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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 64983
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I was accused of speeding in my local area last October. Apparently

Customer Question

I was accused of speeding in my local area last October. Apparently from a mobile laser speed camera in the back of a police van. When I received the letter advising me of this offence, I was also sent a form to complete admitting that I am the owner of the vehicle and that I was driving at the time. In absolute panic that I had done something wrong I completed the form immediately and returned it to Surrey police the same day. It has taken Surrey police nearly 6 months to summons me and now I have received a pack giving me options of either pleading not guilty, guilty out of court or guilty and attend court. A photo of the front of my car showing the registration plate, date, time and speed was also enclosed along with the police officers statement of events. I am also advised that I could have my licence suspended for up to 3 months, or a fine of up to £1000 plus 6 points on my licence. I am told that I was doing 52 miles an hr in a 30 mile an hr speed limit. I have a clean licence and have never broken the law in any way. My problem is I don't know how to complete the summons that I have been asked to complete and return. I couldn't tell you if I was speeding or indeed what speed I was doing when caught on the camera. I am relying on what the officer tells me i was doing. I don't know if I am guilty or not. If I plead guilty then surely I am agreeing with the officers accusations and admitting that I was speeding? If I plead not guilty and he can prove that his machine was working properly and that I was driving the car then I could be seen to be lying. I feel I'm in a no win situation. I want to attend court to explain my situation but how do I complete the summons form? Your advice and help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Fiona Rogers.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help with this.

What is the exact date of the alleged offence?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
7th October 2012 at 11.29 am
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry for the delay I am having some technical problems but will respond to your question as soon as they are resolved.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Look forward to hearing from you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I'm back now. Sorry for the delay.

I presume you cannot deny speeding? If you were doing 52 then thats substantially over the limit and likely to be something you know about.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The true facts are that my husband and I returned from touring western Canada at the end of September last year. We were suffering quite badly with jet lag and not sleeping well. I had gone to the supermarket and on the way back you go through traffic lights onto a road that is a duel carriage way on one side and a single carriage way on the other. When returning from the supermarket you are on the single carriageway side going down a steep hill. The police sit on an island in the middle of the road at the bottom of the hill which is where they get everybody coming down the hill and naturally accelerating. This section of road at some point has had the speed limit reduced from 40mph to 30mph. I am awaiting a reply from Surrey council to tell me when that happened as I have lived in my house for 18 years and I always believed that the road in question was 40mph. However, I was clearly not paying attention to my speed on this particular occasion and indeed did not even know that I had committed an offence until I received the letter telling me I had been speeding. So my answer to your question is that I can only assume I was speeding if that is what they say and that it was me driving at that time. I really don't know.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Ok.

How you complete the summons form is a matter of how much risk you want to take really.

You can always plead not guilty and put the Crown to proof. Sometimes that pays off. Often it does not. Since they have summonsed you its not likely that it will not end up in court. Sometimes the Crown do fail to warn witnesses though or lose evidence etc.

However, the practical reality here is that since you cannot deny speeding if this went to a contested trial its likely that you would be convicted. In the absence of any doubt about the reliability of the devices here there is no reason not to convict really.

If you want to take the safest course of action that would be to indicate a guilty plea on the basis that you didn't know you were travelling at that speeding but accept the Crown's evidence.

I'm afraid you are facing either 6 points or a short disqualification of between 7 - 56 days. In practice you will get 6 points.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for giving me the facts. If I have done wrong then I will take my punishment. Would it be best to complete the form then by saying I was guilty and will attend court? Can I put in a covering letter to say that my plea is based on what the police officer claims I have done and that I cannot fully admit to speeding or indeed being the driver as I really was unaware of this crime? Or do I get a chance to explain this in court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, just plead guilty.

You may as well go to court though. They will summons you anyway for consideration of disqualification. These things can be dealt with in absence but its not a good idea here.

You will be asked your account in court.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 64983
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Jo C. and other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help. I will take their evidence and punishment.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem.

All the best.

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