Author Topic: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?  (Read 2240 times)

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mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2023, 06:32:25 pm »
Don't worry - fully understand that the Legal Advisor cannot provide me with actual legal advice and understand their role is limited in terms of how they can assist me.

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2023, 11:14:45 pm »
UPDATE:

I now finally have a date for the SD (5th Jan 2024) and I've secured an in-person slot.

A quick couple of Q's;

1. At what point can I actually get to speak to a prosecutor about whether they would accept the deal (dropping the s.172's for a guilty plea to the underlying offences)? I'm intending to make the very first thing I do when I get into court to speak with the clerk/LA and explain my circumstances and request to speak with a prosecutor before anything begins. Is this normal/acceptable do we know? Or is there a certain point in proceedings in which this conservation can only occur?

2. If possible, I want the prosecutors, LA and magistrates to understand the odd circumstances before anything really begins otherwise I'm setting myself up to fail potentially. My intention was to prepare a brief written summary of the situation (rather than rely on verbally communicating it), so I could offer copies to the LA/prosecutor (depending on what point I get to speak with them). I've no idea if anyone would accept any of this or if such things can be accommodated. Any ideas? I'd have thought it a bit daft if no one was willing to take a few moments to brief themselves of relevant details to a case that's about to be heard, but ultimately I don't know how flexible or accommodating courts are to such things. I realise that maybe no one knows the answer and I'll just have to give it a go on the day and see what happens.

Cheers :)

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2024, 03:20:01 pm »
FINAL UPDATE - Court/SD/outcome

First thing I did on arrival at Bath magistrates was ask to speak to the prosecutor. This was granted and he immediately said he was happy to drop the s.172's and that this was normal and basically a given. He was pretty jovial and upbeat about it and seemed a decent bloke. So far, so good. I spoke to him a bit about my circumstances and he was less confident about me evading a ban but stressed this was at the magistrates discretion (which I knew obviously, but wanted to gauge the temperature). I gave him a brief written summary of the circumstances and he took it to the LA (who I was not allowed to speak with having asked).

Once in the court room, I then got quite a grilling from the LA. I was a bit confused as the prosecutor never spoke or participated, and it seemed that the LA was doubling as a prosecutor of sorts and going in quite aggressively on me for reasons I didn't really understand. Despite having the background details to hand from my written summary, and despite me explaining clearly the point at which I became aware of proceedings against me, she seemed to insist that I did in fact know about them. The facts are; I became aware of the proceedings (but not their outcome or implications) on the 28th Feb whilst abroad in India by email with the central ticket office in the midst of enquiring about a separate matter (as I've documented on the other forum). My understanding was I had 21 days in which to contact the magistrates from the moment I found out about proceedings (28th Feb), and I did so on the 17th March by phone. On that call, I was informed I'd actually been disqualified 10 days earlier (7th March). Unless I'd misunderstood something, I'm not sure what I'd done wrong here but this seemed to be a sticking point (though never explained) and the LA/prosecutor (I'm genuinely a bit confused about her role here) kept looking puzzled when I mentioned that I'd contacted the magistrates within 21 days of learning about the court cases, as though the 21 days thing was not a thing. If I'm wrong I'm wrong of course. She challenged my on why I hadn't called the magistrates on the 28th Feb. I explained I was volunteering in India. She shot back "do they not have internet in India?". Again, to my understanding I had 21 days to contact the magistrates, so wanted to get home first, try and research and get the lay of the land and then phone them. I explained this and once again it was met with contorted and skeptical facial expressions. She asked me how much of my disqualification I served ("all of it - 6 months"), she then asked if I drove during it (why??) and I told her "no". Technically that's not actually true - I had driven a few times between the disqualification coming into effect (7th March) and my learning that I was disqualified (17th March), but from the second I learned I'd been DQF'd from driving, I did not get behind the wheel of my van once (luckily I was parked in the business park where I work and it was perfectly fine to leave the car there for the time being until I'd come up with a solution for it).

We then got into a little bit about the re-totting should my SD request be accepted and 6 more points be endorsed onto licence. Here I reiterated what was in my written statement (that she had to hand), explaining how fundamentally I had 4 offences each worth 3 points, but that I'd already severed the ban given we were going to set aside the s.172 convictions and that it was only the chronology of events that saw me facing another ban. Once again the LA/prosecutor/angry lady seemed to scoff at this idea. At this point I'd lost confidence in the process completely and it seemed the person addressing me had little interest in really familiarising themselves with the details or considering what might be 'just'. I'd spent months with this hanging over me, getting advice on here (and being annoying as hell in the process!), preparing statements to aid the court and formulating in my mind what I was going to say over and over again - not to mention the worry about being disqualified again etc - but the level of care and attention coming back the other way was almost zero (with the exception of the prosecutor who was fair and kind throughout). The magistrates themselves barely spoke - don't even think I got a "good morning" and I was required to stand in a dock behind perspex panels Hannibal Lecter-style throughout (which differed from where I was placed back in July).

