The Law of ‘Common Sense’ Prevails
We recently successfully defended a client who was prosecuted for failing to disclose driver details and speeding.
The client, a local businessman with a clean driving licence, had received a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) for a speeding offence.
The driver at the time of the alleged speeding offence was in fact our client’s brother who informed him. With the client’s permission, the brother, acting entirely in good faith, completed the NIP for him and signed the form indicating that he had been the driver and sent it back to the police.
The next the client knew about the matter was when he received court papers for the alleged offences. He pleaded not guilty to both matters and found himself facing a magistrates’ court trial when he sought our assistance.
We examined the evidence and took the client’s instructions, as well as looking more closely at the relevant law. Strictly speaking, the law was not on the client’s side as he should have completed the form, not his brother, even though he had not deliberately done anything wrong.
The prospect of our client being convicted on a ‘technicality’ did not sit well with us. Despite our client’s predicament, we successfully defended him at the trial, where the magistrates were persuaded that the client’s brother had in fact acted as an ’agent’ on his behalf when he completed the NIP. Not strictly speaking a correct interpretation of the criminal law, but certainly the law of ‘Common Sense’ to meet a just outcome.
If you receive a notice of intended prosecution in the post for driving offences, then the golden rule is that you should make sure that you and you alone, complete and sign the relevant documentation. Failure to do so could result in a conviction of an offence contrary to section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a fine and six penalty points on your licence.
If you are unsure what to do or need advice about any motoring offences, then do not hesitate to give us a call on 0161 928 3848 or contact us at our website address – mchaleandco.co.uk