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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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On January the 21st 2013 I was stopped by a police car for

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On January the 21st 2013 I was stopped by a police car for having "too much snow on my hood". They asked me for my license and insurance and provided both. However, the license was my Mexican license (I have been living in the UK as a graduate student for almost three years now) and my insurance had expired (I was back from visiting my relatives back in Mexico for a month and a half and completely forgot to renew it). Both officers were very kind. I explained my situation and they told me I had nothing to worry about, that the offense was not serious but that they had to impound my car and would be maybe summoned to court within the next six months. Since, then I have straightened all my paperwork (passed the UK license test, and insured my car [the premium includes the "likely convictions").

In relation to the above mentioned I have the following questions:

Since I have not received the summons I would like to know if there is a time limit for prosecuting the offense and how would I know if my case has expired?

If I do get summoned what kind of mitigating circumstances can I argue on my behalf?

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

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

Have you reclaimed your car?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I have six months ago.

Thanks for the information.

It is amazing that they haven't summonsed. I suppose they just plain forgot to do so. That does sometimes happen.

However, if they have not summonsed you then they are indeed out of time to do so now. They only have six months to lay an information before the Court. They would appear to be out of time if what you say is correct.

Obviously this would only apply if they hadn't given you the fixed penalty but you would have had to have accepted that and you don't mention that here.

So, overall, you are right. If this incident was more than six months ago and you have not been summonsed then they are out of time.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is it possible, however, that they did "lay the information" before the court in the past few weeks and the summon has not reached me, or that they sent it to my previous address? (I provided them, during our encounter with my current address and my car is also currently registered to my current address)

It is possible that they have laid the information by the 21st July. Given that its the 23rd though its quite unlikely. There used to be a huge issue with them laying the information at the 11th hour and courts sending out summonses quite late but that has improved a great deal. It is possible but I would have expected you to have the summons by now if so.

Their obligation is to write to the address registered at the DVLA. If that is your current address then it should have gone there. Sometimes summonses are sent to the wrong address but then they are invalid summonses.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much. One last question. Should I take any further action?

No, absolutely not. Do nothing.

All taking action will do is remind them of the need to review your case.

The only thing I suppose you could do is call your local court and ask if there is a summons in the post to you but I suspect that you won't get the information that you need in any reliable form given that the court service is what it is.

The onus is upon them to summons and you serve only the crown when you call them reminding them to look at your case. Arguably it doesn't matter now as they are out of time but i still wouldn't suggest it.
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