STAND AND DELIVER
First published October 2011 Copyright © Silverlining Publications LLP Jacket conception and design by Silverlining Publications Front cover foreground image copyright © Silverlining Publications Front cover background image copyright © Shutterstock.com All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced, submitted or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise without prior written permission of the author or publisher. Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Biddles Ltd, King’s Lynn for Silverlining Publications® 15 The Plain, Thornbury Bristol BS35 2BD
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978-0-9568861-0-1
WARNING, EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY AND DISCLAIMER
Whilst every care has been taken in preparing this book, the publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation any implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The advice and information contained in these pages is offered on the understanding that its use is your responsibility. Accordingly, the author, publisher and retailer shall not be liable to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any information or advice or mistake contained herein. In the event of any uncertainty concerning any legal matter you are strongly advised to contact a legal professional.
Chapter Three Using a mobile phone whilst driving Successful speeding defences Red light offences
Chapter Four CCTV Enforcement Cameras Bus Lanes PCN – Penalty Charge Notice Congestion Charge Zones Low Emission Zone Failed PCN appeals Successful PCN appeals Traffic Wardens & Parking Attendants Parking Adjudication Service Parking ticket loopholes General rules for contesting a parking PCN Driver Identity – Your right to not incriminate yourself You’ve received a parking ticket from a private company Pay & Display Parking Clamping and removal of your vehicle Appeals against clamping and/or removal of your vehicle Document Offences No MOT Certificate & Vehicle Defect Offences No Insurance & without insurance offences Driving in the course of your own employment Unlawful Insurance conditions and restrictions Drink Driving offences How much alcohol is in that drink? Reasonable suspicion Different types of breath, urine and blood tests Common drink driving offences Improper procedure Special Reasons vii
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would reflect back some of the sound of your shouting, and your ears (like the radar’s antenna) would capture this bounced back sound, and your brain (the computer chip) would also detect a change in the properties of the sound (the Doppler effect). Reflectivity – the name given to radio wave energy reflected by an object. Radar is based on wave theory. In 1887 the German physicist Heinrich Hertz discovered and observed through experiments the behaviour of radio waves, which were produced by certain types of electrical circuits. Hertz was able to measure the velocity of the radio waves as travelling at the speed of light, (186,000 miles per second) he also noticed that similar to light waves, radio waves could be reflected. The term still used to describe the radio wave energy that is reflected by an object is Reflectivity. Doppler Frequency Shift – used to measure the speed of a vehicle In 1842 an Austrian scientist called Christian Doppler discovered that sound waves change in pitch/amplitude when the frequency is changed. When the radio waves hit an object like a car, their properties change in a way that can be measured; the radio waves that bounce back to the radar receiver will be different in frequency, depending on whether the car was moving toward the radar source, in which case the waves reflected back are compressed, and faster in frequency. Or if the car is moving away from the radar source, the radio waves reflected back will be stretched out and lower in frequency, and if the car is at a standstill and not moving in any direction at all, the radio waves reflected back will be of the same frequency as the transmitted radio wave pulse. The speed detection device is programmed to reject these stationary object echo signals. Having said that, cases have occurred where stationary objects have caused speed reading errors. There have been many cases where a malfunctioning 4
of the speed detection equipment has been proved resulting in the ticket being cancelled. We will cover examples of this later. The type of radar the police use to determine speed is called Interrupted CW Doppler radar. The speed and distance of the vehicle is determined and calculated by what is known as the Doppler Effect or Doppler frequency shift, which is the difference between the radio wave frequency transmitted, and the radio wave frequency reflected back to the receiver. The difference in frequency between the transmitted signal and signal reflected back is calculated to give the relative speed of the target vehicle.
To try and understand the Doppler effect better, imagine a police car racing towards you with its siren going. As it approaches you the sound wave of the siren will increase in frequency and pitch, and will keep increasing until it is level with you and about to pass by; when it is level with you the frequency and pitch of the sound will be identical to what is being actually being emitted from the siren; as the police car moves away from you the frequency and pitch of the siren will decrease and be lower in pitch. Fig.8.
section 20), or asking a police officer to testify that it is type approved or they may refer the court to “accepted legal text” which will validate type approval. Failure by the prosecution to show type approval will mean they cannot use the evidence from the Gatso camera (or whatever the device), and they will have to drop the speeding charges against you. 3. They must prove what the speed limit at the location is – it’s up to the prosecution to prove that a speed limit was in force at the location. This is usually given as oral evidence by the police officer or by witness statement. If you have photographs that show the speed limit signs and the prosecution evidence is contrary to this, or they cannot confirm the speed limit in force at the location, then the court cannot rule that you broke the speed limit, and charges against you for speeding will be dropped. 4. That the Gatso camera was used within the type approved conditions – The type approval will set out conditions for the use of the device, for a Gatso camera they are: a) The Gatso may only take photographs of the back of a vehicle. b) It must be sent back to the manufacturer to be calibrated annually, details of the testing procedures carried out by the manufacturer to check that the Gatso (or other device) is working correctly will need to be produced at court by the prosecution. If they can’t or won’t produce this evidence their case against you will fail, on the grounds that the evidence against you is invalid and cannot be relied upon, as it cannot be shown that the Gatso (or other device) was in proper working order, and therefore has not been used in accordance with the conditions set out in the type approval document. Sometimes this documentation is available from the police or safety camera website; they may inform you of this in writing, so be aware of 12
this in case they argue you had access to it before the court hearing and were therefore informed. There are also guidelines for the siting and installation of Gatso devices. If the Gatso camera has not been installed within the guidelines, and more than one guideline has been breached this can be taken into account by the court and can go in your favour, so check the following in relation to the Gatso evidence that is being used to prosecute you. â€˘ Gatsos should only be installed where eight or more accidents occurred over a three year period prior to installation. â€˘ The road that the Gatso is installed on must be a straight road at least 400 metres in lengtht. Gatso cameras should not be installed on bends. â€˘ Gatso installations are not within the guidelines if other speed restriction methods could have been used.
