Can I Challenge A Speeding Case in Mansfield Magistrates Court?
What happens when you are caught speeding but you don’t think you were doing that speed?
We are often contacted by people wanting to fight a speeding charge and can honestly say that 99% of those that ring us determined to fight the charge finish their calls to us deciding to plead guilty. The reason? Value.
You see at Forrest Williams we pride ourselves on the fact that we will not try to ‘sell’ you a service you do not need. If you are caught speeding and accept that you were probably speeding at somewhere near that speed then we will often advise you that a guilty plea may be more appropriate. That is not to say you don’t need our assistance – if it is a high speed under dispute or you already have points on your licence and disqualification is an option then we will discuss that – but for a lot of enquiries we are talking about low speed fixed penalty offences where the risk of pleading Not Guilty would mean a risk of increased costs which outweigh the potential benefit of avoiding 3 penalty points.
So what if you dispute the speed? When you are certain that the police have made a mistake?
In those cases the decision to challenge a speeding case is harder. The courts will presume that the police reading is accurate – the law sets out procedures to be followed before the camera is used and providing these have been followed (a statement from the officer will suffice) then the law allows for this presumption to be made. So it is up to the defence to show that the reading should be questioned, and we do this by providing the court with an expert analysis of the footage to show that the calculated speed cannot be correct. In some cases this would allow our client to be acquitted of the offence whilst in others it has provided a new, lower speed at which a deal can be agreed – for some pleading to a lower speed can be preferable to pursuing a full trial.
We recently acted for a gentleman charged with speeding at 60mph in a 30mph limit, a speed he was very clear with us he disputed. His explanation and reason for this belief was that he knew the police van was there as he’d passed it earlier that morning and was caught on his return journey. Why would he have been speeding when he knew it was there? His licence was clean, he’d never been disqualified and he could have coped with a short ban (the law allows up to a 56 day ban for this speed). But he was certain he was not guilty of this offence and instructed us to act accordingly.
We obtained the video footage of the date in question and had it analysed by our own expert who calculated that our client was driving at approximately 57mph. Clearly this did not match with our clients’ own version of events. However upon discussion it appeared that our client was not caught where he believed he had been caught, the long range cameras used by the police had clocked him before he slowed – so it is quite likely that he was driving at closer to 30mph when he actually passed the mobile unit, exactly as he thought.
Based upon this our client changed his plea to guilty and though not happy to do so did so in the knowledge that he was confident that he had explored his options and was not simply ‘pleading to something he didn’t believe he was guilty of’. He was reassured by our expert’s analysis of the range of the camera that, in fact, a guilty plea was the correct plea for him.
Want to challenge a speeding case in Mansfield Magistrates Court? Get the experts on side. Call us now for an honest opinion on 01623 600645.