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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71035
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I would like some help with a court request for no insurance

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I would like some help with a court request for no insurance on a car that is not on the road
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you - I own a Fiesta car, I changed my car in June last year to a Lexus and kept my fiesta. I truly believed I went on line to SORN the fiesta..the fiestas tax ran out end of November 13, so in mid Dec I received a fine for no tax...I called to find out it was not SORN so I paid the fine. Christmas came and went and on 7th Jan I tried to SORN the fiesta using a code number I found on correspondence. It would not work so I called the DVLA to ask how it could be done. I completed a form and sent it off. In the meantime I was sent a court letter. I completed the non guilty forms and sent a covering letter to explain that the car had not been driven since June and was on family farm land no where near a road and I believed from that that I was not breaking the law.

The court have now moved my hearing to Birmingham for 8th April so I need to go....I completed a not guilty form yet the letter from the DVLA

did not come back till 31st Jan so not sure where I stand as I truly believed I was not breaking the law with the car being off the road

Are you asking if this is a defence?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Having never done this before I am unsure how I need to represent myself.

I truly believed I had sorn it...then when I found out I had not I then tried and eventually did it

I have not broken the RTA by driving the car and will happily confrm that in court

But I did send in a not guilty reply ( as indeed I felt I was not guilty )

The date they are doing me for was 7th Jan - which was the same day I called the DVLA to ask how to SORN without a V5 and a code that I found out had expired

The official reply from the DVLA was dated 31st Jan so I am a little worried that on paper and on 7th Jan despite my car not being driven since June my car was not SORN

My defence I suppose is that I was ignorant to the system and believed that as I had not taken car on road I was not illegal

I just don't know how to relay that in court and where I stand with my defence

Many thanks

Do the DVLA accept that your car was SORNed?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I called them when I got the court letter to ask and lady said it had been SORN'd

I was just worried as the dates were apart

If the courts wanted to be particular which of course they can, on the actual date I am being done for it was not officially confirmed


What was the date of SORNing and the date of the offence on the summons?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The date on the court letter was 7th Jan

Although I believed the sorn to be last June, this was not the case. After investigation and calls and extra forms the official piece of paper came back as 31st Jan



Ok. But the cited date on the court summons is before the date of SORNing?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I need about 10 mins to type out an answer if thats OK?

Its probably bad news though.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I await your advices and would appreciate your opinion to what to expect


I am sorry for the delay. I did respond to this but it obviously did not upload.

I cannot really give you any good news here. Come what may, at the time of the indicted charge you were not insured and the vehicle was not SORN. There's no way around it and there is no defence in saying that you did not believe that you were uninsured. Having no insurance is an offence of strict liability. You either are insured or you are not and this vehicle was not. It used to be that you could avoid liability by keeping it up on a private land but under the new law requiring continuous insurance that has fallen away as defence.

What you can do is defend this to the extent that you plead guilty and accept a fine but argue that you should not be given points because there are special reasons not to do so. You should be aware that special reasons requires a very high test. The burden of proof passes to you to satisfy the court that there was no way that you could have known that you were not insured or that there was no need to insure.

Also, you can and should make written representations to the prosecution authority which is probably CPS to the effect that this prosecution is not in the public interest.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for this info

Will it go against me that I did complete a not guilty form to the first court letter, they have since adjourned that and moved the date to Birmingham which is closer.

You mention written representation to the prosecution to the effect this prosecution is not in the public interest....What does this mean and what do I need to do ?

It will not go against you that you didn't complete the forms by post but the fact they didn't plead guilty on the 1st occasion will rack up the costs although not substantially.

You just write to CPS asking them to review the public interest of this prosecution is setting down why you think you should not be prosecuted. Maybe it will succeed. Maybe not but it's free to try
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