Driving ban - helen munroe

Hi. My friend got a letter from the DVLA saying he had been banned from driving. This was the first notice he had. He called up and asked why and they said thay he had not responded to letters sent. The incident occurred last year and was in Kent. He looked on his dart account and it showed he hadn't crossed into Kent on the particular day. They won't tell him what it was for either. Anyway he went to court on Tuesday. They said that the van has been lifted, still no reason as to why it was imposed and that they are not worried about that now. It has now turned into a criminal offence as he didn't reply to letters he never received. They have adjourned the case till next week, where he has to prove the letters weren't received!!!

How would you do this and has this happened to anyone else. It doesn't add up to me

Driving ban - Manatee

Insufficient data!

"the van has been lifted". What van?

Driving ban - Bromptonaut

Making best I can of this your friend's license has been revoked after some issue to do with alleged infringements on the Dartford Crossing toll scheme.

Could you re-post your inquiry with a clear chronological account of what happened?

Driving ban - hillman

Could this be a cloned number plate ?

Ask the DVLA what address they sent the letters to.

Driving ban - RichardW

I read it as alleged offence occured in Kent, but defendant did not cross Dartford crossing on day in question. All seems a bit odd - presume 'criminal' offence is a S172 non notification of driver offence; although surely if they have now rescinded the ban (I took 'van' to be a typo), then no case to answer? OP's friend needs to have a discussion with a solicitor with all they paperwork they do have!

Driving ban - concrete

Would not paying the Dartford toll amount to an offence under the RTA? I thought it was classed as a debt and pursued in the usual manner. If it is the toll I also think a cloaned number plate has been used to run up this debt. How do you get from non payment to a driving ban? If he just received a letter to effect the ban then they must have his contact details anyway. very strange. Much more information needed.

Cheers Concrete

Driving ban - Bromptonaut

@Concrete

I initially surmised it was about crossing charges but am now thinking that's a red herring and that Richard W has nailed it as being about an offence in Kent. OP's friend says his dart charge record doesn't show him crossing on day in question so not him. Ufortunately that won't get him off hook as crossing outwith charged hours, 6am to 10pm, don't show. Neither does it preclude crossing by another route.

If it's about failure to comply with a S172 request to name driver then he's going to have an uphill battle to defeat assumption that court papers served by post ALL failed to arrive yet notice of revocation of his license did.

Driving ban - Middleman

If it was a S172 offence (Failing to provide driver’s details at the time of an alleged offence) and no response was received the matter would have been heard in his absence. The offence carries six points and rarely, if ever, attracts a ban on its own. So, more details needed:

Did your friend have six or more points on his licence before this (and so would be liable to a ban under the “totting up” rules)?

Get him to log into the DVLA website and check his driving record. It will show what offence code led to the ban (if the details are still there).

I imagine that when he went to court he was asked to perform a “Statutory Declaration” t say he had not received any correspondence to do with the matter. This sets the conviction aside.

We really need much more information before any proper view or advice can be provided.

Driving ban - TedCrilly

I have to ask.......

How is it exactly that he received a letter telling him he had been banned but did not receive any previous correspondence relating to the offence. One assumes everything was sent to the same address, that being the one held by the DVLA. Perhaps the license is registered to a different address than the vehicle

This is definitely one that needs professional advice and help

Edited by TedCrilly on 12/11/2017 at 17:52

Driving ban - Middleman

It doesn't really need profrssional advice and help if the matter is explained properly on here. There are countless cases where the driver of a vehicle suspected of an offence is subject to court proceedings seemingly (though not necessarily actually) without their knowledge.

If the OP was to explain the details in full here it i svery likely that correct advice can be given. As it stands at the moment that cannot be done.

Driving ban - TedCrilly

Correct advice?

I doubt it, we have sketchy details and are not even communicating directly with the person involved.

Driving ban - helen munroe

Hi. Sorry for late response and breif description of events. I will try to elaborate.

My friend received a letter in the post a week or so ago, from the DVLA stating that his licence had been revoked, due to an offence. The letter didn't state what offence had occured. They called the DVLA to find why etc. They were told it was an offence in Dec 2016 that occurred in Kent and that further details would be explained in court. The court date was last Tuesday. When he got there, he asked what the offence was and presented documentation from his dart charge explaining that he wasn't in the area when said offence took place (He rarely travels to Kent) and was told that the driving ban had been lifted due to him being self employed and needing to work to pay mortgage etc. He asked again what the offence was and was told they aren't interested in that any more, this is now a case against him for ignoring court letters. He explained he had never received any letters from the courts and that if he had he would have replied as he needs his licence to work. They have adjourned till next week, where he has been told he had to prove he didn't receive any letters. How does someone prove they never got letters in the post. Surely he had lost before he even goes! And if the offence was worthy of a ban then why not bother with it any more. It just doesn't add up.

Driving ban - Bromptonaut

I agree with Ted Crilly. Proper legal advice, for which he'll probably need to pay, is required. Still too many gaps risking being filled by assumption to give meaningful advice here.

