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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a Further Steps Notice letter on 12/12/15 saying I owe £961 to the London Collection & Compliance Centre.
Following a lot of phone calls it turns out that a car that I owned at the time (March 2015) was caught speeding by a traffic camera - 40 MPH in a 30 limit.
The resulting speeding notification was sent to my previous address. This confirmed 3 points and a £85 fine.
No response was received so a further letter was sent, then another saying that I had failed to declare who the driver of the vehicle was (6 penalty points), then a summons, then notification of a court appearance. I did not respond to any of the letters or attend court as I had no idea of any of this at the time (April – October 2015)
When I received the Further Steps Notice letter in December 2015 I made a Statuary Declaration at Stevenage Magistrates Court on 29th December confirming that I had no knowledge of any of the above until 12/12/15.
This declaration was accepted and I now have to attend Bexley Heath Magistrates Court on 20th January.
I moved house in November 2013 following a split & divorce. I did change my Driving Licence details with the DVLA at the time but did not update the Vehicle registration details as my ex-wife was driving the car for a while, then I was and I sold the car in May 2015.
I would appreciate some advice about the best way forward and what to say at the court.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What should I say at the Court? The inital speeding fine was 3 points and a £85 fine. I will accept this but not another 6 points and £900 for failing to respond to something I knew nothing about?
Did you update the DVLA with the correct address?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did update my Driving Licence details when I moved house in November 2013 but not the Vehicle Log book. My ex-wife was driving the car for a while, then we swopped cars as part of our divorce arrangements and I was making arrangments to get a new car and updating the log book got missed.
How long were the DVLA without the correct address for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
From a driving licence point of view - never. The Log book would be around 18 months
Did you have a redirection on your post?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For the first 6 months I did. That covered up until May 2014. The initial speeding offence was March 2015 and I sold the car in May 2015. The first I heard of the matter was December 2015
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I possibly redirected the mail for 12 months but I can't be sure
You will have to have a trial upon both charges.
If it was your ex wife that was driving then you cannot offer a plea to speeding and they are out of time to summons her now.
You will be charged with both in the alternative and they have no evidence that you were speeding.
The issue will be failing to identify. There is a defence under S172 if you did not receive the notice although the burden of proof does pass to you and they might not be hugely sympathetic if you didn’t keep the DVLA appraised of your address. There is an offence in failing to do so although they won’t prosecute it. There is caselaw to the effect that people should keep tabs on their post whilst away although it is fairly little known.
If you can convince a court that you could not respond because you didn’t receive it then you might well be acquitted though.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My wife was not driving the car at the time - it was definately me but I have not seen any evidence of the offence so far.
Surely the fact that my driving licence was updated with my change of address counts as notifying the DVLA?
I thought you said above that she was the driver?
If it genuinely was you then you could offer a plea to speeding in exchange for dropping the failing to identify.
No, updating the licence is a non issue. You have to tell them where the car is kept. Failing to do so is an offence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thats seems the best option I have - do I offer the plea to the Usher / Clerk before I am called into the Court?
No, you need to make an offer to the prosecutor.
You can speak to the clerk about it.
I used to prosecute traffic courts all the time and it is rare that CPS pursue failing to identify if speeding is available.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So it should just be 3 points and £85 fine hopefully, they will drop all these other fines and the 6 points for failing to identify?
If they accept the speeding matter then it should be 3 points, costs of £85 and a fine of between 75-125% of your weekly income.
If you are lucky you will get a court that gives you 3 points and a fine of £85 plus costs of £15 so you would be dealt with as though you had the fixed penalty.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks very much
No problem and all the best.
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