Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Time Limit for Prosecution

  1. #1

    Default Time Limit for Prosecution

    Guys

    I need some helpful advise

    I was involved in an RTA on December 4th 2004, basically a Guy (that i suspect to have been drunk) stepped out into the road, I swerved to avoid the collision of which the guy ran in the direction that I swerved in and ran into the passenger wing and made a big hole in my windscreen and glass roof.

    I have never been told by the police that I am to be charged with Dangerous Driving, I have been told by the poilice that they are reporting me for Dangerous Driving, it will be six months since the accident on the 4th June 2005 and yet I have recieved nothing from the police or the court informaing me of any charges or prosecution.

    Am i right in saying that after the 4th June 2005 there will be nothing that they can do? At the end of the day I did everything I could to avoid the accident, and I was not driving dangerously at all.

    What do you guys think?

    Cheers
    ST

  2. #2

    Default

    Hello and welcome. All summary offences (offences which can only be dealt with at mag's court) have a 6 months time limitation on proceedings being commenced. It's the 'being commenced' bit which makes it a bit of a grey area. The general consensus is that if the summonses are applied for then proceedings are commenced. You could also be charged with an offence at any time up to the 4th, but that's a little unusual for road traffic offences.

    Allow a few days past the 4th for postage etc and you should be OK.

    Good luck.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks XDC, I will keep you "Posted"

    It was the shock of them telling me at the interview i was to be reported for Dangerous Driving really took me by suprise

  4. #4

    Default

    Is it possible they just told you you'd be reported for dangerous or careless driving? That's actually the verbal NIP required for this type of offence. It's not technically required to administer an NIP where you're involved in an accident, but in practice it's often still given.

    It's not unusual for people to be told the facts will be reported pending the outcome of enquiries and all witnesses, and others involved being seen and interviewed. Possibly your pedestrian wasn't interviewed at the time if he was injured?

    Lots of cases which are reported for the consideration of prosecution, end up with no further action being taken where it's felt the evidence doesn't warrant further action.

  5. #5

    Default

    So when exactly does the 6 month time limit start from, the date of the accident or the date of the "Reporting for Dangerous Driving"?

  6. #6

    Default

    The 6 months starts from the date of the alleged offence.

  7. #7

    Default

    Just a quick update, I have recieved nothing as far, but I have been told that a charge of dangerous driving they have up to 5 years to bring the charge, is this correct or is the 6 month limit standard practise?

    Cheers
    Simon

  8. #8

    Default

    It's rubbish. 6 months is what they do got.

  9. #9

    Default

    Although XDC is correct for the vast majority of cases there are a few (rare) exceptions.

    You will need to read this (good luck) and see if it applies to you.

    The following text was lifted from the CPS website


    http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal


    Section 127 Magistrates' Court Act 1980 states that for all summary offences the information must be laid within six calendar months of the commission of the offence, except where any other Act expressly provides otherwise.

    The following points need to be borne in mind:




    • It is not necessary for the information to be personally received by a justice or by the clerk. It is enough that it is received by a member of his staff impliedly authorised to receive it. In R v- Pontypridd Juvenile Court ex p B [1988] CLR 842 it was held that an information could be laid by being input into a terminal at a police station of a computer system which was linked to the court, even though it was not printed out at the court end until later.
    • In computing the limitation period the day on which the offence was committed is not included.
    • So long as the information is laid within six months, the issue and service of the summons and the subsequent determination may all occur outside that period.
    • Laying an information within the six months' time limit before deciding whether or not to prosecute may result in the proceedings being stayed as an abuse of process; see R v- Brentford Magistrates' Court ex parte Wong [1981] 1 All ER 884.
    The six months' time limit applies to most summary road traffic offences, but statutory exceptions do occur. In particular:


    • Section 24 RTOA 1988; and
    • Section 6 RTOA 1988.



    Exceptions to the six month time limit

    Section 6 provides a special time limit for offences listed in Column 3, Schedule 1 RTOA 1988, and for aiding and abetting those offences. When it applies, proceedings must be brought within six months from the date on which sufficient evidence came to the knowledge of the prosecutor to warrant proceedings; but must not be brought more than three years after the commission of the offence in any event.

    Section 6 applies to the following offences under the RTA:


    • driving after making a false declaration as to physical fitness [section 92(10)]
    • failing to notify Secretary of State of onset or deterioration of disability [section 94(3)]
    • driving after such a failure
    • driving after refusal of licence under section 92 or 93 (section 94A)
    • failure to surrender licence following revocation (section 99)
    • obtaining driving licence, or driving, whilst disqualified [section 103(1)]
    • using an uninsured motor vehicle (section 143)
    • making a false statement to obtain a driving licence or certificate of insurance (section 174)
    • issuing false documents (section 175).
    Section 37 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 (The Act) came into force on 01 October 2001 and extends to England and Wales. It applies to offences committed on or after 01 October 2001.

