Author Topic: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?  (Read 230 times)

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IvanW

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SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« on: May 08, 2024, 09:05:36 am »
So I just received an SJP through the post for a minor speeding offence last November (36 in a 30). I have received the SJP because by their account, I failed to provide information about the driver so have that charge listed also.
I remember getting the NIP and the reminder letter, I distinctly remember replying to the reminder letter with my details because it was the reminder and because I travel with work, the first letter was misplaced. In the evidence it is listed as no response received to the reminder letter sent.
Unfortunately for me, and error on my part, I sent the response by mail, second class stamp so no evidence I can show to prove I sent the details off. Only my word
My question is what is my best course of action now? I have read I should plead not guilty to both charges and offer a plea bargain that I will admit guilt for the speeding offence if F2F charge is dropped. Is this correct? And how should I word any response and preparations for the inevitable court date?
Thank you for any response
« Last Edit: May 08, 2024, 10:14:36 am by IvanW »

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The Rookie

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2P. Best course of action?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2024, 10:03:39 am »
This is simple, if you are willing to plead guilty to speeding itís easy enough to negotiate to have the failing to furnish drivers details dropped in exchange, they canít currently convict you of speeding as they have no evidence you were driving.

We usually advise this is done in court, however as you note there has been some degree of success with pleading NOT guilty to both charges in response to the SJPN but in the Ďmitigation/reason for pleaí box for speeding you add a comment that you would plead guilty to speeding if the S172 offence is discontinued.

F2P is usually failure to Produce, so slightly confusing here.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2024, 12:49:48 pm by The Rookie »
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IvanW

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2024, 10:22:02 am »
Apologies, I used the wrong terminology. It is failure to furnish.
So do I have to plead not guilty to both charges and offer a plea bargain for speeding only if F2F is dropped? Or can I plead guilty to only speeding on the form and not guilty to F2F with reasoning and avoid court? I understand may be best not to admit any guilt at this stage and go to court.
Any specific wording required in my plea bargain or will just a couple of clear sentences be enough.
I am also worried about going to court and saying the wrong thing but if a fine is in the way, Iíd like to avoid extra costs for solicitor advise and representation.
Thank you 

ManxTom

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2024, 12:27:16 pm »
Apologies, I used the wrong terminology. It is failure to furnish.
So do I have to plead not guilty to both charges and offer a plea bargain for speeding only if F2F is dropped? Or can I plead guilty to only speeding on the form and not guilty to F2F with reasoning and avoid court? I understand may be best not to admit any guilt at this stage and go to court.
Any specific wording required in my plea bargain or will just a couple of clear sentences be enough.
I am also worried about going to court and saying the wrong thing but if a fine is in the way, Iíd like to avoid extra costs for solicitor advise and representation.
Thank you

I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that you should plead NOT GUILTY to both charges and in the mitigation/reason for plea part of the form you say something along the lines of:  "I've pleaded not guilty to both charges but if the s172 Failure to Furnish charge is dropped - and only if it is dropped - I would plead Guilty to the speeding offence"

Basically what @The Rookie has already told you.

If you find they won't accept that on paper, you'll have to attend court on the day and put exactly the same proposition to the prosecutor.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2024, 12:29:17 pm by ManxTom »

The Rookie

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2024, 12:49:32 pm »
Or can I plead guilty to only speeding on the form and not guilty to F2F with reasoning and avoid court?
You can do that, but then there is nothing to stop them still prosecuting you for the F2F (and yes itís happened to people who ignored advice) and ending up with 9 points, itís a poor strategy and you wouldnít then be avoiding court.
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IvanW

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2024, 01:49:31 pm »
Thank you for the advice given, really helpful.
I think I know what to do right now, plead not guilty on both charges and offer the plea bargain.
If I do get a court date which seems likely, is it easy enough to represent myself in court? The only thing worrying me in court would be incriminating myself by answering innocently to probing questions. Would I just repeat my plea offer until accepted or denied?

The Rookie

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2024, 02:44:50 pm »
You canít be questioned (shouldnít be anyway and answers shouldnít be used for any purpose) unless you end up taking the witness stand which there is no need for you to do.

