If you have been caught speeding of found guilty of a motoring offense, then a specialized motoring offense solicitors will be happy to help you with the legal issues surrounding a road traffic offense. That’s their job. However, it is still often a good idea to get to know a few basic legal facts for yourself regarding the process you will be going through. There are some requirements and loopholes which are quite simple, but often not known by those who aren’t specialist motoring offense solicitors. There are also some “facts” which are well known, but are actually not true at all.
Fact: After you have been flashed by a speed camera, the notice must be sent to you (or the vehicle’s registered keeper) within 14 days. It is not valid if it is dated more than 14 days after the date of the alleged offense. It is also not valid if it is not signed on behalf of the police.
Myth: The above loophole is often misinterpreted, and many people believe that a notice is not valid if they don’t receive it within 14 days. However, the 14 day rule applies only to when it is sent, not to when it arrives with you. If the time it spends in transit, for example, means that you don’t receive it within 14 days this will not be enough to invalidate it.
Fact: After receiving the notice, the vehicle’s registered keeper must respond within 28 days. They must sign the declaration stating that the information is correct, and identify the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offense.
Myth: Some believe that signing the declaration to state that the information on the notice is correct breaches the Human Rights Act. However, any reputable firm of road traffic solicitors will confirm this is untrue.
Being Pulled Over by the Police
Fact: There are several requirements when the police stop you. Firstly, they must advise you of the nature of the offence they believe you have committed. Secondly, they have to be in uniform. There is no requirement that they issue a formal notice if they have stopped you and issued a warning at the time of the incident.
Myth: As stated above, the police have to be in uniform when they stop you. However, many people falsely believe that they are not officially in uniform if they are not wearing their hat. This is, in fact, a myth.
Fact: If the police order you to produce your documents and you are unable to do so immediately, you have seven days in which to provide them. You must present your documents within this time.
Fact: If, at the time of the incident, the police serve you a Fixed Penalty notice, you must accept or reject it within a period of 28 days.
Fact: If no Fixed Penalty is issued, the police have a period of six months in which to begin court proceedings. There is no requirement for them to contact you before doing so. If court proceedings begin, it is advisable to seek legal aid from specialist motoring offence solicitors.