    Section 37 amends the time limit in the Theft Act 1968, so that proceedings relating to the unauthorised taking of a mechanically propelled vehicle may be commenced at any time within six months from the date on which sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution came to the knowledge of the prosecutor. It is subject to a general requirement that any prosecution must be brought within three years of the offence taking place.

    In deciding whether to rely on the extended time limit, you should ascertain the date on which sufficient evidence to warrant proceedings came to the knowledge of a police officer investigating the incident. An investigating officer is considered to stand in the shoes of the `prosecutor' for this purpose.

    Under section 6(3) a certificate signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor, stating the date on which the necessary evidence cane to his knowledge, is conclusive evidence of that fact. Such a certificate is deemed under sub-section (4) to have been so signed unless the contrary is proved. The certificate should be signed by the appropriate police officer.

    When you consider instituting proceedings within the extended time limit period, you should take into account reasons for the delay and any degree of responsibility born by the offender. In cases of the unauthorised taking of mechanically propelled vehicles delay can often occur due to the gathering of forensic evidence where the offence is denied.

    Further exceptions to the six months' time limit appear in provisions in other Acts identical in effect to section 6 RTOA 1988. The same considerations will thus apply. The exceptions include:


    • section 244 RTA 1960 [re offences under section 235 RTA 1960 and section 99(5) TA];
    • section 47(2) VERA 1994 [re offences under sections 29, 34, 35A, 37 or regulations made under the Act];
    • section 73 Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1982 (re offences under sections 65 or 66 of the Act).
    I post here as an individual not as a representative (official or unofficial) of any organisation
    For legal advice, consult a lawyer.

  10. #10

    Default

    I don't think Section 6 or 24 applies to me, 8 days encounting

  11. #11

    Default

    My solicitor has informed me that they have to have instituted proceedings and not neccesarily served a summons on be by the 4th, but the real question is, I have never had an NIP nor has a police officer actually told me that I am to be charged with the offence, only that I was to be reported to the CPS for "Dangerous Driving"

    I'm now a bit confused

  12. #12
    5ive-o member Dani's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 May 2005
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    350

    Default

    not long now to breathe a sigh of relief!!

  13. #13

    Default

    As I said earlier, it's often standard practice to tell you the facts will be reported pending all the witnesses being seen and the full circumstances known, but a lot of these cases just get marked up as' No Further Action'

    You'd think someone would pick up the phone and inform you if that was the case, but these things don't always get done I'm afraid. A drunk walking into the side of your car is a classic case where it's difficult to attach any blame to the driver anyway, so I'd keep your fingers crossed for a few more days but it sounds to me like you're going to be OK.

  14. #14

    Default

    Some info here from the CPS Website

    Limitation of time

    For fuller commentary see (Wilkinson's 21st edition p 2.45 2.55).

    Many road traffic offences are purely summary and in most cases proceedings are taken by way of the laying of an information and the issue of a summons. Hence time limits are of particular significance since for various reasons substantial delay may occur before it is decided to institute proceedings. The point must also be borne in mind if it is intended at a later date to add further charges.

    Top of page

    Laying of the information

    Section 127 Magistrates' Court Act 1980 states that for all summary offences the information must be laid within six calendar months of the commission of the offence, except where any other Act expressly provides otherwise.

    The following points need to be borne in mind:

    • It is not necessary for the information to be personally received by a justice or by the clerk. It is enough that it is received by a member of his staff impliedly authorised to receive it. In R v- Pontypridd Juvenile Court ex p B [1988] CLR 842 it was held that an information could be laid by being input into a terminal at a police station of a computer system which was linked to the court, even though it was not printed out at the court end until later.
    • In computing the limitation period the day on which the offence was committed is not included.
    • So long as the information is laid within six months, the issue and service of the summons and the subsequent determination may all occur outside that period.
    • Laying an information within the six months' time limit before deciding whether or not to prosecute may result in the proceedings being stayed as an abuse of process; see R v- Brentford Magistrates' Court ex parte Wong [1981] 1 All ER 884.
    The six months' time limit applies to most summary road traffic offences, but statutory exceptions do occur. In particular:

    • Section 24 RTOA 1988; and
    • Section 6 RTOA 1988.

  15. #15

    Default

    Summons arrived this morning, gutted, hits you hard when you see it in writing

  16. #16

    Default

    What is the summons for?