This is routine, the only reason to Ďdual chargeí is to facilitate the plea bargain, arguably to charge you with speeding is unlawful given they know they donít have the evidence but I for one wouldnít complain at the tactic as it makes the plea bargain viable to many a defendantís benefit. Or in other words, youíre over thinking this.
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IvanW

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2024, 06:30:44 pm »
Thank you
Glad you think Iím overthinking this and should be simple process to get the F2F dropped.
Iíll do the form online, not guilty to both with a simple but clear plea bargain offer. Best case scenario they send a new SJP with just the speeding on, worst case I get a court date but either way I am little relaxed in knowing the F2F is often dropped on these circumstances.
If it is common and Iím sure it is, people forget or like to try and ignore these things, donít you think it would be good to give the plea bargain as an offer on the form? Could save a bit of time and money

Southpaw82

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2024, 06:34:56 pm »
Best case scenario they send a new SJP with just the speeding on

Thatís not how it works.

NewJudge

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2024, 08:26:32 pm »
Quote
Best case scenario they send a new SJP


As above, that is not how it works. You face charges for both offences and the court must see them disposed of one way or another.

Before the pandemic, it was invariably necessary to attend court to do this "deal." It requires the agreement of the prosecutor to drop the FtF charge and that could only be done in person. This meant it could not be done under the "Single Justice" procedure (because nobody can attend a SJ hearing).  When the pandemic struck the courts amended many of their processes so as to have as small a number of people actually attending as possible. Arrangements were made (presumably with the police prosecutors) for the court's legal advisor to authorise the deal. Some courts have continued that system (or at least a variation of it) so as to avoid the need for defendants to attend, and where they have, the deal can be handled under the SJ process. But some have reverted to the pre-Covid procedure and a personal attendance is required.

All you can do is complete the SJ response as you have outlined, making it clear that your guilty plea to speeding will only apply if the FtF charge is dropped. You may be lucky and see it dealt with without your attendance or you may not.

IvanW

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2024, 08:35:23 pm »
Ah okay, understood. I am pleased to say the is my first time with one of these so no idea of the process, but god did my heart drop when I got it.
Anyway, if I have to go to court I am least confident now I wonít be asked silly questions and unless they are very unreasonable, should be the fine and 3 points.
Lesson learned, if sending off a reply to a NIP I will send tracked in the future so I have evidence it was sent. Itís a shame the best outcome is still a hefty fine after I know I sent a response, but fighting that would be pointless. I suppose one last question. If they refuse the plea in court where would I stand? I will obviously say I sent the response because I did but with no evidence, would it be a shut case?

andy_foster

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Re: SJP 2 charges, speeding and F2F. Best course of action?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2024, 09:36:05 pm »
As has presumably already been said - some posters have had the s. 172 dropped by simply pleading guilty to the speeding and not guilty to the s. 172, whereas others have been convicted of the speeding and then been tried for the s. 172. We have only heard of one case where the s. 172 wasn't dropped when a deal was requested - which was because the accused got somewhat cocky and tried to tell the prosecutor that he had no case.

If the deal is refused, then the stock advice is not to plead guilty to the speeding as they have no evidence that you were the driver.

Defending the s. 172 would be difficult as you committed the offence when you failed to respond to the initial notice. When the police offered you a second chance, arguably the requirement was for the information to be delivered to the police, not merely sent. If they had received it and then decided to prosecute for both it would arguably be an abuse of process. Assuming that they did not receive it, to defend it successfully, you would need to get a bench that directed themselves that as a point of law, the requirement was satisfied by sending regardless of whether or not it was actually received, found as fact that you did indeed send it, despite ignoring/losing the original requirement, and that the reminder somehow negated the original failure to provide the information. You might want to start by telling them to look into your eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes.

Broadly speaking, if the deal is refused by the prosecution, damage limitation is pleading guilty to the s. 172, and not getting an extra 3 points unnecessarily for the speeding by pleading guilty to the charge they can't prove.
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