The magistrates and the LA then took a brief break to deliberate on whether I would be allowed to perform the SD. During the interlude I spoke briefly with the prosecutor. He talked me through what they were doing and I asked if I could withdraw at this point. He wasn't 100% sure but said I'd have to inform the magistrates when they came back in if that's what I wished to do. He also told me that they'd had a case sort of similar to mine and that the defendant was given a shortened 3-month ban having already served 6 previously. I doubt his case was exactly like mine but I was taking no chances on a ban. I was confident in my position that I should not be disqualified again and confident that my argument/reasoning was sound, but I was not at all confident that this would be recognised by the decision makers and had decided to hit the eject button.

The magistrates & LA returned and immediately informed me that I was not permitted to perform an SD (so hit the eject button before I could myself). There seemed to be some confusion as to whether I knew about the proceedings against me (as mentioned). I'd love to explain what that confusion was but I simply don't know - I found the process to be a shambles to be honest. The magistrates expressed that they felt the FtF convictions were correct (I never disputed this so didn't really understand the point being made) and informed me of my option to appeal if I disagreed with the outcome today (I do disagree, but have no desire for this to run any longer).

And that was that. I remain where I am: 6 points still on my licence, MS90 codes to declare to insurers and two lots of hefty fines coming my way for each s.172 conviction. I feel pretty aggrieved that this is what I'm left with and that it's taken so long to arrive at exactly where I was when my disqualification ended four months ago. It's also pretty galling that having contacted the magistrates regarding an SD in mid-March, that I've had to wait this long to get a chance to perform the SD only to not be allowed to do it, and to quite probably receive an additional ban even if I did through what simply seemed like a lack of proper consideration or understanding for what might be reasonable or just. I'm sure there are circumstances & cases for which the current court system functions and works pretty well. What I can say from my two appearances at Bath magistrates in the last 6 months is that it seems wholly unfit for purpose on a number of levels. I've no experiences of court to draw upon prior to the last 6 months so maybe things used to be better but I've been left very disappointed in virtually all aspects of the experience on both occasions now. It's essentially a sausage factory with minimal scope to deal with matters that require a little more care. The meat & bones of my own case could have easily been thrashed out with a brief, informal 5-minute conversation with all involved before anything began and I'm sure that's the case for a great many other cases.

Lastly would just like to say a massive thanks to everyone who contributed their knowledge and thoughts both here and the old forum - it was very much appreciated.


guest46

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2024, 01:17:44 pm »
I'm guessing but perhaps the Mags/LA were not convinced by the fact you simply didn't bother changing the address on the V5C AND delayed responding whilst in India with no solid reason and these aspects undermined your credibility in their eyes. It does however read like the outcome does represent 'natural justice' in that most folk who manage to rack up 4 offences in a short timeframe would also face a ban?

NewJudge

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2024, 04:33:40 pm »
I must say I am disappointed at the way the court treated you. The decision is one thing (that's their prerogative) but there are ways to treat people and it seems you were on the wrong end of some very poor "bedside manner".

The one thing I was not aware of during our earlier exchanges was that you were, in fact aware of the proceedings against you before they took place. I know you were not in a position to properly respond but I think the court is correct in that in that situation you cannot perform an SD. It is applicable when you were unaware of the proceedings and you had been convicted as a result of those proceedings which, it seems, does not apply in your circumstances.

That said, the court had a remedy in the form of s142 of the Magistrates' Court Act. This gives them the power to set aside the outcome of any previous proceedings (including convictions, sentences and other orders) and to revisit the matter. On the one hand I am surprised this was not suggested by the Legal Advisor but on the other, from what you have told us, it was unlikely.   

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2024, 07:41:05 pm »

The one thing I was not aware of during our earlier exchanges was that you were, in fact aware of the proceedings against you before they took place.

Unless I'm misunderstanding something I definitely wasn't aware.

To summarise what happened; I had submitted my licence for the third offence of the four (at that time, it was the only one I was aware of so for me that was my first ever motor offence, even though it later transpired it was actually my third) and paid my fine. I'd received reminder letters about the licence details so had made enquiries to ensure the details had been received. After getting kicked about between departments for a while, I finally had it confirmed to me via email that the details were received. To my horror they also added in that email (28th Feb), that there were three other charges against me (one that was more recent and I was able to deal with), two of which had already been "referred to court" (their words - no mention of convictions or outcomes or even if anything had taken place at court yet) and that I had to contact the magistrates. My understanding was I had 21 days to contact the magistrates about that, which I did upon return to the UK and after posting on the other forum to try and get some understanding of the situation first.

