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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71129
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a charge against me speed limitin a variable

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I have a charge against me for exceeding speed limitin a variable speed area or so. This was unintentional I was not aware of the notification and as a result being taken to courtfor none response to this. Should I plead not guity and explai the circumstance for non reply?
Are you still charged with speeding or with failing to identify?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Both. exceeding 30mph and failing to identify

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Both. exceeding 30mph and failing to identify.

OK. How did you come to be unaware of the notice?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been going through a nasty divorce by cross petition which involved alot of court appearances due to my ex husband's awkwardness dealing with my son's access arrangements (as there was domestic violence issue etc) and preparation for trials. It's been very stressful and need the help of the physchological services to keep as sane as possible really. My ex husband was ruthless,manipulative, lying alot and was very abusive in the marriage before all his legal manipulationsas well. At the same time my son was taken ill with serious kidney condition and in and out of the children's hospital. It was perhaps one of those trips to hospital that seemed to have led to this allegation overspeeding which was not delibrate; my work was falling apart and my whole world really. I was diaglosed with low mood/botherline depression and was ill. I shut down to cope and did not open my letters or dealt with anything other than making sure I coped with my son's needs and struggled with work since the begining of the year.

I unexpextedly got the District Judge's permission granted to divorce him by cross petiton - at a case management conference hijacked by his barrister to condict her own mini trial without any withnesses present except me. upon my responses, as I had no barrister present, they pleaded to withdraw allegations against me and would not contest my cross prayer and allegations. The decree NISI wouldbe pronouced on 12 November.

I am just beginnig to address a number of things affected by that period. I have just started to open my mails. I have seence found the notice sent. I would not have deliberately ignored such letter. I was not coping and since I normally recieve junk letters it seemed my posts are one thing not to bother about. I struggle as I am disabled and unwell most of that time too.

I am a disabled driver and I am very careful and this is the only way i can secure my mobility to do things. I have been driving for more than 25 years and a I have clean driving licence.

I am a responsible driver and would not intentionally exceed speed limit. Also I have have just changed my motability car just before this alleged offence and still getting used tot he softer pedal to theone I was driving before. I drive everywhere in my job too otherwise I could not do my work.

I worry about the consequential effects of conviction. this is most unfortunate as I am just beginnig to re organise my life and then this.

Do you think the court could take these issues into account in this case? I would like to keep my driving licence clean as this could affect my work and personal life, perhaps disproportionately for an unintended offence?

Any suggestion you could have for me to achieve this would be helpful.


So, in short, you didn't open your post?
It was sent to the correct address?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes in short, I didn't open my post and it was sent to my current address.

What is the limit and what was your speed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They said I did 43mph in 30mph limit.

You have a variety of options.
What you don't have is a defence though. Come what may, they did send out the notification and you didn't deal with it. There isn't a defence in saying that you had personal issues. Therefore, it has to be a guilty plea.
One possible option though is to attend court and offer a plea to speeding alone in exchange for dropping the failing to identify. I used to prosecute traffic courts all the time and CPS will normally take that offer. I wouldn't say anything about domestic violence or divorce though. You get the wrong prosecutor and they will take the view that you are making excuses and refuse all deals. I'm afraid that some people do seem to think that making allegations of abuse is a universal excuse for absolutely everything and I notice increasingly that people are becoming intolerant of accusers who do that.
Truth is, if this is 43 mph in a 30 mph zone then they would have been entitled to summons anyway. It would normally attract either 4 - 6 points or a short ban. There will also be a fine and various other costs.
If the failing to identify remains though then that carries 6 points and a much higher fine but then they would drop the speeding as they have no evidence that you were the driver.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But in my case I was not making excuses as a result of my personal issues. I have all the evidences for that time. I was told by a friend that i should deny receiving the notice. That is not my way. I looked for it following this notification recievedlast week. I could have just missed this notification as well, but I have started to address my issue in the last week. I went back into the pile of my mails to look for anything that might had come in and missed during that time. I still have a large pile.

The road concern may be 40mph limit normally. If that is the case as my friend says will it make any difference?

No, I appreciate that but unfortunately people who do affect us all.
Whatever your circumstances, fact remains that you didn't respond to your post. If you start blaming it upon personal issues then the Crown probably will take the view that you are making excuses. I'm afraid that people do that sometimes.
You need to get to the bottom of the speed limit. You were still speeding but if it is 43 mph in a 40 mph zone then that would just mean 3 points and a fine although if that were right I would be surprised if the cameras had picked this up.
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