Myth: Camera warning signs are not necessary in order to carry out speed checks. It is not a defence to say there were no warning signs on the road. Last year Ambulance driver Paul Bex was transporting a transplant organ from one hospital to another when he was flashed by a speed camera, he was in a hurry because the surgeon had a patient booked for the operating table and needed the liver within 3 hours. His employer appealed, but the appeal fell on deaf ears, Paul has a clean licence and has never had points in his 30 plus years driving. He now faces losing his job and a 12 month driving ban plus a fine with penalty points on his clean licence. Myth: You can drive past a Gatso camera so fast that it will not be able to photograph you. In theory this is possible but the speed would have to be in excess of 170mph. 13
Radar Guns ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) have set out guidelines regarding the proper use of hand held speed detection devices which must not be operated from inside a police vehicle. Police officers are trained to first make a visual identification of a vehicle before checking its speed with the radar gun; they are not supposed to stand pointing the gun up the road waiting for a vehicle to turn up. The road must be suitable in length to observe a potential target and do the speed check over a period of at least three seconds. There must also be enough distance to indicate to the driver to slow down and pull over to the side of the road safely. If more than one vehicle is in view of the radar gun then the check must be aborted. Extensive testing has shown the following problems operators routinely face whenever they use police radar speed detection devices. Excerpt From Police Radar Operations Manual You will note that the word “tool” has been applied to RADAR. A tool, by definition, is an instrument used in performing an operation in the practise of a vocation or profession. Tools have specific uses and limitations and we recognise that any instrument can be misused. Lack of training in the skills of tool use as well as misunderstanding their purposes and limitations can lead to improper or undesirable results. Police traffic RADAR is no exception. Misuse and misunderstanding of RADAR by the traffic officer has led to some public doubt as to its accuracy! The RADAR equipment does not generate “false”readings. At any time a reading appears, the RADAR has sensed a signal. The RADAR operator must be familiar with situations that can produce “error” readings. If the operator does not detect the error, then a speeding ticket will be wrongfully issued. 14
Common operational errors with radar In car & handheld radar calibration and testing 1. “ Look past error” it’s a misconception that the nearest vehicle will give the largest reflected signal back to the radar antenna. If the closest vehicle to the radar antenna is small, a larger travelling vehicle behind will give a stronger signal, and it is this stronger signal from the larger vehicle behind the smaller target vehicle that will be received by the antenna and turned into a speed reading. So according to traffic conditions the closest vehicle is not always the one returning the strongest signal, the strongest signal could be from a vehicle . mile or more further down the road from the target vehicle. This can happen completely unknown to the operator. Police instructors confirm saying, “it is not unfair to say that the reading you register, could be a larger, better target three quarters of a mile further down the road” Fig. 1.
7. “Scanning Errors” – Handheld radar guns if handled incorrectly will easily produce reading errors. For example if the operator lifts the gun from a holster position to a firing position, the speed of the movement of his arm will be recorded in the display. A handheld radar gun swung to the aiming position quickly will give a reading of the movement of the police officer’s arm, and could be used to falsely prosecute you. It can also happen on a car-mounted radar device if the car executes a tight turn. Error readings will also result if the radar is reflected off other stationary objects that may be moving. For example large rotating signs, trees blowing in the wind, swaying telephone lines, the list is endless. 8. “Distortion of the radar beam”– Occurs as it reflects off several objects before reflecting back to the radar receiver. This bouncing around effect will give false or inaccurate readings. The beam will bounce off large buildings, advertising boards, large trucks and other traffic if the road is congested. In these conditions the officer will have to rely on his visual estimation of the target vehicle speed and use the radar device to back up his estimation. We will cover visual estimation and show you how to attack any evidence used against you that is based on radar and visual estimation. 9. “Panning Error”– Is another operator induced error. If the antenna is aimed at the central processing unit of the radar, a feedback loop ensues causing erratic readings. 10. “Ghosting Error” other false readings can occur from radar reflectivity off unseen objects. Like the police car’s air conditioning or windscreen blower fan, when a portion of the radar beam from the onboard equipment enters the air conditioning or blower fan vents where the windscreen meets the dashboard. This causes the radar beam to reflect back off the moving fan blades causing a false reading. If no vehicles are in view this will be obvious to the officer, but won’t be if your car is in his sights. The possibility of this 20
happening is covered during training sessions but may not be spotted in the heat of the moment. The audio doppler tone sound that accompanies the reading should indicate to a well trained operator that there is interference; officers are trained not to operate the air conditioning or blower fan when operating the equipment in a stationary vehicle, or travelling below 30mph. Other things in the patrol car that can cause problems are the car’s ignition system, seat belt warning buzzer and the car’s alternator. Objects in the environment that can cause ghosting effects include ambient electronic interference from power lines, CB radio transmissions, cellular phone towers, air traffic radar, microwave telephone, level sensing devices, satellite communications, police radio, burglar alarms, gate controllers, pipe locators; all these things can cause interference which may give false readings. Extreme heat or cold and weather precipitation may reduce the range of the radar as will very windy conditions and heavy rain. The majority of radar units have an automatic gain control; this will make the radar device more sensitive and prone to picking up false readings when there is no strong signal present from a target. 11. “Radio frequency interference” – RFI is a constant problem for doppler radar equipment. RFI noise effects and sources can produce false readings if the conditions are right. If the officer is also inexperienced or just doesn’t care about the accuracy of the readings then speeding tickets will be issued that shouldn’t be. Radio waves are everywhere in our environment, the officer should ignore any readings that occur when he is using his radio equipment, or if another patrol car close by is broadcasting on its radio equipment. 12. Neon & fluorescent lighting – Radar equipment has an inclination to be affected by other equipment that is operating at or near the same frequency as the police radar. Other equipment operating at multiples of that frequency 21
Q If the radar gun did not have a calibration certificate, or if its calibration was not tested on a regular basis, could you trust the radar gun to give an accurate reading of a vehicle’s speed? A I would not trust the reading of a radar gun that had not been tested for calibration on a regular basis. Or one that did not have a calibration certificate. Q The read out could not be trusted to be accurate? A No the readout could not be trusted. Q So the calibration certificate and calibration test register are important documents that prove the radar gun can be trusted to give reliable evidence? A That’s correct. Q And ensure the evidence is admissible in a court? A Yes. Q You have told the court previously in your testimony that you were trained in the technique of visual estimation, by being taken out to a roadway by the training officer, shown the technique of visual estimation and then allowed to check your guess of a vehicle’s speed against the readout from a radar gun pointed at the same vehicle, is that correct? A Yes. Q Do you have with you today the calibration certificate and calibration test register for the radar gun with which you were trained? (You will most likely get an objection from the police prosecution at this point if not before. It’s a fair correlation, if the radar gun the officer was trained with was incorrectly calibrated, then the officer’s training will be flawed. And the visual estimation that formed his opinion on the day he checked your speed will also be flawed, and therefore unreliable as testimony. The court should over rule the objection and allow you to continue. If you are allowed to continue you must press the issue). A No I don’t have that certificate. 32