The proceedings had already taken place, and I'd already been disqualified for 10 days when I phoned the magistrates. It was they that told me I'd been disqualified - I had absolutely no idea. Had it not been for that email exchange I'd have never known I'd been disqualified and would have been driving around oblivious until eventually receiving a (what would have been very surprising!) letter from the DVLA. It was pure luck that my learning that there were proceedings (or a 'referral to court') against me and the disqualification coming into effect were basically at the same time.

NewJudge

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2024, 10:02:35 pm »
Quote
The proceedings had already taken place,....

To save me looking through the thread, were you aware of these proceedings before they took place or did you only learn about them afterwards?

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2024, 10:19:45 pm »
Quote
The proceedings had already taken place,....

To save me looking through the thread, were you aware of these proceedings before they took place or did you only learn about them afterwards?

Afterwards.

Just checked my licence: convicted of one of the FtF charges on 24th Jan 2023. The other one isn't displaying but I recall seeing it some months ago and as I recall the conviction was dated sometime in 2022. I learned of these on the 28th Feb 2023, after they had occured.

ManxTom

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2024, 02:46:52 pm »
Quote
The proceedings had already taken place,....

To save me looking through the thread, were you aware of these proceedings before they took place or did you only learn about them afterwards?

Unless @mooney11 made a right horlicks of telling the court what happened (or unless they've got their dates hopelessly muddled) I don't understand how the court's legal advisor could heve come to either of the two conclusions (1) that @mooney11 had prior knowledge of the proceedings or (2) that they should have contacted the court earlier re making a statutory declaration.

The OP first posted on pepipoo on 04 March and said there that they had only learned of the convictions four days earlier on 28 February.  (I assume the OP is telling the truth about that...)

He then contacted Bath mags court within 21 days on 17 March to arrange to make a stat dec.  (See post #52 on the pepipoo thread).

Unless the OP presented a significantly different story to the mags from the one he told us here and on pepipoo, I'm not sure how the court reached its decision.  Or perhaps the OP didn't present the story sufficiently clearly for the legal advisor to understand the sequence and timing of events(?).

(And none of this helps the OP's underlying question about whether it was worth doing a stat dec to get rid of the two MS90s in the first place, or whether that might lead to him getting banned a second time.  He still would have had that dilemma anyway!)


[Edit:  Regarding when he learned of the proceedings, this is what the OP said in his first post on pepipoo:

"On or just after the 17th Nov 2022 I received an NIP for doing 48mph in a 40 on the M32 Southbound in August 2022. I've been driving 16 years and never had a single offence in that time, so sent back the form indicating I'd attend a speed awareness course. In mid-January 2023 I received a letter back stating that I owed £100 and would get 3 points due to not responding in time. I'd assumed this was due to the postal strikes and phoned up to clarify. It was explained to me that the original NIP was sent to my old address; turns out I'd completely forgotten to update the V5 certificate, and that the 28 days had therefore long expired by the time I even knew of the offence. A bit gutting to have to skip straight to 3 points & a fine for my first offence, but ultimately my bad for the V5 form... I pay my £100 after the phone call and post off my license details that day. I was concerned the returned details wouldn't arrive on time as I had 14 days to respond at the time the letter was sent to me, but I received it with only a couple of days before the 14 deadline expires. I was told this was fine and a note would be added to my file to reflect this. Obviously postal issues at this time were a factor.

A few weeks later, in early Feb 2023 I received another letter stating that, having not paid my fine on time, I now owed £816!! Naturally I challenged this via email and was put in touch with the Central Ticket Office, providing evidence of the payment to them. After much chasing and delays, I finally got a proper response on the 28th Feb 2023, and from here everything has spiralled out of of control and I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with everything..."   ]
« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 02:55:47 pm by ManxTom »

ManxTom

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2024, 03:12:11 pm »
Further to my previous post, I suppose it might depend on whether the OP was notified that he'd been convicted in his absence when he received these two communications referred to in his opening post on the pepipoo thread:

"... In mid-January 2023 I received a letter back stating that I owed £100 and would get 3 points due to not responding in time... "

and

"... A few weeks later, in early Feb 2023 I received another letter stating that, having not paid my fine on time, I now owed £816!!... "

The OP hasn't clearly said what these two letters actually told him.  Did they tell him he'd been convicted in his absence?

