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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was pulled over by 6 police cars on (date) at 3am. I

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I was pulled over by 6 police cars on (date) at 3am. I struggle to sleep and was selling my car the next day so I went for a drive. When they pulled me I wasn’t worried at first as I knew I had broken no laws. I knew the car was in good condition as it had been thoroughly checked ready to sell. They told me to wait in the car and not to touch my phone or I would be ‘asking for points on my licence’, my keys were on the passenger seat and engine was off. They checked everything (lights and under the bonnet) and their serious manner caused me to begin to feel concerned. I had full confidence that they wouldn’t find anything. I remained outwardly calm. After checking the engine they spent some time at my front tyre and asked me if I had hit anything I just panicked and said I may have hit a kerb doing a u-turn a few days earlier but I hadn’t and I have no idea why I said that. Anyway the officer finally let me out the car and asked me to look at my tyre pressure he told me it’s to flat and went on to measure it using a machine it was at 11psi which shocked me as surely I would have felt it whilst driving. I can’t imagine how it got that low but then after he typed a few things into his phone he told me to sign in a box on his mobile device but I couldn’t see what I was signing and was feeling panicked by this point. Another officer came from the rear of my vehicle and said I had a panel open, which I know without doubt I didn’t, having never had a panel open and had checked the car ready to sell earlier in the evening. Then as they left they told me to drive to the nearest garage and pump up my tyre. I received a penalty notice with a fine and 3points on my licence. I feel if my tyre had been obviously low they would have seen it to start with yet it was only mentioned after all the lights and other checks when they were testing the tread etc. If they couldn’t see it and I couldn’t feel it having checked all this at home previously I think the points on my licence are harsh and unfair. I have been pulled over over 12 times since January and only had one problem with a side light that I repaired immediately and every other time they have let me drive off without issue at all as my vehicle is well maintained. As I am 21 it will raise my insurance, more importantly it reflects that I am not a safe driver but I am a careful driver with no claims on my insurance. I am currently working for an agency as a supply teaching assistant, furloughed during the covid, and I have to travel around from school to school. What can I do?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, where is this? And when did this happen?
Customer: This is in Merseyside and it happened on the 26/05 I am not sure why the date hasn’t come up
JA: Do you need to appear in court?
Customer: I am not sure yet if I protest the points yes
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: that’s everything thank you

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Are you asking if you have a defence?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi yes,I have messages with a buyer confirming that they were buying the car later that day which aids the fact that I had fully checked my car that day and pumped up my tyres to the correct psi. I always maintain my car and have never had an issue before after getting stopped multiple times.

Ok, what is the penalty charge for?

What is the specific charge?

Vehicle defects I presume?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The exact charge states ‘Use of a motor vehicle with incorrectly inflated tyre’And it is stated the offence carries a maximum penalty of £1,000 and between 3 to 6 pointsI am actually confused by this as it is stated on the governments website that this offence carries only 3 points.I was offered a conditional offer of £100 fine and 3 points. But I feel this is unfair as I had checked the car that day and pumped up the tyres I have no idea how that could have happened but if I had felt low tyre pressure while driving or when I completed my journey and seen it I would have resolved the issue straight away and not driven with an incorrectly inflated tyre. I have a pump in my boot along jump leads etc as I am very prepared for things like this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also this in England - Merseyside

Ok, thanks.

Does it refer to any legislation? I would expect S42 RTA but just to be sure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the letter I received and I have not been told anything else. I actually didn’t get any copy of the fine when he asked me to sign something on a phone screen I didn’t even get to read what I was signing. I have had to nervously wait to receive this letter to find out

thank you.

I'm sorry for your situation as I know that they can be very officious.

This is almost certainly a vehicle defect allegation.

What you have received is a conditional fixed penalty offer. You do not have to accept that. It is just an offer affectively to divert it away from court.

The risk of refusing is that they may summons you. I am not sure whether you dispute that the tyre was deflated.

I do realise that they were looking for an excuse to find something but the problem is that they have. It isn't a defence to a charge to say that the police were unreasonable even though I know that they can be.

If you tell me whether or not you accept the tyre was flat or deflated then it will give us some pointers over whether you have a defence or not

you do also have the option to write to them asking them to consider the merits of this prosecution. He should probably do that. They can always review this for public interest.

However, obviously you cannot rely upon the outcome being in your favour.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don’t accept the tyre was at 11psi I feel like I would certainly feel this.Sorry I am just a little confused could you clarify what you meant in the last paragraph about writing to them about the merits of this prosecution? And how I could go about thatMany thanks

Thank you.

If you simply deny that the tile was that flat then you can take this to court and fight in.

I'd don't know whether or not you did take this to a garage. If you did then that might give rise to some relevant evidence.

It is possible that you went over a nail or something. If that is rice and it was recent then you can defend this on that basis.

The last paragraph above with third to writing to the making representations. Solicitors do it sometimes to try to persuade them not to prosecute.

Of course that is unlikely to work here but worth trying.

If I were you though I would be investigating the garage issue as they could give evidence about the condition of your tyre.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it be worth taking this to court as there was 6 police officers and wether the tyre was flat or not it would be their word against mine. If I have took the vehicle to a garage 2 days before the incident would this help my case? They fitted 2 new headlights for me.I will definitely want to write to them to see if they will not prosecute before anything. How would I go about this should I go to a local solicitor for a more feasible request or should I write up a polite email to them?Again Many Thanks

I don't think you could deny that the tyre was low realistically.

The issue is why. If this were a recent puncture and you dealt with it then that would be a defence and they can't gainsay it.

But you are right to be concerned. If it is turns into a dispute between you and six officers then it might be better to take the conditional offer.

Probably is an exercise in discretion being the better part of valour.

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