It’s a dreadful feeling when you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution for a driving offence, and after feeling frustrated, there’s often a quick search on the internet for ways of getting out of it.
But ‘getting out of it’ is often a myth, and not grounded in law. So don’t fall for any of these five common driving offence myths.
Myth #1: Identifying the driver is a breach of human rights
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. But not with many motoring offences.
It is your responsibility as the owner of the vehicle to provide information relating to the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence, and if you don’t, you can be prosecuted.
The courts state that the compromise in your rights is necessary to allow proper enforcement of motoring law.
Myth #2: Fixed penalty notice mistakes means the evidence is flawed
Occasionally you might find a clerical error or mistake on a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), but it doesn’t mean the evidence gathered against you is full of mistakes either.
Whilst you might possibly argue that such an error could suggest the police officer in question could have similarly made a mistake with your offence, it’s not a strong argument.
Myth #3: Using letters bought online are an easy way to get out of prosecution
You might think a strongly worded letter goes a long way. However, when it’s just one of many template letters openly available for purchase on the internet, it loses credibility.
The police have seen them all, and there’s more chance of your complaint being considered as an attempt at easily getting off an offence.
Myth #4: I can give my points to someone else
As highlighted by the Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce, who were sentenced to eight months each in jail in 2013, taking the points for someone else is risky business. The police will investigate if there is any suggestion of or clues towards fraudulent activity, such as the owner of the vehicle having 9 points already when naming another driver.
So if you are facing a totting-up ban, or the extra points on your licence is going to cause you some serious issues, speak to a motoring solicitor. The truth might hurt, but not as much as a lie.
Myth #5: Using a mobile phone while stationary is not an offence
If the engine is on, ignore your mobile. Or any other hand-held portable device for that matter.
Whilst you might argue that you weren’t `driving` at the time, you are still committing an offence and could receive three penalty points and a fine.
Arguing the case is often open to interpretation, so courts will just take the line of the law. If your engine is on, and you are using your mobile, it’s an offence.
If you are concerned about a motoring offence, or you genuinely want to contest an offence, speak to a motoring solicitor.