Q You don’t have that certificate? A That’s what I said. Q Have you brought with you any documentation that proves the radar gun you were trained with was calibrated to give accurate readings? A No. Q So you are not in a position to testify that the radar gun you trained with was calibrated to give accurate results? A No I cannot. Q So you don’t know if it gave reliable readings? A No. Q What was the condition of the radar gun? A It looked OK as far as I can remember. Q How old was the radar gun? A I’m not sure. Q Can you testify that it was it maintained in accordance with the ACPO guidelines? A No. Q Did you see the calibration certificate or calibration test register for the device? A No. Q Where was it kept when not in use? A I have no idea. Q As you were trained with this radar gun, and you cannot testify to whether it was a calibrated device, and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy, then can we be sure that your visual estimation evidence is reliable? We have successfully challenged the visual estimation evidence by showing there is no evidence that the officer learned to make accurate visual estimations during training. This makes his testimony inherently unreliable and it should be precluded from trial, because it cannot be proved that the radar gun used in the officer’s training was calibrated; nor is there evidence to show it was in working order, as specified by ACPO in their guidelines for the maintenance and testing of such devices. The 33
facing a marker point for the start of this check. They wait for you to pass in front of them in line with the marker point, and start timing you, then they set off in their patrol car and follow you. At the first marker point they flick the distance switch on the Vascar. With the patrol car now following you, and the time and distance switches having been operated, the completion of the crossing check is the same as the follow check. Dialled â€“in distance check A variation of the pre-fed distance check is where the distance data is left programmed into the device. The police may use the same site again for speed detection using the same markers. Vascar V Plus Is an improvement on the older Vascar 5000 equipment and can be used at night. As with most new technology, the Vascar V Plus is smaller and more compact with a larger LCD touch screen for the input of data. Data can also be entered via a keypad, which also acts as a remote control for the whole system. A CCD camera with zoom lens is part of the system, and is mounted on the windscreen to the side or below the rear view mirror. It can be rotated through 360 degrees, or there may be a second camera mounted in the back of the car to record events at the rear of the patrol car. There is also a microphone for commentary by the officer. As with Vascar 5000 using Autovision, video clips can be played back to the driver who has been pulled over (or given aâ€œtugâ€? as the officers like to call it) and is now sitting uncomfortably in the back of the police car. These video clips can also be presented as evidence in court, showing the alleged offence frame by frame. Vascar V Plus is subject to the same human input error possibilities by the operator as Vascar 5000; as we have mentioned, this human input error can be deliberate by flicking the switch early or late, or because the officer was not paying attention or being lazy as regards the strict operational procedures required to operate Vascar. The 40
ability to so easily produce a false average speed reading of the target vehicle is one of the main complaints about Vascar. Defences against Vascar prosecutions The magistrate’s courts have a tendency to believe Vascar evidence as being true and accurate, and as such will require a lot of convincing that the evidence may be incorrect. However, it is possible to cast doubt on the Vascar evidence and get the case thrown out. It is only right to challenge any evidence brought against you in a prosecution for an alleged motoring offence of any kind. The idea held by many in authority that the speed detection equipment methods used by the police are infallible, and the laws and procedures are always fair and right, are open to question. It is your right to test the evidence brought against you. You are the one being branded a lawbreaker and threatened with the court action by the authorities, who are here to serve you and not the other way around. Be ready for the crown prosecution service to resist your requests for information beyond “the norm”. They will probably try to deny your right to see all the documentary evidence you may ask for, citing that they are under no obligation to produce the paperwork you wish to see, or that it will be produced on the day in court. The legal criteria relating to the freedom of information act does not support this unjust attitude of wanting to withhold evidence from a defendant. Be firm and persist with your request for the release of this information before the court hearing date. You have a right to prepare your case and attend court fully armed to counter the allegation if you intend to plead not guilty and contest the fine or summons. By being persistent you have a good chance that the prosecution will drop the charge altogether, because their paperwork regarding routine testing at the appropriate and recommended times is not in order, or they just can’t be bothered to do it and will throw the towel in and go after the softer more compliant members of the public. Police attitudes to basic rules of evidence in motoring offences are generally poor. Police prosecution cases can 41
taken after the speed limit zone. In other words, did the officer start his observation before and/or after you passed the speed limit signage? If this is the case then the prosecution evidence must be disregarded by the court. Truvelo speed cameras These look similar to Gatso cameras but are very different as they do not use radar but induction instead. They are usually painted yellow like Gatsos. Where the Gatso cameras are rear facing, Truvelos are forward or rear facing, and if set up as forward facing, will take a photograph of the front of your vehicle which can be used to try and identify the driver as well as number plate. Unless you ride a motorbike, that is, in which case you wont have a number plate on the front of your bike, and you will be wearing a helmet, so you can’t be identified. The Truvelo uses induction to register the presence of a vehicle, by way of three Piezo sensor strips embedded in or on the surface of the road to detect your approach speed. The system will trigger the camera if it decides you are going above the set speed limit. No visible flash will be seen as the Truvelo uses an infra red flash. They also take two photographs and use 3 white road markings to determine your speed in the same fashion as the Gatso. Red Light Cameras – RLCs Includes: Redspeed/ Redguard/Speedcurb Induction Loop or Radar FIPs These digital cameras are mainly used at traffic light locations (signal controlled junctions) to catch motorists going through a red light. They look smaller than Gatsos and are usually mounted higher up and are rear facing. They can also be used for speeding offences and are permanent fixed installations. They can be triggered by radar or induction strips in the road. When the lights turn to red, the camera’s detection system becomes active. It will take up to three photographs of any vehicle moving through the detection zone area forward of the stop line. So vehicles going through a red light will be 46
photographed, and the registered keepers will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). Primarily, these Traffic Light Cameras were intended just to monitor traffic light offences. But they are being converted to do both the job of catching speeding motorists while the traffic lights are on green, and vehicles jumping red lights. The government plan to convert 1000 traffic light cameras to this dual role. Tip: To get forewarning of these, get yourself a GPS speed trap locator, and keep it updated with the latest speed camera sites. This is the only way you can get forewarning that you are approaching a red light camera junction if it’s non radar, and instead uses piezo induction strips buried in or on the road surface. Watchman Digital Video Speed Cameras Watchman Speed Camera Systems are rear AND front facing. They use X band radar to detect the speed of your vehicle as you approach, and as you drive past a digital video image will be recorded and stored on the unit’s hard drive. Vehicles exceeding the speed limit will be reported to the local ticket office.
Slowing down as you approach this camera will not Stop a ticket in the post. The three main components of the Watchman system in the order they appear are: • Fixed signage, indicating you are entering a speed monitoring zone. • Electronic digital speed display board, with its own built in radar detection, monitoring the speed of ALL vehicles, and displaying the speed of vehicles exceeding the speed limit. • Watchman camera unit. The “rear facing” side of the Watchman is the radar speed detection side, which clocks your speed as you approach. The “forward facing” side houses two high definition cameras. The top camera is the 47
ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) camera using an infrared light mounted below it. Digital video images of ALL vehicle number plates are recorded. The bottom camera is the â€œoverview imageâ€? camera which uses a conventional flash unit to capture still images at 2 frames per second. Details of all vehicles exceeding the speed limit are transmitted straight to the local central ticket office for immediate processing.
In January 2011, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (Manchester), installed a network of 150 Watchman Speed Cameras at the following locations: Denton and Audenshaw, Stalybridge, Ashton Under Lyne, Longdendale, Hyde, Droylsden, Dunkinfield and Mossley. And councils are reportedly decommissioning cameras? DS2 / Autovision Compact / TSS These are semi-permanent installations and can be attended or unattended. The DS2 site consists of three Piezo sensor strips on top of the road surface or embedded in the road. The Piezo strips are 1 metre apart. These strips are wired to a grey post about 2 ft high on the side of the road. An area further along with a drop kerb is one place where the marked / unmarked police vehicle can park up to connect their Autovision Compact video camera to the DS2 site, by plugging into the grey post with a connecting cable. The DS2 site is now in use and ready for action, and will provide video evidence of any motorist breaking the speed limit. They sometimes use a police car/ checkpoint further along the road. When a motorist is recorded as having gone over the speed limit, the police further along are then sent a message with the number plate details and car description. Police officers then flag you down and issue a fixed penalty notice or summons on the spot, rather than sending a notice of intended prosecution through the post to the registered keeper. 48
Laser Technology LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emissions of Radiation LADAR – LAser Detection And Ranging LIDAR – LIght Detection And Ranging Laser Gun – LTI 20.20 & Pro Laser 3 Around 3,500 mobile laser devices are used by police forces across the UK. They are used in vans, police cars, police motorbikes, on tripods and hand held by officers. When used hand held, they do not take a photograph or video recording. An officer will flag you down, or a patrol car or police motorbike is used to stop the vehicle at the location. Laser devices are not used from fixed speed traps, as they require aiming due to the narrow beam they transmit. Laser technology is a completely different technology to radar. Both transmit a beam at the target, and as we have previously discussed, radar devices measure and transmit a microwave energy beam which gets wider and wider the further it travels out. And subsequently can reflect off many vehicles and objects, making it difficult to target individual vehicles – after travelling 1000ft, the radar beam is 100ft wide. Laser gun energy is tightly focused – at 1000ft it is only 4ft wide. A radar gun can clock your speed in less than 1 second. Lidar equipment operates in the 904 nanometre range and sends out infrared light beam pulses every 5 nanoseconds. As these pulses travel at the speed of light, your speed can be calculated to within 0.3 seconds giving you little time to spot the speed trap. The infrared laser energy fired from these laser guns cannot be seen by the motorist or the laser gun operator. Laser travels in straight lines, and will not pass through opaque objects. As the laser beam is very narrow, at short distance it can be used to target an individual vehicle. Unlike radar, where it is assumed the lead vehicle is causing the speed reading, laser only reads the vehicle it hits. Beware; laser guns 49
and your licence on the line. If you want to change at a later date to another solicitor, because you have made a bad choice for some reason, then do so. Youâ€™re the client, and you have the choice to disengage them and choose another. A good solicitor will keep in touch and keep you informed at each important stage. Make sure you agree with them at the outset that they will keep you informed and updated by telephone, letter or e-mail. If your court appearance is in another town or city, you may want to choose a solicitor from that area as their costs will be lower. On the other hand, your costs and the time spent travelling to see them will be higher â€“ this needs to be considered. Legal aid may be a possibility if you live on a low income or benefits and if the offence is serious enough (legal aid is not usually available for motoring offences). You will be more restricted in your choice of legal firms as not all of them do legal aid work; you can find which firms of solicitors in England & Wales are prepared to accept legal aid work by checking out this website: www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk If you intend to plead guilty and are not running the risk of being disqualified, the cost of a solicitor may not be worth it. In fact it is probably not advisable from a financial standpoint. But if you intend to plead guilty and you know you run the risk of disqualification, then a solicitor or barrister may be able to argue mitigating circumstances, in a way that would see you being fined, but the disqualification option not carried out. So the cost of a solicitor, even though you pleaded guilty, saves your licence and probably your job. Each circumstance is obviously different, and all the facts need to be weighed up to decide if the expense of a legal professional is really necessary. If the case is heard in a higher court, you will still need a solicitor, who may instruct a barrister if the charges are serious. The barrister will only be interested in perhaps one meeting with you before representing you in court, to keep costs down. The solicitor will do all the donkey work at a much lower cost than it would to pay a barrister to do it. Most firms of solicitors will 92
know a chamber of barristers that will provide someone from the chambers who specialises in traffic law. Again, the choice of barrister will be yours at the end of the day; rapport with them is not an issue as you will only see them once or twice, their track record of success is of more importance to you. Barristers are all very expensive, a fixed fee based on the amount of time the trial will be expected to take is usually measured in days rather than hours. The Crown Prosecution Service(England & Wales) The CPS is a government department that prosecutes on behalf of the Queen (Crown) and is separate from the police force, with whom they have a very close working relationship, working as a “prosecution team”. The working relationship between the police and the CPS over the years has often been complicated by frustrations regarding their different procedures and goals. So, the CPS are responsible for prosecuting people after charges have been brought; they take a good look at all the evidence available before deciding whether to proceed with a prosecution. The decision to prosecute takes place only if there is a realistic prospect of a conviction, and involves two stages: the first is the evidential stage; there must be a weight of admissible evidence and witnesses to give a 51% chance of them winning the case, or they will not prosecute and will issue a discontinuance notice. The majority of road traffic offences are simpler and more easy to prove or disprove than criminal prosecutions (although some serious road traffic offences involving death and injury can be prosecuted as a criminal offence), most are speeding tickets for relatively minor speeding offences based on police witness statements and photographic evidence. So if the weight of evidence weighs in favour of prosecution, then stage two should involve weighing up whether it is in the public interest to prosecute. For speed tickets where a driver was only 5mph over the limit, I think it’s not the public interest that’s considered, more like filling the government’s money chest is 93
Getting a disqualification removed from your licence If you have been ordered by the court to take the extended driving test your disqualification cannot be removed from your licence, and will remain for 11 years. The following endorsements remain on your licence for this period: Endorsement code Offence DR10, DR20, DR30, DR80 Drink driving including drugs CD40, CD50, CD60 Causing death under the influence drink/drugs CD70 Causing death bt careless driving failing to give a specimen It is possible to get the disqualification removed from your licence if you have not been ordered to take a retest, and at least two years have passed since a ban of four years or less. If the disqualification was between four and ten years, half of the ban period must have passed before you can apply for removal, or five years must have passed if the ban period was more than ten years. You must apply to the original sentencing court for the removal of the disqualification, who will consider your application. They will take into account your conduct during the ban period as well as your character, the offence you were convicted of plus any other points that may be relevant. If you are unfortunate and have your application refused, you can reapply again after three months from the date of the refusal of your application.
marked as the “evidence video”and the other marked as the “working video”;has this been done? Ask for proof. At the end of the monitoring, the CCTV operator (or the system) must record the exact time and a final incremental number. If tape, DVD or CD-R is the media being used, it must be removed from the recorder and placed in a sealed evidence bag or tagged with a security tag and put into secure storage. This will be the evidence video, and can only be removed from storage for adjudication evidence (disputes) or to be destroyed. The “working video” must also be placed in secure storage, and removed for making still images and viewing by authorised staff in the event of disputes/appeals. • The same recording media may only be used a maximum of 12 times for recording/erasing, it must then be destroyed. Ask for sight of the log of how many times the media has been used. • Any copies of the evidence sent to you must state that it is a true copy taken by an approved device. If any of these requirements are infringed, ask that your ticket be cancelled because their equipment did not comply with regulations as stated in the Bus Lanes approved devices order 2005. Were their mitigating circumstances, was the road blocked and you had no choice but to use the bus lane? If so ask them to cancel the ticket. Can the police back you up on this with evidence of a road accident blocking the road at the time? The code of practise for the use of CCTV enforcement cameras states in clause 7 – Signs To Be Displayed:
Signing (including road markings), is required to legally indicate the bus lane traffic regulation orders to drivers. These should be checked regularly to avoid challenges on the grounds of inadequate, inconsistent or defective signage. It is suggested that a maintenance log be established. 132
using the cameras for non-specified purposes. Other reasons for disputing a PCN for an alleged bus lane contravention can be applied to the congestion charge zone or parking PCN appeals. Other increasingly common road traffic offences that rely solely on camera evidence include: • • • • •
Prohibited right/left turns Yellow box junctions Parking Congestion charge cameras Low emission charge cameras
PCN – Penalty Charge Notice A PCN can be issued when an alleged parking or traffic offence has been witnessed by a parking attendant, or when an allegedoffence has been caught using an approved device like a camera or video (Congestion Charge Zone). There are two ways a PCN can be served: 1. A parking attendant can hand you the PCN if he considers you to be in charge of the vehicle or they can fix it to your vehicle. 2. The PCN can be sent to you by post in the following circumstances: • A parking attendant was stopped from fixing a PCN to the vehicle by a person • An approved device has recorded a parking or traffic contravention. • The vehicle was driven away before the parking attendant could serve the PCN. Service of a PCN by 1st class post shall be considered to have taken place 2 days after posting. If the owner of the vehicle is a company, then the PCN must be addressed to the secretary or clerk of the company. Rules regarding the service of PCNs 134
licence), and if they were not insured, you have not given your permission for them to use your vehicle. Subsequently you cannot be held liable for having given permission as the conditions had not been met. The prosecution side may argue that you did not properly communicate the condition to the named driver, and/or that you should have ensured they had a valid certificate of insurance by asking them to produce it. The decision will be up to the magistrate to decide who he or she believes on the balance of probabilities, and this will most certainly be based on your demeanour and believability in court. Another possible defence would be if the named driver was a third person not known to you, and this third person had borrowed the vehicle from the person you gave permission to drive your vehicle. As the third person borrowing the vehicle was not known to you, the court may rule that you could not be reasonably expected to have known the third driver was using the vehicle or the status regarding his insurance cover. (Also, as we have previously discussed, it could go the other way and the court could rule that you gave your implied consent if you failed to tell the person borrowing the car that they must not let any other person have use of the vehicle.) Youâ€™ve received a parking ticket from a private company You may or may not know that for parking tickets that have been issued by private companies (i.e. supermarkets, private car parks & multi-storey car parks), the person who parked the car is the one held responsible for the offence, NOT the registered keeper of the vehicle. The company will automatically assume you are the one who parked it. It could be that you are picking the car up and someone else parked it. The person who parked it is the one legally responsible for any alleged parking offence and not the owner of the vehicle. Parking tickets issued by private companies are subject to contract law not criminal law.Most private car parks will 164
state the terms and conditions at the entrance to their car park, and will take your entry into the car park as acceptance of the displayed terms and conditions. They then consider that a contract exists between the driver and the company. Once the vehicle has been driven onto their private property, if the driver then breaks the displayed terms and conditions, the company have the right to issue a parking ticket for unauthorised parking on their property. The driver will in effect be in breach of contract with the landowner or agent of the landowner.