That said the basic facts add up.

1. Allegation of offence in Kent. Notice under S172 of Road Traffic Act 1988 sent to Keeper requiring driver to be named. Failure to comply = fine and six points;

2. No response from Keeper so from perspective of Police/Court he has not complied with S172. He is convicted in his absence and six points given;

3. Court instructs Driver/Keeper to send in his licence for points to be added. He fails to do so despite reminders etc;

4. DVLA then revoke his licence.

Revocation is not the same as disqualification. It is an administrative measure to make it illegal to drive until the licence has been returned and points added. As I read it licence has been reinstated but subject still faces proceedings for failure to get points added.

Court papers are sent by 1st class post and are deemed to be received unless proved otherwise. Provided addresses are correct this is fair and proportionate - the number of correctly addressed letters going astray as a proportion of number posted is infinitesimally small.

Relevant questions seem to be:

  • Is OP's friend registered keeper of vehicle in Kent incident and if so is address correctly recorded at DVLA?;
  • Is OP's friend's licence address current and correct?

I've seen a similar scenario, albeit involving a civil penalty for going in a London bus lane. Driver was a 'self employed' courier who hired his van from the well known delivery company who's livery it wore. Infringement was detected by camera and notice sent to company. As required they named the driver and charged him £40 for their time doing so. He ignores subsequent correspondence claiming he thought £40 was actual fine. Eventually he has bailiffs after him.....

Is there something in OP's case that rationally explains why he didn't receive correspondence to him as keeper and/or driver?

Edited by Bromptonaut on 13/11/2017 at 09:21

Driving ban - helen munroe

Thank you for your response. I'm not really in receipt of facts as whole scenario is being relayed to me . Just wanted to see if this had happened to anyone or if anyone had any suggestions as to how you prove you didn't receive letters.

Driving ban - Bromptonaut

Helen;

I asked above if there were, at any time, discrepancies in keepership or address on either V5 or licence which might lead to stuff going astray. Assuming letters were correctly addressed then I think it's nigh on impossible to disprove receipt. One letter might go astray but not three or four.

Working in the advice sector I see this sort of thing, albeit with debt rather than motoring offences, on a near daily basis. Occasionally people have a cavalier attitude to mail from unknown sources and bin it as junk. Many more have their 'head in the sand' and ignore official looking letters or let them pile up unopened in (vain) hope they'll go away. Court postal franks often just have an address as the word court leads recipients to write 'gone away' on the envelope and put it back in the post.

If your friend has that sort of back story then I guess he needs to attend court and apologise.

I still think advice, or at least a word with the duty solicitor, would be worthwhile.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 13/11/2017 at 13:32

Driving ban - Andrew-T

I'm not really in receipt of facts as whole scenario is being relayed to me .

Exactly - that's part of the difficulty for responders on here. It might be better if the 'guilty party' joined in the discussion? If he feels that could jeopardise his position, I would find that worrying, but so be it.

Driving ban - Middleman

I'm afraid little of this hangs together. Bromtonaut's scenario, up to point 4, is perfectly feasible and may well explain the revocation of your friend's licence. What is said to have happened subsequently most certainly is not at all feasible.

The matter of revoking a driver’s licence (which, as has been explained, is not the same as being disqualified from driving) is a matter for the DVLA alone. A court cannot revoke a driving licence. For the same reason a court cannot reinstate a licence that has been revoked as your friend seems to suggest happened. Whether or not he needs his licence for work is not relevant as the court has no power of reinstatement in any circumstances.

Next, for the court to adjourn for a week “…to prove he didn't receive any letters” is unthinkable. If the original conviction has been set aside it would be for the CPS (or the police, depending who prosecutes traffic matters in the area concerned) to re-start the prosecution. Your friend would then be asked to state his plea and, if he pleads Not Guilty on the basis that he received no request for driver’s details, the matter would be listed for trial (probably some week’s hence).

I think your friend is either deliberately misleading you or has not grasped the facts properly himself. If the latter then professional advice might be worthwhile. However:

I still think advice, or at least a word with the duty solicitor, would be worthwhile.

The duty solicitor is only available to assist defendants appearing or the first time and who are charged with an imprisonable offence. So if he wants advice he will have to pay for it. If, however, he would care to post the proper facts himself (or at least relay them to you) he might get more help here.

At present we don't know for sure what happened to cause your friend's licence to be revoked and we certainly don't know for sure what has happened since. Until then, proper advice is impossible.

Edited by Middleman on 13/11/2017 at 15:44

Driving ban - JEREMYH

I have vehicles on the road all the time drivers working for me ect ect ect(quite boring really) and have been for almost three decades

All I can say is something does not add up here at all as pointed out by the Middleman I will put mysellf out enough here and would say that your freind is not letting on what has really happened and knows more about this then he is telling . Being banned does not just happen without warning .

It should be against the forum rules to post court cases without the full info as people are expected to draw on their experience and give advice with out the full facts and this is impossible

 

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