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Speeding summons in Northern Ireland, Irish licence

  • 03-04-2018 1:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4 pattbonn1847


    Hi all,

    This is my first post so bear with me as it's a worrying one. Here are the details:

    I was caught speeding in NI on a UK licence. I live in the Republic. I accepted the roadside fine and was told to surrender licence within 7 days (ticket states the fine cannot be paid without first surrendering the licence).
    The officer asked where I live and then asked if I knew anyone with a Northern address. I gave him my mother's. He wrote the wrong model of the car on the ticket and didn't write any licence info.

    Since being stopped I had lost my UK licence and could not apply for a new one as I couldn't provide proof of a Northern address. I now have an Irish licence.

    The cop called my about a month later and asked why I didn't pay the fine. I explained the situation and said I would happily furnish my Irish licence and pay the fine (I intended to do so all along). He said it was too late for that and would have to pass it on to Public Prosecutions. He said he would note everything I said.

    Now I've received a summons to a Northern court saying that I was speeding (correct) and didn't pay (also correct), and that I was driving without a licence since 2008 (incorrect - I exchanged my Northern licence in 2008 upon moving to London for a UK one - of this the officer was aware from the phone call).

    On the phone call the officer stated he would call me back the following week but didn't. Now, on the summons, he is claiming that he offered me a week to find my UK licence, which he didn't.

    This is really worrying me as I drive up north occasionally. Apologies for seeming all over the place and I would be grateful if anyone has a similar story with an outcome or any advice.

    P.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,240 ✭✭✭✭ Cee-Jay-Cee


    Go to court, bring your Irish licence with you, explain the story from your side and hope for the best. Its just a speeding fine, wouldn't worry too much about it to be honest. You might get a fine but they cant apply penalty points on an Irish licence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 pattbonn1847


    Go to court, bring your Irish licence with you, explain the story from your side and hope for the best. Its just a speeding fine, wouldn't worry too much about it to be honest. You might get a fine but they cant apply penalty points on an Irish licence.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I would go to court if it were more accessible. However, I work (long hours) about 3 hours from the court location and don't currently have holidays to take the time off. Not sure how work would feel about unpaid leave for a driving infraction and I'd prefer to avoid telling, if I'm honest.

    I've been able to get in contact with a solicitor friend from the north, just awaiting another reply at the moment. I'm hoping there is a way to pay the fine and avoid the whole court affair.

    Again, I appreciate the advice and I'll certainly post any updates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 pattbonn1847


    OSI wrote: »
    Sounds like he did to me.
    Thanks for the reply.

    You misunderstand. The ticket at the roadside carried the 7 day time-frame to surrender the licence.

    When he called e a month later to inquire why I hadn't sorted it, and I informed him that I had lost the licence, he said he'd call back in a week. In his statement on the summons paperwork, however, he said that ON THE PHONECALL he offered me a week to locate my licence, which is untrue. On the phone I told him that I had lost it, couldn't apply for a Northern or replacement UK one as I did not have residential proof of either, and told him that I had already applied for the Irish licence and was awaiting delivery.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4 pattbonn1847


    OSI wrote: »
    You've been summoned to court, you must attend. If you don't attend they'll put out a bench warrant for your arrest and you'll likely spend the night in a cell until they can get you a hearing.

    I understand that, should I do nothing else at this point, I must attend. I'm just curious as to whether I can avoid it by contacting them and providing further info, etc. without having to involve the expense of a solicitor and court costs. That I cannot afford.

    Also, the paperwork states that, should I fail to reply with acceptance of the summons within 14 days, they will deliver said documentation by hand. A warrant for arrest would be issued based on the severity of the initial infraction, also stated on the paperwork.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,523 ✭✭✭ Marcusm


    Thanks for the reply.

    You misunderstand. The ticket at the roadside carried the 7 day time-frame to surrender the licence.

    When he called e a month later to inquire why I hadn't sorted it, and I informed him that I had lost the licence, he said he'd call back in a week. In his statement on the summons paperwork, however, he said that ON THE PHONECALL he offered me a week to locate my licence, which is untrue. On the phone I told him that I had lost it, couldn't apply for a Northern or replacement UK one as I did not have residential proof of either, and told him that I had already applied for the Irish licence and was awaiting delivery.
    I understand that, should I do nothing else at this point, I must attend. I'm just curious as to whether I can avoid it by contacting them and providing further info, etc. without having to involve the expense of a solicitor and court costs. That I cannot afford.

    Also, the paperwork states that, should I fail to reply with acceptance of the summons within 14 days, they will deliver said documentation by hand. A warrant for arrest would be issued based on the severity of the initial infraction, also stated on the paperwork.

    I think you are failing to understand the seriousness of this and given your family ties to the North, you would be poorly advised not to get a solicitor. IN the UK, you are required to carry your licence at all times. If you do not have it when stopped you are given a period to produce it at a police station. Failure to produce is prosecuted on the same basis as failing to have a licence, i.e.unlicenced driving. What he may have subsequently said to you on the phone when providing you with a further opportunity to sort it out is fairly irrelevant.

    You have now been summonsed to court and may face more than a single charge. The fact that you swapped your licence for a Republic of Ireland one might (uncharitably) be regarded as an attempt to avoid penalty points. In light of this you would be extremely foolish not to attend court and not to engage a solicitor to try and seek to minimise your punishment.

    You now face potentially much greater penalties than for simple speeding.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,240 ✭✭✭✭ Cee-Jay-Cee


    Thanks for the reply.

    I would go to court if it were more accessible. However, I work (long hours) about 3 hours from the court location and don't currently have holidays to take the time off. Not sure how work would feel about unpaid leave for a driving infraction and I'd prefer to avoid telling, if I'm honest.

    I've been able to get in contact with a solicitor friend from the north, just awaiting another reply at the moment. I'm hoping there is a way to pay the fine and avoid the whole court affair.

    Again, I appreciate the advice and I'll certainly post any updates.

    There is no way to avoid court at this stage, once the summons is in the system the police officer will let it run its course and leave it up to a judge to decide what to do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,841 ✭✭✭✭ bucketybuck


    I would go to court if it were more accessible. However, I work (long hours) about 3 hours from the court location and don't currently have holidays to take the time off. Not sure how work would feel about unpaid leave for a driving infraction and I'd prefer to avoid telling, if I'm honest.

    Respectfully, I don't think any of this is relevant, I would imagine the court is not concerned with how hard you work or how many days holidays you have left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,561 ✭✭✭ Lord Nikon


    It's gonna cost a hell of a lot more to you by not showing up in court, than not showing up for work. Ring in sick to work if you dont have the holidays, or make up some story to get the day off. Honestly, it looks like your looking for excuses not to go to court.

    Funnily enough, if you now have an Irish licence, and had lost your UK licence, did you sit the test for the Irish licence? Should you not have told the truth, stating you live in Ireland with an Irish licence.

    Surely, driving frequently cross border you should have a valid licence with you.


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