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SVSnyper
    Guys

    I need some helpful advise

    I was involved in an RTA on December 4th 2004, basically a Guy (that i suspect to have been drunk) stepped out into the road, I swerved to avoid the collision of which the guy ran in the direction that I swerved in and ran into the passenger wing and made a big hole in my windscreen and glass roof.

    I have never been told by the police that I am to be charged with Dangerous Driving, I have been told by the poilice that they are reporting me for Dangerous Driving, it will be six months since the accident on the 4th June 2005 and yet I have recieved nothing from the police or the court informaing me of any charges or prosecution.

    Am i right in saying that after the 4th June 2005 there will be nothing that they can do? At the end of the day I did everything I could to avoid the accident, and I was not driving dangerously at all.

    What do you guys think?

    Cheers
    ST
    So what did your papers say you were to be summonsed for?

    I would certainly get a good solicitor if they have put Dangerous driving, coz it does not even look like to me a careless driving...If a drunk walked into the road infront of you, what are they expecting to achieve. I would defend this case with passion.

  18. #18

    Default

    I agree with Wazza entirely on the facts presented to us in your original post.

    Having said that I have to say that my original advice to SVSnyper was wrong as far as limitation of proceedings on Dangerous Driving is concerned. As result of a couple of private messages from him, I've done some checking and Dangerous Driving is an 'either way'offence. It can be dealt with at Mag's or Crown Court, so the 6 months time limitation doesn't apply. However for the CPS to seek Crown Court trial for a Dangerous driving the case would have to be so serious that they felt the magistrates powers of punishment (6 months impt max) were insufficient, whereas at Crown Court the max is 2 years impt.

    Lots of cases of dangerous driving are dealt with at Mag's Court and that 6 months impt is the maximum, not the norm don't forget.

    As the 6 month time limit doesn't apply, it's a little curious that they've got the sumonses out within that time, which makes me think they may be going for a lesser offence - Due Care perhaps?

  19. #19

    Default

    A few notes on dangerous/careless and either way offences.

    If charged with dangerous driving the bench (or jury) can find not guilty of dangerous but guilty of without due care. As far as I am aware the only time when you can be found guilty of an offence that was not actually charged. An important difference between the two is that dangerous driving carries a mandatory 12 month (minimum) disqual + an extended test before getting licence back.

    All either way offences start in magistrates court.
    If the defendant pleads not guilty or does not enter a plea then the CPS will outline their case at its strongest. They can (but don't always) say where they think the trial should be heard, this is not binding on the bench. The defence have the same chance to say where they think it should be heard, again not binding on bench.

    Bench will take a view as to whether (if CPS case is proved in all the details oulined) the offence would merit more than 6 months custody. If so then the case is remitted to the crown court - NO arguements allowed.

    If they feel the offence does not merit more than 6 months custody the bench will "accept jurisdiction". In this case the defendant then has the final say about where he wants his case to be heard - his decision is final. If the bench accept jurisdiction and hear the case they cannot later decide that more than 6 months is needed and send to crown court.

    If the defendant pleads guilty then the bench will hear all the details and mitigation. If they feel that more than 6 months is needed then they send to the crown court for sentencing, if less than 6 months they deal with it themselves.

    Its worth noting that the crown court judge is not bound to sentence at more than 6 months. They don't even need to impose custody. It does occasionally happen that with a change of lawyer, additional mitigation is found, or perhaps better explained.
    I post here as an individual not as a representative (official or unofficial) of any organisation
    For legal advice, consult a lawyer.

  20. #20

    Default

    Thanks for that OC. On the facts presented to us I'm amazed this is going any further, but of course with no disrespects to SV Snyper, we've only heard one very brief account of what happened.

    I do know that SVSnyper is represented by a solicitor in this matter now and he should very careful about what he posts here from now on - certainly as far as specifics about the incident are concerned, so we should perhaps draw a line under this now, apart from wishing him the best of luck?

  21. #21

    Default

    And we all concur with that XDC good luck SV Snyper.

  22. #22

    Default

    Yes the summons is for "Dangerous Driving", I have been informed that they usualy summons for the higher charge with a view to it being played down, A Ban would cripple me, i would most certainly loose my job, and a recent addition to the familly means I cannot do without my job.

  23. #23

    Default

    SVSnyper. Try not to worry mate - it's pointless us trying to second guess what will happen in this case, and we dont know the full facts anyway. I know you're represented by a solicitor and he isn't too impressed with you posting here at all. He's the guy who has to represent you and I think we should respect that, so I'm going to give it 10 minutes or so for you to respond if you want to and then close this thread.

    I'm sure we all wish you the best of luck. Hang around here anyway.

  24. #24

    Default

    Thanks guys for all your help and support, may the force go with you...lol

  25. #25

    Default

    PMSL! And you mate.... good luck!

    Thread closed.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •