Drink Driving Facts Kit. If you've got a Ticket for Drink or Drug-Driving... have a look at this website.


Got a Ticket?  Going to Court?
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Introduction.  To begin with... have a look at these other Articles... [even if you've already been stopped you may find some useful Information.]  Ideally... you should get to know the "Law of the Land" before you get stopped... that way you won't unnecessarily damage your own defence by saying something... or doing something which could damage your case.
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Speeding Ticket...protecting your Life, Licence & Livelihood.
Your basic Rights if you get stopped by the Police.
Legal Tips... and Template Letters.
Beat the Speeding Ticket - UK.
Beat the Wheel Clampers - UK.
Drink Driving Facts Kit - UK.
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Note.
You are much more likely to be 'let off' if you are pulled over for speeding by a Normal Police Officer [black hat, black uniform] than by a Traffic Officer [white hat, green overcoat.]  It's a Traffic Officer's job to catch you... where as it can be an inconvenience for a normal Police Officer to actually go through with prosecuting you.  Plus the Traffic Officers are equipped to do the job... normal Police aren't.  If they say that they were following you and you were speeding... ask them when their Speedo was last calibrated... it probably won't have been, so... if you don't admit to anything... they don't really have much to take to Court.  One officer on his own who says he saw you speeding is not enough evidence... so admit nothing.  Two officers might be enough in some circumstances.
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Got a Ticket.
Relatively few people who are ‘caught' for speeding fight it in Court... they simply accept it... get the points and pay the Fine.  If more than 10% fought the ticket... the judicial system dealing with this would be overwhelmed and brought down to its knees.  If in doubt... fight it!
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The worst thing that can happen is that you will be convicted of the original offence.  You can get a heftier Fine and more points in Court... but unless you were doing silly speeds... or put up no defence... it's unlikely.
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The first point... if you receive a ticket in the post... "Do not Sign the Declaration"... because this is viewed as an admission of guilt.  Rather, send the forms back with a signed covering letter.  You should explain that none of the options presented on the form apply to you and you are therefore unable to sign it. 
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One very important point to remember... lying is a very serious offence... having a bad memory isn't!  One strategy that seems to have worked... simply reply saying that you have absolutely no idea who was driving the car... it could have been any one of several friends or family members.  Request the police send a photograph of the driver so that you can identify them... in order to assist them with their enquiry.  They will most likely send a picture of the car taken from behind... [unless you were caught on a Truvelo camera.]
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The Right to Silence... following the European Court decision in the case of "United Kingdom v Francis and O 'Halloran," it seems that the door on... 'the Right to Silence' argument in... 'Failure to Give Information' cases has been sealed shut.  Basically, this just means you cannot just say... "I'm not telling you who was driving".  The basic thinking is that they are not asking you to incriminate yourself by admitting to the offence... they are only asking you if you were driving: [which is not a criminal offence] and any question of guilt or innocence will be dealt with at a later date.
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The Police will demand that you sign the form... but do not back down... politely explain why you can not sign the form [because none of the options available to sign apply to you.]  They may continue to demand that you sign... but legally, you have no obligation to do so... so don't!
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Try to avoid being too sarcastic or pompous in your communications in case it does go to Court [please be aware that it is likely to go to Court... but you still have a good chance of winning the case if you can show there is reason for doubt.]
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1. Create doubt as to whether it was your vehicle.
2. Create doubt as to who was driving.
3. Create doubt as to the accuracy of the equipment.
4. Create doubt as to the officer's memory or competency.
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You will want the Court to recognise that you are sincere and reasonable.  They will throw the case out if the Police can not PROVE you were driving.  [See Template Letter... For GATSOS: Identifying the Vehicle and the Driver.]
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Prepare for the Trial.
The police must send you a 'Notice of Intended Prosecution' within 14 days.  If they do not, the case should be null-and-void... [except in some unusual circumstances.]  Following this the details of the case need to be 'Laid' before the Court within 6 months.  The Court will then prepare the papers for a Hearing: [so this whole process from start to finish can take quite some time.]  In preparing for trial, examine the ticket.  Look for mistakes on the ticket such as a wrong name, time, date, or location.  If there are any, you should tell the magistrate because this could be an easy way out... if you are lucky.  However, assuming that you are not that lucky, here is what you should do...
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Gather evidence... you should write to the police and ask for the following items: [Send all correspondence by recorded delivery and keep the receipts]... A Full copy of the Instruction manual for the Radar/Lidar device used... A copy [both sides] of the calibration certificate... Details of the training [copy of certificate if there is one] given to the officer in the use of the particular device... [If these are not forthcoming tell the magistrate] and the case against you will be seriously compromised.  [See Template Letters.]
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We also recommend that you return to the scene and take pictures of the area, including any signs, which indicate the law.  Make sure that your pictures are clear.  Do Not use a digital camera because these pictures are not admissible.  [The above comments are made on the assumption that you have been caught by a mobile unit.]
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If this is not the case and you are defending a fine from a static camera such as a Gatso... your argument can be more straightforward.  Basically, if the Police cannot PROVE it was your vehicle... and you were driving... then there is no case.  So long as you have requested the photographs and they do not identify you as the driver... just play it cool... be respectful to the Court and hopefully, you should not have a problem.  
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Going to Court.
The prosecution may ask for an adjournment because the officer cannot appear on the trial date that was set.  If possible Do Not agree to this... tell the judge that you had to take a day off work to appear or something [try not to lie!]
