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Legal advice regarding court summons


dAVe80
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First of all, Mods, if this anyway break site rules, or you have any misgivings regarding my post, please feel free to lock / remove it. I don't want to cause any issues for the site, so please accept my apology in advance, if this is the case.

Right let me start by saying, anyone who wants to tell me what an idiot I am, I already realise this, so please spare me any further embarrassment.

Can I ask that you only reply to this post with constructive advice,

Please let me give a background, as to how I got into the situation I'm in. Without going into the massive detail, basically I hit a parked car, while in leaving a car park, and failed to stop and leave my details, and failed to report it to the police. This was reported to the police, who contacted me, took a statement, and advised that I had committed an offence, and that the matter would go to court. Due to the circumstances, and my full cooperation with the police, I was advised that the likely outcome would be that I would either get points on my driving license / or be asked to take a course. I was also advised that I would probably be able to plead guilty by post (which I intended to do). However the summons I have received has no mention of this option, and looking at a few online legal sites, this normally happens if the court are considering a fine or disqualification from driving. Additionally this is my first offence of any kind, and I plan to plead guilty.

So the questions I need the answers to, are:

1. Have I lost / missed / not ever had, the right to plead guilty by post?

2. Am I likely to get a ban or fine?

3. When is the earliest opportunity I can plead guilty?

4. Is it advisable to get legal representation?

Many thanks for taking the time to read this. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Suck it up, take the punishment and learn from it , I have done far worse than that.

Don't worry about it .

This.

However, you are a cock for driving off. If it was your car and someone else had done it you would be furious. Take the punishment and accept the responsibility, then move on and learn from it.

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This.

However, you are a cock for driving off. If it was your car and someone else had done it you would be furious. Take the punishment and accept the responsibility, then move on and learn from it.

This. Take the punishment and move on.

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Thanks for the responce. As I say though, the punishment is not the issue, it's the form it takes that prompted the OP. It's not a case of woe is me, or anything. I know I **** up, regardless of the circumstances. Which is why I tried to take any emotion out of the description of events. As much as I know there's not a set procedure, and every circumstance is different, I just wondered if anyone had an idea what to expect? If that's to involve bending over and touching my toes, then so be it. I'd just rather know first, to brace myself!

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Thanks for the responce. As I say though, the punishment is not the issue, it's the form it takes that prompted the OP. It's not a case of woe is me, or anything. I know I **** up, regardless of the circumstances. Which is why I tried to take any emotion out of the description of events. As much as I know there's not a set procedure, and every circumstance is different, I just wondered if anyone had an idea what to expect? If that's to involve bending over and touching my toes, then so be it. I'd just rather know first, to brace myself!

You pinged a parked car . Nobody died.

A few points and a small fine maximum.

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Firstly, appoint a lawyer. Yes they're expensive but you need one. The issue here is not so much hitting the car, but the fact you drove off knowingly without reporting it. I'm not sure if that's criminal damage ? Like I say get yourself a lawyer .

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Best thing to do is to ring the court and ask them why the summons does not have a section to enable you to plead guilty by post. Not much point going to see a solicitor if you're going to plead guilty in full though, being a minor matter and all. If you do go to one though, first 30mins is usually free of charge. Likelyhood is a fine, points and maybe a driving course. The other thing is that your insurance company may well have been told about it by the 3rd party insurer, which can only mean huge hike in premium.

Remember, it's always better to sort these kind of incidents out yourself when they happen either through insurers, or privately go out your way to make sure the other person gets sorted. Usually ends up being cheaper in the long run. Plus car parks should be driven around on more cautiously because collisions between 2 or more drivers on carparks are usually treated as 50/50 by insurers

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Firstly, appoint a lawyer. Yes they're expensive but you need one. The issue here is not so much hitting the car, but the fact you drove off knowingly without reporting it. I'm not sure if that's criminal damage ? Like I say get yourself a lawyer .

Best thing to do is to ring the court and ask them why the summons does not have a section to enable you to plead guilty by post. Not much point going to see a solicitor if you're going to plead guilty in full though, being a minor matter and all. If you do go to one though, first 30mins is usually free of charge. Likelyhood is a fine, points and maybe a driving course. The other thing is that your insurance company may well have been told about it by the 3rd party insurer, which can only mean huge hike in premium.

