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Signing that penalty form, or not!

 
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stefanoza
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Joined: Jan 02, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Signing that penalty form, or not! Reply with quote

Recently my son received a penalty form for a jumping red light offence, the photo clearly shows a vehicle going through the red light. This was a work vehicle and when they received it my sons employers put his name on the form. My son did not think he was driving that particular vehicle (as there were other vehicles/drivers out that day and his employer did not track who was driving which vehicle at any specific time/day).
He filled in and signed the form (as the form says you are legally obliged to) and said he would go to court to contest the penalty, he enclosed a letter explaining why he believed he was innocent. The implication in the form is that signing it is NOT an admission of guilt if you opt to go to court. His letter explained the situation, expecting the police to think that as they couldn’t actually prove who was driving they would drop the case.
He went to court with a lawyer and supporting letters from his employer stating they could not be certain it was him driving but he received 3 points and a fine – for a penalty he truly believes he did not commit. So much for innocent until proven guilty!!

From what he described the court basically took the approach that he was guilty because he had signed the form.

Had he not signed the form and just sent the explanation letter back what would have happened?
What actually happens if you refuse to sign the form?
What is the best way to handle this kind of situation?
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought there was an option on the form to deny you were driving? Did he tick the wrong box perhaps?
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stefanoza
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as I recall you have to say it wasn't you and report another driver (mandatory otherwise you are breaking the law) or go to court... there is no other option offered.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there wasn't it may have been better not to have signed the form but returned it explaining why. It would then be referred back to your sons employer who would have needed to prove who was driving.
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Privateer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Signing that penalty form, or not! Reply with quote

stefanoza wrote:
He went to court with a lawyer and supporting letters from his employer stating they could not be certain it was him driving but he received 3 points and a fine – for a penalty he truly believes he did not commit. So much for innocent until proven guilty!!

That result might lead one to presume that the courts and police don't care about innocence - just convictions.

stefanoza wrote:
Had he not signed the form and just sent the explanation letter back what would have happened?
What actually happens if you refuse to sign the form?
What is the best way to handle this kind of situation?

I'm sorry to hear of the problems that your son has had, however I think that those questions are best answered by the professional lawyer that your son or his employer used as opposed to the "armchair lawyers" here Wink.

If you get no response from them then try contacting another lawyer, Citizens Advice, or the website PePiPoo.

Please let us know what happens.

Regards,
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oi, who you calling an armchair lawyer? I'll have you know I always sit on a sofa Laughing
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M8TJT
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Joined: Apr 04, 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does that have twos and blues as well as your other chair?
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, more of a dimmer light and TV sound Wink
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IanS100
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stefanoza wrote:
as far as I recall you have to say it wasn't you and report another driver (mandatory otherwise you are breaking the law) or go to court... there is no other option offered.


That will apply to the owner of the vehicle, an occasional driver cannot be expected to know who drives the vehicles at all times, that is the legal responsibility of the vehicle owner.
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