Do not make any comments, written or verbal, That may assist them in identifying you as the driver, Let them prove it.Even if you are approached by a car park attendant while still in the car park, do not say or do anything to assist in identifying the driver who brought the car through the entrance. Just tell them to put the ticket in the post and you will look in to it. You are under no obligation legally or otherwise to help them identify the driver. The burden of proof rests with them. If you are pursued for payment of a parking ticket that was issued in this manner, write and tell them you are unsure of who the driver was, and ask them if they can provide any proof of who the driver was. If they say they can then ask to see the proof; if they canâ€™t then there is nothing they can do to force you to pay the ticket. Very often they will try and make the parking ticket look like the ones issued by the police or traffic wardens, in the hope that people will not dispute them thinking that they carry the same authority as a PCN or FPN issued by the police or local authority. If the company knowingly tries to make their parking tickets resemble those issued by the police or local authority they could be committing a serious offence if they are found to be intentionally â€œcompelling you to pay a contractual debtâ€? by copying the style of official documents and therefore trying to mislead you. If you come across a private company 165
Clamping and removal of your vehicle In August 2010 the government revealed plans to ban clamping on private land. It has already been banned in Scotland on the orders of a judge, who said it amounted to extortion and theft. From November 2010 cowboy wheel clampers will no longer be able to clamp vehicles on private land, including company and supermarket car parks, sometimes forcing owners to hand over up to £400 before the vehicle is released back to them. “Cowboy clampers” will have their share of the £1 billion a year clamping business curtailed. The government measures will also make it illegal for vehicles to be towed away if parked on private land with no permission. If a private company issues you with a parking ticket, you just need to use the technique we discussed earlier. It’s a good thing the government has clamped down on these cowboys – it would seem the government don’t like it when money is being taken out of your pocket when it’s not them doing the taking. However the police will not be affected by the new rules, they will still be able to tow away vehicles on the grounds of public security. Local authorities can still clamp your vehicle on a public road, if they decide you are in contravention of a parking regulation. This can be done by a parking attendant who must also fix a notice to your vehicle warning you that you must not attempt to drive the vehicle before the clamp is removed. The notice must also give you instructions on how to contact the local authority to arrange payment for the removal of the clamp. Wheel clamps should never be fixed to your vehicle because you have simply not paid for a parking ticket, or have failed to display a valid parking ticket, or are still in a bay when the ticket has expired. If you try and remove the clamp and damage it in the process, then you could be charged with criminal damage. If you can, take some photos of any warning signs; if there are no signs, then take a photo to show that there were no “wheel clamping in operation” signs on display. You cannot be clamped until at least 15 minutes has elapsed, and under certain 170
circumstances 30 minutes. Most local councils will only release your car once you have paid the fine and proved ownership of the vehicle. So if you go straight to the car pound without documentation you will be charged for storage of your vehicle, until you collect it. The documents you will probably need to take with you are: • V5 vehicle registration document. • Possibly your vehicle insurance document (take it in case). • Hire purchase document or bill of sale. • Full or provisional driving licence to prove your identity. • Signed letter of authority if you are not the registered owner, and are collecting it for someone. • If it is a hire car, the hire agreement will need to be shown. • Clamp release fee (£100.00 avg.). • Tow away fee £150.00 avg. • Storage charge per day £20.00avg. Appeals against clamping and/or removal of your vehicle If the local authority is responsible for the clamping or removal of your vehicle (some use private clamping companies), then you may be able to appeal on the following grounds (some are very similar or the same as PCN appeals): • The necessary time had not elapsed from parking the vehicle to when you were clamped or towed away. You are allowed 30 minutes. Unless you have three or more outstanding PCNs, then you can be clamped or towed away immediately. • Traffic regulation order invalid or does not apply. Either the regulations were defective, or the time, date or circumstances do not make the enforcement of clamping or towing away applicable. • The fine is not correct. The release fees are not in line with the charges stipulated by the Secretary of State for Transport. 171
the actual day on which it was issued. It just means that your vehicle is exempt from requiring a roadworthiness check for another 12 months or less. Not having an MOT will usually result in a caution, unless you are being prosecuted along with other offences in court, in which case you may be fined. If you have been given a “producer”and you do not have a current MOT certificate, you must get one immediately and produce it at the police station. They will note the valid from date of the certificate does not cover you for the date you were stopped, but it will make a caution more probable and less likely of the police pursuing a prosecution. An alternative would be to scrap the vehicle (if it is of little value) and present evidence of this instead. This should have the same effect as producing a new MOT certificate. It is up to the driver to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy before taking it onto the road. In particular the following will attract penalties and points endorsements on your licence if you are caught driving a vehicle with defects such as: Defective Tyres: 1. Incorrect type or unsuitable – Tyres that do not fit the vehicle or are unsuitable with regard to vehicle use, or the tyre is of an incorrect type in relation to the other tyres (for example, to mix radial ply and cross ply tyres). This includes your spare tyre, so make sure the spare is of the same type. 2. Over-or under-inflated tyres – Too much or not enough air in the tyre as per the manufacturer’s specification as regards tyre inflation pressures. 3. Bulges or lumps – If the structure of the internal tyre is damaged you will see bulges and lumps appearing in the tyre wall; the tyre could fail whilst driving and cause an accident. 4. Cuts/gashes – If the tyre has a cut or gash which is deep enough to expose the ply/cord structure and is more than 25mm or 10% of its section width, then the tyre is illegal. 174
5. Exposed ply or cord – If any of the tyre’s ply or cord can be seen the tyre is illegal. 6. Bald patch – If you cannot clearly see the base of any the original tread pattern, then the tyre will be considered worn out and illegal. 7. Tread depth – Illegal if below 1.6mm over three quarters of the tyre width, around the entire circumference of the tyre. 8. General poor condition – The tyre is not in a condition that makes it fit for use, or is defective in a way that may damage the surface of the road. If you have one defective tyre that will be one offence, if you have two defective tyres that will be two offences and so on. Each offence will carry 3 penalty points, a discretionary ban, and a fine of up to £2,500, or £5,000 for a goods vehicle or vehicle capable of carrying eight or more passengers.
So four defective tyres could accrue 12 points which Could mean a driving ban. The only way you will be let off a defective tyre prosecution is if the prosecution evidence is wrong, and it can be proved that the tyre is not defective as alleged. No Insurance Offences Most motoring offences put the onus on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed an offence. Not so with “driving with no insurance”which is a “documentary offence”. This means that you have to prove that you were insured at the time you were caught driving, and the prosecution merely have to prove that you were driving. The magistrates consider this a very serious offence, it carries a penalty of 6 to 8 points or even a discretionary disqualification with a fine up to £5,000 (level five fine). If you as the owner of the vehicle let an uninsured driver take the car out with your 175
Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. 20mg in Sweden, Poland and Estonia. Zero tolerance in Estonia, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. There is pressure to bring the UK in line with Europe and bring our current 80mg limit down to 50mg.