Remember, it's always better to sort these kind of incidents out yourself when they happen, and go out your way to make sure the other person gets sorted. Usually ends up being cheaper in the long run.

These two posts sum it up pretty well. You're going to get points on your licence, for not reporting the accident and/or driving off from the scene of an accident. For driving off, you can expect more than three points.

A friend of mine had an incident a few years ago which did not involve another vehicle or personal property but involved the vehicle he was driving leaving the carriageway and rolling down an embankment. He went home, with the intention of having the car recovered int he morning, but the police found it and recovered it first. Then visited his house, arrested him and he ended up getting 8 points on his licence for it. And a fine and a course.

Have you got any points on your licence at present?

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No, clean licence. First time (and hopefully the last!) anything like this has ever happened.

I doubt you'll get anything more serious than a few points, a fine and a course. The courses are a pain in the arse. You'll probably have to do it on a Friday/Saturday morning and it's going to set you back at least £150. That on top of the fine (which should be nominal) and points is going to be a pisser, especially when combined with the rise you're going to see in your insurance premium.

Out of interest, how much damage was there to your car/the other car?

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A friend of mine had an incident a few years ago which did not involve another vehicle or personal property but involved the vehicle he was driving leaving the carriageway and rolling down an embankment. He went home, with the intention of having the car recovered int he morning, but the police found it and recovered it first. Then visited his house, arrested him and he ended up getting 8 points on his licence for it. And a fine and a course.

I suspect the police had assumed your friend was drunk but had gone home to 'sleep it off'.

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I prosecute for a Local Authority so can help a bit....

1.you can write to the court and plead guilty, but if you can attend you should. Wear a suit, shine your shoes. Plead guilty. Apologise. And then lay on your reasons with a trowel. One of your kids was ill, your mum was dying, your wife's left you, whatever, but give some mitigation as to why you didn't stop/report it. (although if you've told plod something, stick to that make sure your story matches.) basically just be the most pathetic individual you can possibly be without being annoying. Works for my defendants every time. :-(

2. How long is a piece of string... Depends on the mood of the bench on the day and whatever mitigation you give.

3. Either in Court at the 1st hearing or by post, same thing. It's an automatically discount in the sentence, but generally you get more credit if you attend in person.

4. If you want, it will cost, you won't get legal aid so I sort of think why bother except a decent brief will defend you better than our ever will. They are great at making you look like a massive waste of skin. Which is what you want then to do.

Good luck.

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Firstly, appoint a lawyer. Yes they're expensive but you need one. The issue here is not so much hitting the car, but the fact you drove off knowingly without reporting it. I'm not sure if that's criminal damage ? Like I say get yourself a lawyer .

Well... you don't NEED one do you? I mean, you could pay out of your arse for one and still lose, and the fact of the matter is dAVe80 is guilty, so chances are he will be found guilty anyway. I don't think you should be giving this kind of definitive legal advice unless you have a lot of experience in this matter.

Eames seems to be the most informed on this, so I'd listen to him. I've sat in on magistrates court a few times as a trainee journalist and most of the people who come through there are often found guilty but the punishments are pretty lax all-in-all. Seeing that it's your first offence helps too. With regards to keeping your licence (if that's what you're worried about) try to think of as many reasons as to why having your car is key to your livelyhood, your job depends on you being able to drive, you have kids that depend on you to get them to school, etc. Like I said, the proceedings I've sat in on with motoring offences seem to be pretty lenient and they're more often than not found guilty.

Check out legal representation by all means, but it can be pretty costly.

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The only reason you need a lawyer here is mitigation. You are going to plead guilty anyway so it would just be a case of paying someone else to call you a knob in Court and then explain why you are one. You should be able to do that yourself. Ginko gives good advice if you are worried about a ban. Think of all the reasons you need a licence and use them.

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Oh yeah. The other is meant to say is that if you do plead guilty by post make sure you give the court the full details of your financial situation. If you don't, the minimum fine is automatically the same rate as the average wage which is c. £400 a week for sentencing purposes.

Give a full picture of your income and expenditure and you will only be fined what you can afford to pay.

As I said above though, better in person than by post.

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