Police investigations and prosecutions for speeding are common place in today’s society. If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution or a Single Justice Procedure Notice and are facing speeding allegations you should know that you are not the first and will certainly not be the last.
Allegations of speeding and accepting speeding allegations can lead to penalty points being added to your driving licence and periods of disqualification from driving.
Rather than assuming the worst, speak to one of our team of fully qualified motoring lawyers. You will not be passed over to anyone other than a qualified and experienced solicitor or barrister. We are always happy to have an initial conversation on the telephone at no charge to explain the services we offer.
If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution, a Single Justice Procedure Notice, or you are required to attend the police station or go to court, call us now.
Many of our clients are not guilty or want to avoid being found guilty of any offence, so that they don’t get any points or a ban and don’t incur the extra insurance costs. These are some of the common questions we are asked:
- How can I prove I wasn’t speeding?
You don’t have to. It is always for the prosecution to prove that you were speeding, and if there is any doubt, you are not guilty. Even if you were probably speeding, this is not enough. A court must be sure that you were speeding – nothing less will do.
- I wasn’t the driver so what should I do?
It is up to the police to prove you were the driver. In many speeding cases the police can only prove who was driving by you telling them. A request to provide driver details under s.172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is routine with a Notice of Intended Prosecution. It is a criminal offence not to provide those details. Sometimes a photograph will show who was driving or the car may have been stopped by the police at the time.
- I don’t know who was driving, so what now?
If you are the registered keeper of a vehicle that has been speeding you can be required to say who was driving at the time. You must give that information unless you do not know and could not with reasonable diligence have discovered it. It is also a defence if it was not practicable to provide the information within the time allowed, as long as you did so as soon as practicable thereafter. Therefore, you should ask the police for a photo (which might not help, but it is worth asking), check with the other insured drivers, check diaries to help jog your memory, ask other possible drivers, or check the map and route taken to see if that helps.
- I didn’t receive the Notice of Intended Prosecution and now I am the one in trouble, what can I do?
It is common for the registered keeper of a vehicle not to receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) either because the DVLA has their wrong address, because they were away at the time or because the notice never arrived in the post. Many speeding allegations become trials about why the identity of the speeding driver was never provided, rather than the speeding itself. A carefully prepared defence in a charge failing to identify the driver has a very good prospect of success, and we win almost every such trial we conduct.
- I’m sure I wasn’t driving that fast, are the camera’s reliable?
It is perfectly possible to challenge the reliability of the speed camera or speed gun, and also to challenge that it was working properly and being used correctly. That may involve an officer coming to court to give evidence, and may involve expert analysis of the device. Details like calibration checks, calibration certificates, type approval and maintenance records can all be important.
- Is there a loophole I can use to get out of this speeding charge?
The road traffic laws are complicated and exacting, and if the police or prosecution make a mistake then it may not be possible to prosecute you for an offence. There is no magic wand that a lawyer can use, just a thorough understanding of both the law and the court process, to ensure that due process is followed. If there is a mistake or some flaw in the prosecution case, you can be sure that we will spot it. For example, some documents must be served within 14 days, or be signed by a certain rank of police officer. If the police get these details wrong, you can avoid a conviction.
- That might be my number plate, but my car wasn’t on the road that day, what has happened?
You might have been the victim of a cloned number plate fraud. If a criminal creates a fake number plate that matches yours and gets caught on a speed camera, the details of the offence will come to you. Cloned plate cases can be very worrying for the victim, but it is often possible to get to the truth of the matter.
- There wasn’t a speed limit sign I could see, is that allowed?
The rules about the displaying of speed limit signs are strict and if there is not a legally compliant sign then you should not be convicted of speeding. A careful investigation might be required, but there have been plenty of examples of failures to maintain speed limit signs, challenges to speed limit envelopes, and the use of signs that fail to meet the statutory specifications. It might simply be a matter of an overgrown hedgerow.
- I don’t want the points or a ban and I would like to challenge the case, so what can I do?
You are innocent until proven guilty and it is your right to plead not guilty to any speeding case and require the prosecution to prove the case against you. A person who is guilty is encouraged to plead guilty at the earliest opportunity by being given a reduction on the fine otherwise imposed, but the points or the ban will be the same. If you plead not guilty the court will want to know the basis for your plea and what evidence is being challenged, and compliance with the Criminal Procedure Rules is very important during case management. Remember, if you are found guilty after a trial the court costs might be hundreds of pounds at least, and the court might be less sympathetic to any mitigation you can offer. Of course, if you win your case then you avoid penalty points or a ban, avoid a criminal record and avoid the extra insurance costs in the future.