In June 2010, a Labour government commissioned a report that urged ministers to reduce the current 80mg of alcohol in blood to 50mg, in the hope that hundreds of lives would be saved. It is also recommended that the automatic 12 month driving ban should be kept for the proposed new lower 50mg limit. The report contains 51 recommendations, one of them being to allow nurses to take blood samples. Currently it is only doctors who may do this. The report states that 168 lives could be saved in the first year of implementation. A survey in the report comes to the conclusion that the public are keen for a lowering of the limit and will happily accept it, and are favourable for lengthy bans for motorists caught drink driving. Motoring organisations were also in favour of reducing the alcohol limit, and along with the 12 month ban, it would make the UK one of the toughest anti-drink drive countries in Europe. If you give a sample of breath at the roadside and the results show you are equal to the legal limit you will not be prosecuted for driving over the limit; you may however be prosecuted for driving whilst unfit. This is purely down to the discretion of the police officer dealing with you. How much alcohol is in that drink? The alcohol by volume (ABV) must always be printed on the bottleâ€™s label, or displayed if being dispensed by some other means. Alcohol is measured in â€œunitsâ€? of 10mg of alcohol; Wine Port Beer Beer
12% ABV 40% ABV 5.3% 3.5%
Small 125ml glass Double shot 50ml 1 pint half pint (330ml) 182
1.5 units 2.0 units 3.0 units 1.0 unit
15mg alcohol 20mg alcohol 30mg alcohol 10mg alcohol
If you are prosecuted you will have to produce witness or other evidence to show that either: 1. You would not have driven the vehicle whilst unfit, or 2. You had no intention of driving the vehicle whilst unfit. This is a statutory defence under sections 4 & 5 of the Road traffic Act 1988. If you have been drinking and had an accident which was obviously your fault, for instance hitting a parked car, even though you may not be over the limit, you could be prosecuted for driving while unfit through drink; you risk getting 10 penalty points or a discretionary ban and fine up to £1,000. The court will consider the following factors regarding driving or in charge of a motor vehicle offences; • Where you were sitting (i.e. in the driving seat, passenger seat)? • Where were the car keys at the time? • What were you doing? • Is there evidence to show that you intended to drive the vehicle? • If you were driving, what was the manner of your driving like? There are three levels of fines according to how much alcohol was in your system: • Level A equal to half a week’s wages • Level B equal to 1 week’s wages • Level C equal to one and a half week’s wages On the other hand, you must disclose all the evidence and arguments you intend to rely on in court. It used to be the case that defence lawyers waited until the hearing before 192
and will probably be aimed low at your vehicle, at the number plate or headlight area. At 1000ft the laser beam has widened to around 3 feet and will be easier to detect. The operator will naturally introduce “laser wobble” as he will find it impossible to hold his arms perfectly still, and this will result in the beam wandering all over the place and hopefully onto the laser sensor in your detector which will then sense the stray laser energy and emit a warning tone. The nearer the police officer is to your vehicle and the steadier his aim means a reduced chance of receiving a warning in time. The laser sensor will have little or no chance of seeing any stray laser energy as the beam will only be hitting the aim point low down on the front of your vehicle. The laser detector only needs a fragment of a low angle reflection of the stray laser beam energy in order to set off a warning. Other things that can interfere with your laser detector are the colour of your vehicle’s paintwork. Bright colours such as white and silver can reflect light at your detector diminishing its ability to detect police laser. Bright sunlight is also detrimental and acts as background noise, making it difficult for the laser detector to do its job. The near infrared part of sunlight is impossible to distinguish from the infrared light photons fired from a laser gun, so false readings from your laser detector can sometimes be triggered by strong reflections of sunlight or sunlight shining directly into the detector’s laser sensor. Some detector manufacturers try to compensate for this, but there is always the risk of reducing the sensitivity of the detector to warn of laser speed traps. So a sensible compromise has to be met, which means some false signals will occur and have to be lived with. The rule obviously is to react to every warning by being vigilant that police laser may be the cause and taking the appropriate action. The geometry of the terrain and bends in the road may also mean you don’t get a warning that laser speed traps are in use ahead, as the laser beam fired from the laser gun travels in a straight line. Curves and hills 200
also increase the chances that the laser gun operator could get an incorrect reading due to what’s known as “swiping error” caused as the vehicle is moving around the bend at an ever changing angle to the laser gun operator. Warning that a laser is being used ahead can also be affected by the amount of traffic on the road. In heavy traffic, other vehicles can block the stray laser energy from reaching your detector, in which case you won’t get an advanced warning until you are next in line to be the target. In light traffic there is more chance that other vehicles will reflect or scatter the laser beam, enabling your detector to pick up the stray laser energy, giving you ample warning that a laser is close by. As we have seen, advanced warning of a laser can be difficult, and the positioning of the laser detectors sensor is very important. Most police officers are trained to aim the laser at the number plate, front or rear light clusters or the front grill area. As most laser detectors are mounted in the vehicle midway to high on the vehicle’s windscreen or sun visor, this position is too high in relation to where the laser beam will hit, so a detector mounted high will rely more on stray energy from the laser gun, than if it was mounted lower down toward the front of the vehicle in the grille/number plate area. The majority of people use the detector inside the vehicle mounted high on the windscreen or sun visor. But if you are really serious about getting maximum warning against laser speed traps, then have the equipment permanently installed with the laser sensor at the front of the vehicle and low down around the number plate area, which as we have mentioned is the primary target for the laser gun operator. Mounted low at the front will mean you are more likely to detect the beam targeting your vehicle, but if the beam is already targeting you, the officer has more than likely already clocked your speed. The readout on his gun will be instantaneous as the laser is travelling at the speed of light. You are relying on a reflection or fragment of the laser hitting your laser detector; the laser energy is going to be very small, in other words, you are relying on the detection of very 201
• Driving too close to the vehicle in front, known as tailgating. • Going through a red light in error. • Overtaking on the inside. • Driving into the path of another vehicle causing a risk of collision. • Being distracted by changing a CD, tuning the radio, lighting a cigarette, using a mobile phone. • Driving too fast. • Driving in a manner inappropriate for the weather conditions. Inconsiderate driving can include the following: • Driving in a manner that upsets other road users. • Repeatedly beeping your horn or flashing your lights at another road user, or tailgating them. • Driving in a selfish manner, for example very slowly. The usual starting point for a reference as to the standard of driving will be the highway code. For example, did you fail to halt at a stop line or fail to give way to a vehicle approaching from your right on a roundabout. Failure to comply with the highway code isn’t enough to find you guilty of a careless driving offence. You can even be charged with careless driving for travelling within the speed limit. You can also be charged with careless driving if your headlights are dirty and you are driving in fog; part of the charge would be “headlights not sufficiently applied”. As with all road traffic offence prosecutions, it is up to the side pressing charges to prove their case against you. They must satisfy the courts beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offence in order for you to be convicted. If you can expose the flaws in the prosecution evidence and exploit those flaws to your advantage, then you have a good chance of winning. We will look at some of the standard responses to a charge of careless driving, as you will need to persuade the 209