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Make a note of any irregularities in the procedure in your statement to the judge.  Irregularities include things such as... the wrong ticket number printed on the notice... a silly reason for requesting an adjournment [such as a planned holiday... which the police should have known about before setting the date]... receipt of the adjournment notice too close to the trial date.  Or their failure to send you all the Information you requested... [at least 7 days prior to the trial] which means you were denied the opportunity of defending yourself.
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It is possible that if you protest the adjournment, it will be denied.  If that happens, the charges should be dropped since you can't have a case without the officer's presence.  Check in with the prosecutor and usher and make sure you are on the case list, and that they are aware that you have appeared for trial.  This is just to make your presence known, and hope that they may offer a plea bargain at this point... which you could consider.  If the officer doesn't appear... the charges should be dropped.
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This is where it is handy to reference the physical description you should have taken at the scene.  If the officer does appear, ask him to withdraw the charge.  He probably won't do that... although it has been known to happen when the evidence is not water-tight... and the defendant has obviously prepared a case.
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Do Not indicate your strategy to him... or show him any notes or pictures.  Keep this stuff in an envelope or briefcase so that it is out of view prior to the actual trial.  In Court... ask the officer questions about the day to establish whether he really remembers the incident and you.  If he doesn't seem to, ask him directly whether he really remembers what happened that day.  Destroying the officer's credibility is an excellent way to get acquitted.
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Note... Do not come across as 'cocky' when asking these questions as this will put you out of favour with the Court.  Ask about the Radar or Lidar equipment.  If the officer refused to demonstrate the calibration at the roadside, ask why... and demand to know if the unit was truly calibrated.
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Each situation is different, but you should be able to use your notes to develop a strategy that insinuates that the equipment used to clock your speed was not accurate... or at least that there is reasonable doubt that it was accurate... or that the signal might have "bounced off" something else because it was not 100% reliable... or was used incorrectly.  If you can create some degree of doubt you should be acquitted.
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Ask the officer about the laws in the area.  This includes turn controls, signalling devices, speed limits, and so on.  If he doesn't get it right, use your pictures of the area to prove that he is... No Expert.  Showing that the officer does not understand the laws in effect in the area is another good way to reduce his credibility as a witness against you.  If all goes well, you may make the officer lose his cool... this will damage his credibility and strengthening your case.
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A neat appearance counts for a great deal... do not underestimate the value of a haircut... a nice suit and tie at the trial.  You will look more innocent in this type of dress... and your chance of acquittal or fine reduction will be improved.  You should also be courteous to the judge and officers of the Court.  If you annoy the judge, you might end up being convicted even though you did manage to create a degree of doubt.
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Do you need a Solicitor?  Basically, this will all depend on your own person circumstances... and the nature of the offence.  Whether you can afford Legal Representation... or whether you qualify for Legal Aid.  If you have a lot to lose... and it is a very complicated case where you intend to challenge evidence... call witness... and could end up losing your licence, livelihood... or going to Prison... your chances of success will be much better if you have a good Lawyer... so get one if you can.  If you're just looking at Points and a small Fine... then it probably doesn't warrant the expense.
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Motorist's Prosecution Checklist...
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  • The speed limit must be correctly signed in accordance with the regulations... [Folly Bottom, Wylye, North Wales, Cleveland, Starcross and others.]
  • A speed limit order must apply correctly to the location in question... [Lincolnshire, London, North Wales and others.]
  • The paperwork must be correct and in accordance with all laws and regulations... [Dorset, Cleveland.]
  • The paperwork must be delivered on time.
  • The Notice of Intended Prosecution [NIP] cannot be served by second class post... [South Wales.]
  • Papers to issue a summons must be laid within 6 months of the date of alleged offence.
  • The equipment must be calibrated correctly.
  • The operator must use the equipment in accordance with rules and guidelines.
  • The operator must form a prior opinion of speed in excess of a speed limit.  [Arguably only a Police constable is qualified to form a prior opinion of speed in excess of a posted speed limit.]
  • Communications equipment must be switched off while measurements of speed are taken [including the operator's mobile phone.]
  • The site must be suitable [restrictions include near power lines.]
  • The equipment must be working properly.
  • Evidence must be disclosed to the defence 7 days before the trial on request or it becomes inadmissible.
  • If you don't know who the driver was at the time of the alleged offence you may well have a statutory defence in RTOA1988 S172(4) as amended.
  • The court must be impartial [and since the Magistrate's Court Service are usually a camera partnership member it is far from clear that the court has the required degree of impartiality.]
  • The process must not breach your Human Rights [A 'right to silence' case went to the ECHR at Strasbourg... decision? basically, you cannot just refuse to say who was driving.]
  • In the case of Gatso fixed speed cameras the transit of the calibration marks in the two photographs must match the speed recorded by the radar speed meter.
  • The Prosecution must turn up in court with the correct paperwork.
  • Witness statements cannot be signed by machine... [North Wales.]
  • If Witness statements have not 'been agreed'... and the witness fails to turn up in Court... their statement cannot be read out and used by the Prosecution. [So, it is better to send a very basic short letter to the CPS before the Trial telling them that the witness statements are 'Not Agreed'.]
  • The LTI20.20 [common laser speed meter used in virtually all mobile speed camera vans] is subject to various operating anomalies... notably 'slip effect'.
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A failure in any of these areas will usually be fatal to a prosecution case.
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Anti-Flash Spray.  This whole process can be a real pain... a far better solution... Avoid getting them in the first place!  One way of doing this is to use an Anti-Flash Spray on your Number Plate... another good way of doing this is to use a Speed Camera Detector which alerts you to both mobile and static speed traps.  There are a huge range of devices these days... you can check them out at the following websites...
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