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2024, 03:43:03 pm »
Further to my previous post, I suppose it might depend on whether the OP was notified that he'd been convicted in his absence when he received these two communications referred to in his opening post on the pepipoo thread:

"... In mid-January 2023 I received a letter back stating that I owed £100 and would get 3 points due to not responding in time... "

and

"... A few weeks later, in early Feb 2023 I received another letter stating that, having not paid my fine on time, I now owed £816!!... "

The OP hasn't clearly said what these two letters actually told him.  Did they tell him he'd been convicted in his absence?

Hi mate - happy to clarify.

The letter in mid-Jan was referring to the 3rd offence (the only one I knew of at the time). It was basically just a reminder letter for my fine (already paid) and licence details (already sent). As I had already complied with the COFP and all post was delayed due to the strikes I wasn't initially concerned by these reminder letters (which were arriving around 10 days or so from their dating in any case). This letter had nothing to do with the convictions I was unaware of.

Then I got the "£816" letter. It did not specify any convictions, and given I was unaware of any other motor offences at that time, my assumption was that I was being fined for not having paid my £100/sent my DL details (even though I had). That's what then prompted me to reach out to the Avon & Somerset police who then put me in contact with the CTO. After a bit of back & forth with the CTO, they then said that having looked into my case, they'd come across other offences which it seemed I was unaware of, two of which had already been referred to court. This was the 28th Feb.

Quote
Unless @mooney11 made a right horlicks of telling the court what happened

Whilst I can't rule out this possibility, I don't think I did at all. Firstly I know all the dates of everything that occurred by rote. Not only have I documented it in writing on the PePiPo0 forum, but you can imagine how many times I've explained all of this to friends, family & so on!

Secondly, when I filled in the form for an SD referral (the one linked to in the sticky), I had to detail how/when I became aware of proceedings. So it was in writing and in the court's possession.

Lastly, as mentioned I had prepared a simple written summary of the circumstances, which I gave to the prosecutor who gave it to the LA. I don't know if the LA or the magistrates bothered to read it or give it any more attention than a brief skim. It was given back to me at the conclusion of proceedings.

All I can tell you is that everything I've written across both forums has been 100% truthful, and I believe I relayed that information to the court in both writing and verbally just fine. In court I was asked when I became aware ("28th Feb"), how I became aware ("via email exchange with the CTO regarding a separate matter"), when I contacted the magistrates ("17th March, by phone") and why I didn't call on the 28th Feb ("I was in India volunteering and had read that I had 21 days to contact the magistrates"). I was also asked some more bizarre questions as detailed a couple of posts ago.

All of which is academic at this point anyway. I won't be appealing the decision and I had no faith a just solution to my situation was going to be arrived at given they couldn't even recognise that I was unaware of the proceedings. I'm quite confident that I would have been disqualified again, even if that seems completely unfair.

mooney11

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2024, 01:48:56 pm »
@ManxTom & @NewJudge

Based on what I've described above, can you see any errors on my part/why I wouldn't be eligible to perform an SD? I believe I was entitled to perform an SD. I did not know about proceedings and they had occurred before I knew about them and I contacted the mags within 21 days of learning about the proceedings.

I had originally decided to just move on. But yesterday I received the two lots of £816 fines for each FtF conviction in the post (one of them has been bumped up to £1014 which I need to query) and I feel pretty strongly that I'd not been given a fair crack of the whip at the magistrates. I also cannot afford £1800.

As such I am considering whether it's worth appealing against the decision to deny me to perform an SD.

Southpaw82

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2024, 03:01:26 pm »
Itís not immediately obvious to me where such an appeal would be heard. You might want to have a think about that because costs could become an issue.

NewJudge

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2024, 03:33:38 pm »
I also cannot think where it would be heard. I must say I was surprised that the Magistrates refused to hear your SD. Did they give their reasons?

I can think of two avenues which may result in no significant cost (though I'm not sure if either will produced the desired result):

1. Ask the court to re-open your case under s142 of the Magistrates' Court Act. This gives the court the power to set aside any penalties already imposed and revisit the matter. It needs the court to agree to it and it must be "in the interests of justice" to do so. The problem I see with this is that the court must agree and, although you may face a different bench of Magistrates, they may take the same view as those who declined to hear your SD.

2. Make an SD before a solicitor and deliver it to the court. The problem I see with this is the time that has elapsed since your conviction. I'm not sure whether a solicitor hearing your SD is bound by the same rules as a court and they may enquire why there has been such a delay. This might involve you disclosing that a court has declined to hear your SD which may persuade the solicitor to do likewise.

Southpaw82

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Re: Points still on licence after a ban. Is this right?
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2024, 03:58:12 pm »
A solicitor wonít enquire into the reasons. They will simply act as a commissioner for oaths and take the declaration. However, when that is sent to the court, the court might well enquire into the circumstances because more than 21 days has elapsed.