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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 72739
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Can you possibly answer these questions for me as I cannot

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Can you possibly answer these questions for me as I cannot find a definite answer online.
In Scotland,
1. How long after being seen by one police officer whilst driving on a mobile phone should I hear something? I wasn't stopped as he was walking, I drove past.
2. If a member of the public has taken a photo of me whilst on my phone at traffic lights and sent it to the police do they have a 6 months time frame to deal with this matter from the time they reported it before the can no longer take any further action? Even if they had to find my address etc.
3. Is there a time limit in which a prosecution for driving whilst on a mobile phone has to be done from the date the police witnessed it or a member of the public reported it? When you have not been stopped at the time.
4. Is there a time limit in which a prosecution for careless driving has to be done in? (Separate matter from above) I have read up to 6 months but then read 3 years elsewhere.
5. Do either of these mobile phone or careless driving appear on your criminal record?
Kind Regards.


The law is the same throughout the UK on this point so I can help.

However, I will need more information.

Are you known to the officer?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. It happened quite a while back and I expected a letter but never received anything.


1 If they intended sending out a S172 request then within 14 days. They would prosecute on the evidence of the officer but then he would need to recognise you.

2 Six month is the time limit.

3 Six months.

4 Six months.

5 They do but they are not recordable offences so would only show on your DVLA print out not your PNC.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for answering.Just to clarify so once the 6 months has passed there is no way they can go back too it even if they needed extra time to find an address etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was also advised that it would be unlikely re the mobile phone as there was only one police officer.

Oh they could prosecute on that evidence.

It just depends whether he can identify you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is over the 6 months now since it happened. I just read on several sites that it could take longer if they can't find an address.

They need to have laid an iinformation within six months of the offence.

The summons can sometimes be slightly longer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would there be a rough time limit on the summons being received or can it be as long as they want/need?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would I receive a notice of intended prosecution before getting a summons as I wasn't stopped at the time? I just want peace of mind or know what to expect should anything happen from it.

Usually the summonses received only a few weeks after the information is laid.

I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.

Jo C. and other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can they have up to 3 years if need be? I presume they wouldn't take that long for things as common as mobile phones etc. I read that online but theres so much info everywhere. I have reviewed you. Thanks for your advice!

No, the time limit is six months so usually it would be within seven at the most.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is now over 8 months + so would it be safe to say I can stop worrying about it?

You are probably ok after 8 months.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would I be correct in saying then that after a year for the above offences that there would be no need to worry if I have never heard anything? Thanks.