrive (less than 5 minutes) we sat in the car...without thinking I sat in the driver's seat and Jane in the passenger seat. Breath test showed I was over the limit but Jane was OK. Jane and witnesses all stated that Jane had been behind the wheel at the time of the accident but was not insured to drive my car and had no car insurance of her own. I am being charged with allowing Jane to drive my car without insurance and as it transpired the road tax was overdue. I accept both these charges. However I am also being charged for being in charge of a vehicle while over the limit. This refers to the few minutes I sat in my car while we waited for the Police. The car was badly damaged with a burst tyre, a buckled wheel and a smashed wing it was completely immobilised and impossible to move. I have evidence to prove this: photos of the lower arm and link arm which join the wheel to the chassis which i took at the garage doing the repairs. Under the circumstances I want to contest the charge of being over the limit while in charge of the vehicle because the vehicle presented no danger because it couldn't move.
1. Do I bring the photos of the buckled link arm and lower arm to court or do I need to send them to court before my appearance at Basinstoke Magistates Court on 15th October.
2. i will obviously plead guilty to the first 2 charges. Should I also plead guilty to the third charge of being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence and then present my defence which is I was just sitting in a shaken-up state in an unmoveable vehicle waiting for the Police following the accident. Alternatively should I plead not guilty and present the same argument?
3. I plan to represent myself at court. Is this viewed positively or negatively by the Magistrate?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you asking if you have a defence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In my defence i am saying that i was only sitting inthe drivers seat of a vehicle following the accident in which Jane admits to being the driver. My point is that the car couldn't move because of damage to it following the accident so doesn't that invalidate the charge.
It is not quite that it invalidates it. It is for the defendant to prove that there was no intention to drive which is fairly easy to do if a vehicle is completely immobilised.
The question is whether they accept that it is immoblised.
You do have the burden of proof but showing your vehicle is immobilsed isn't that difficult.
I'm not sure what you mean by the buckled arm?
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As I explained above, The lower arm and the link arm are 2 parts of the car which join the wheel to the chassis. Both of these were were severely damaged - buckled and bent- as a resullt of the impact. They were removed from the damaged vehicle by the repairing garage and I have photos of them showing that the extent of damage to them would have immobilised the car.
Yes, but does that prove they did imbolise the car?
Some cars can still move even with extensive damage. You might need to call some expert evidence on the point.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was in a state of shock. I needed to sit down. Unfortunately I chose to sit in the wrong seat. i. hadn't the least intention of moving the car. I was waiting for the police along with the other witnesses. Is a clear intention NOT to drive the car coupled with its burst tyre and smashed wing sufficient defence.? How do I present the obvious?
Smashed wing is a non issue and obviously they can disbelieve your evidence.
The burst tyre is a better point.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please could you answer points 1 and 3 of my original question.
1 Well, as I said really, photographs are fine but they may not prove the vehicle was immobile. You may need to get expert evidence for that.
2 It depends on point one really. You need to ascertain whether you can prove that you were immobile. If you were plead not guilty. They may drop that if they see evidence of that.
3 Generally speaking there are risks in self representing. I don't think it affects Magistrates all that much. They are generally biased in favour of the Crown anyway but I don't think this makes them any more biased.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have contacted an expert as you suggested but it would be prohibitively expensive for him to write a report. However, I want to show the Magistrate the photographs illustrating the damage, so should I take them into the Magistrates court on the day of the trial or do I send them somewhere in advance?

No, you can just take them in but make sure you have three copies for the bench and one for the Crown.
I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.
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