• Weather data report – You can be prosecuted for driving dangerously on the grounds that the weather conditions meant that your manner of driving was dangerous. The Met Office used to give a legal weather report service for this very use, but no longer do so, at least not land-based data – only marine and aviation data is supplied as a legal weather report service. Their staff also no longer attend court as an expert witness. The weather data for land-based locations is now only observational and open to interpretation, so is not much use in court. A company called Weathernet offer a legal weather report service; their website address is http://www.weathernet.co.uk/ legal_products.asp British Weather Services also offer a legal weather report their website can be found at http://www.britishweatherservices.co.uk/ past-weather reports.htm
• Witness statements Any witnesses you may have will be required to give a witness statement, which records another person’s account of the facts, and must be in writing, on a section 9form, as required by the criminal procedure rules. • Map evidence It’s a good idea to bring along an official map of the location, just in case the police officer’s sketch of the location exaggerates something, like the length of a bend in the road, in order to perhaps justify your prosecution. A location map showing street level detail in that instance would damage the prosecution evidence and cast doubt on the integrity of the charges. Remember, you only have to introduce an element of doubt in order to be acquitted, and the prosecution need to prove their 215
Defence Case Statement Example In the: (enter the name of the court) Magistrates Court Between: The Director of Public Prosecutions And: (enter your full name)
Defence Statement Section 5(5) Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996 To the Prosecutor: Crown Prosecution Service To the Court: (enter the name of the court) Magistrates Court The alleged charges are that: (Enter the details and name of the offence for which you are charged here) Grounds for the defence: (Enter briefly the grounds for your defence here. Example: I was driving below the speed limit) The defendant denies the prosecution charges: (Enter here in a little more detail the main points of the charges you deny. Example: I deny that I drove above the speed limit\I believe the officer’s evidence is unsound\I believe the speed detection equipment used could not have accurately recorded my speed). The defendant denies the prosecution charges because: (Enter in detail here or on a separate sheet of paper WHY you deny the charges. Example: The laser device used to record the speed of my vehicle was not calibrated or maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions/ The laser gun was not tested before and/or after the officer’s tour of duty etc.) Disclosure request: The defendant requests that the court order the prosecution to disclose and make available to the defendant the following evidential material, on the grounds that the prosecutions case may be weakened or proved unlawful or we reasonably believe that the material will aid the defence in the presentation of their case. (Write a list of the evidential material you would like the prosecution to disclose here or on a separate piece of paper, if on a separate sheet of paper the write “please see attached” and staple it to this page). Signed: ……………………………………………………(The Defendant) Print name…………………………………………………Dated…………………….…………. [Send one copy of this defence case statement to the Crown Prosecution Service, and one copy, with a brief covering letter, to the court]
Response to NIP driver identity V2 (Version 2 of the letter to use, when you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution or “NIP”, butare unsure of who was driving at the time of the alleged offence. Companies are required to keep a log of who was driving, so this letter does not apply if the registered keeper is a Company. However, if a Company can show it was “not reasonable” to keep a log, this may be accepted by the court) (Date) (Your name & Address)
(Name of issuing authority) (Address of issuing authority) Reference: 1234526789 Dated: Alleged offence: Dear Sir/Madam,
I am in receipt of a Notice of Intended Prosecution, details above. I can confirm that I am the registered keeper of the vehicle in question. Unfortunately, I am unable to determine the driver’s identity at this time. Several drivers are insured to use the vehicle, and nobody can remember who had use of the vehicle and was driving in that area on that date. The drivers insured to use the vehicle are: Everyone has handed in their credit card statements, but there are no entries for the area or surrounding area as regards purchases. Neither are there any cash receipts for that day. I understand that it is the legal responsibility of the registered keeper to provide you with information as to who may have been driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence. It would be very much appreciated if you could send me any photographic/Video evidence you have. This will hopefully allow me to identify who was driving. Kind regards
Not Guilty plea & adjournment request letter (This is a sample letter to use, when you wish to enter a NOT GUILTY PLEA and have the case adjourned to another date) (Date) (Your name & Address)
The Clerk to the Justices (Name of Court) (Court address) Case No. Date of Hearing. Alleged offence: Dear Sir/Madam,
With reference to the above case and the prosecution against me for an alleged road traffic offence. I request the court to enter a Not Guilty Plea on my behalf, and a trial date be set for the matter to be resolved. When relisting the case, please be aware that myself and my witness/s are not available on the following dates; a) b)
2nd to 9th August 2011 18th September 2011
I respectfully await your instruction, for a date of when I should attend court. Yours faithfully
Application For Specific Disclosure In the: (enter the name of the court) Magistrates Court
Between: The Director of Public Prosecutions And: (enter your full name) Defendant’s Application For Specific Disclosure Section 8 Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996 To the Prosecutor: Crown Prosecution Service To the Chief Executive of: (enter the name of the court) Magistrates Court The defendant hereby asks the Court to order the prosecution to disclose the following evidence to the defendant. 1. (Name the list of documents and material you want the prosecution to disclose) a) b) c) 2.
he documents and material listed has not previously been disclosed to the T defendant, and has been previously requested on the (enter date/s of your previous re-quest/s for disclosure of the listed items.
3. The defendant requests that the court order the prosecution to disclose and make available to the defendant the listed evidential material, on the grounds that the prosecutions case may be weakened or proved unlawful or we reasonably believe that the material will aid the defence in the presentation of their case. Signed: ……………………………………………………… (The Defendant) Print name……………………………………………… Date…………………….……………. Address…………………………………………………………………………………………….. [Send one copy of this application to the Crown Prosecution Service, and one copy, with a brief covering letter, to the court]