Before I start this topic and people judge this is the first time I've ever be remotely trouble.
The girlfriend got a new car at the start November, on the way home from picking it up I decided on a quiet road in a non residential area to drive it. Little did I know the police were parked up and watched us swapping seats. I drove less that 2 mile up the road and at the turn chance I pulled in and swapped over again. The police were tailing us, which I didn't know. By the time we swapped over he police had just pulled up. They suspected drink driving at the start. The police officer said he should be giving a fixed noticed and this was an 'absolute crime' but he just cautioned us and said he's referring it to the prosecution office. His words was 'il write my report in your favour, the officer might throw it out or could make an example'. I have my own insurance but due to only being 23 I am not covered on anyone else's car, I been driving 6 years with no previous offences. Basically does anyone know what could happen or when il hear word? It's been over 4 months. Thanks Niall
Last edited by Nialldonaghey; 29-03-14 at 07:51.
I don't think the police can give a caution AND a referral for prosecution - it has to be one or the other. In terms of police/courts time, your offence is not one that presses for urgent attention, so there will almost certainly be a delay in processing. However, I don't think you are out of the woods yet - 4 months is not a long time, and I don't know what the finite time is for prosecution to be instigated; or if there is a finite time. You say the officer said he SHOULD be giving an FPN, so presumably he did not. I don't know if his superiors can issue an FPN in hindsight, which might mean a court summons if the Prosecution Service decided to go ahead. The only answer seems to be one of 'wait and hope'.
The police or CPS have six months from the date of the offence in which to "lay information" at court. A summons would then be issued, within a week or two. So in practical terms it might be about seven months before you hear anything.
The offence carries 6-8 points or a discretionary ban, plus a band C fine. 6 points is most likely if this was a first offence: a band C fine is 150% of your weekly income. There is normally a 33% reduction in the fine for an early guilty plea.
All I can say is - don't waste your money buying lottery tickets.
For the legal niceties I always rely on PePiPoo. This is what they have to say:
If you were stopped and spoken to by a police officer, they have 6 months to prosecute you because the officer will have issued you with a verbal NIP at the time. (NIP = Notice of Intended Prosecution)
This is the one you have to listen carefully for. Under the law it's the legal minimum that you have to receive before a summons. The words aren't clear and may confuse you. They'll be something like:
"You will be reported for consideration of the question of prosecuting you for this offence."
Although there appears to be need for "consideration" and a "question" to answer you may never hear anything else from the Constabulary before you get a court summons. Make sure that if you've anything to say for yourself, you say it after the verbal NIP. If a verbal warning is given at the time, it must be shown that the defendant understood it (Gibson v Dalton ). Proof that they understood the charge will lie with the prosecution.
I find it difficult to reconcile a verbal NIP with later proof in court that it was given. If a police officer says it was given, and the defendant says it was not, in reality who are the court going to believe? At the point where a warning of "being considered for possible prosecution, surely it then becomes mandatory for both sides to be in possession of a written declaration of this fact? If a situation can arise where the court has to depend on assessing the truth from verbal disagreement between the police and the defendant, then it seems to me that due process has not been carried out to the letter of the law.
You just may be lucky here and get away with it. Unbeknown to you the officer concerned may have decided that you told the truth and gave you a warning that would in effect "put the wind up you" In other words he knows his words were listened to and judged you accordingly. Stop worrying and just get on with your life as normal. If the worst happens and you are summonsed then so be it and you will have to pay the fine. Get the money put away now and if it gets to June 30th and you have heard nothing have a weekend away with the savings.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I have the 200 set side from the night it happened. It's been playing on my mind and this is worse than any fine or points. I work within the nhs and due to my job I have to inform them of any motorin convictions. Heres hoping.
The officer said he should be giving me a fpn, but said under the circumstances and referral is best suited. His reason was because we've been honest and he knows it was a silly mistakes. He said he will write his report if and favour so the prosecutor and understand the full picture. He read me my rights in the back of the car.
Do you drive/or are likely to drive on behalf of the NHS as part of your employment? Only in such cases would you have to inform them of any motoring convictions.
Originally Posted by Nialldonaghey
I do find the officer's action a little puzzling. On the one hand he says "absolute offence" for which an FPN (£200 + 6 points) would have resolved the matter; but on the other hand he has referred it, which suggests that it might not be pursued.
As we all seem to agree - there is nothing to be done but to wait.