Don\'t mess with the DVLA - moonshine
Further to my previous thread, which can be found here:-

www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=17476

I had my court case today regarding the road tax.

Firstly, the duty solicitor refused to assist me as I wasn\'t being charged with a criminal offence.

If you declare a SORN and use the car while it\'s in force then you are liable for any backduty up to a maximum of 2 years. This applies regardless of if the car was ever used or parked on a public road. They don\'t care if you used it or not, the law has changed and they WILL get \"their\" money. The maximum fine for this is £2,500.

Innocent until proven guilty? - no, just guilty.

If you have a second car like myself which is taken off the road then I recommend that you are very careful with the SORN forms. When you fill them in take them to post office and get a reciept. This also applies to cars over 25 years old that do not need road tax. You still have to get a tax disk/declare a SORN.

The court in the morning was an eye opener - never have I seen so many \"dodgy\" looking peeps in my life. In the afternoon when they were doing the motoring offences the court was full of \"normal\" everyday peeps.

The staff at the court (ushers etc) were all very freindly and helpful, even the women from the DVLA that I spoke to prior to going into court was helpful and freindly. My case was heard pretty much on time (30 mins late) and probably only took about half an hour.

The DVLA and the magistrates accepted that the car had never been used on the road while the SORN was in effect (I had loads of evidence), but it didn\'t really matter as they informed me that they had no discrestion on the amount of back duty - I had to pay the full whack.

The final cost to me was:

£320.84 - backduty
£45 - costs
£40 - fine
£20 - petrol getting to court (180 mile round trip)
£?? - three weeks of stress and worry
£?? - A days lost earnings

The magistrates gave a very small fine as they believed my story and felt that I was being punsihed quite harshly by having to pay the back duty, I\'m sure that if I hadn\'t been there (guilty by post) and told my side the fine would have been larger.

What do I think? - Well the british justice system worked well I think. I\'m happy that I did something wrong and I think that the fine was appropriate.

As for the back duty? - Well having to pay road tax for a car when it was in my garage for two years was a bit of a kick in the teeth. As if I havn\'t paid enough tax already in my lifetime.

It seems like yet again the honest hard working people get stuffed. I\'ve had cars for 14 years, always taxed, mot\'d and insured without fail. The one time I do something wrong I get caught. Of course if I was dishonest I would never have been to court and if I was low life scum leaching off society I could of paid the fine at £1 per week and had legal aid. Being an honest person I paid the fine in full with 5 minutes of leaving the courtroom.

BTW - See another thread for my \"experience\" on the M25 going up there.
Don't mess with the DVLA - Sooty Tailpipes
Well, it's most unfair, but at least you got off as lightly as I think they can let you. Almost every aspect of daily life is now subject to criminalisation. With each new law that is passed, thousands of new criminals are instantly created, yet the government who is responsible for this spectacularly fails to protect the decent majority's most basic liberties.

Don't mess with the DVLA - Leon on Derv
Moonshine,

Sounds like another out of control private army. I am sure you have covered this in your thoughts anyway. If you are required to declare SORN every year, surely they can not backdate your road fund license for any more than 12 months as it was only in the second of the two years you committed an offence?

Perhaps I have missed something from the original thread - i haven't taken the time to read it.

Leon
Don't mess with the DVLA - wemyss
My sympathies Moonshine. As you say it?s the ordinary respectable hardworking folk who bear the full brunt of the law. If you had been an unemployable rent dodger they wouldn?t have even bothered with taking you to court.
A programme the other night was on the South Yorks Police who are having a major crack down on a huge amount of people who drive without road tax or Insurance in Sheffield.
As I understand it they gave the ones who are caught the opportunity to obtain road tax and Insurance and then carry on untouched by the law.
After one Police chase the driver did a runner. The one left behind claimed ownership and refused to say who was driving.
No tax and no insurance and said he had just bought it. After a warning he walked away.
It seems like every day we hear that the maximum fine for some offence has been raised to mega bucks to punish a certain offence, but this must apply only to the people who can pay such as the likes of yourself.

Don't mess with the DVLA - frostbite
Seems to me that Leon could have raised a very valid point here - worth pursuing, or would you be better off head-banging?
Don't mess with the DVLA - smokie
Alvin - I watched that tonight - what about the guy whose full syringe of amphetamine dropped out of his sock after he'd announced to plod that he had nothing sharp on him, he got off with a caution. And his driver, who was clearly coming down from some kind of high, getting off without charge for the drugs thing(well, except that he was a disqual driver).

I have enjoyed those programmes but am continually amazed at the low life who seem to get away with a warning for really quite anti social or downright illegal behaviour - then you read something like the story above.

Don't mess with the DVLA - Dwight Van Driver
Moonshine

Thanks for the update.

My own opinion is that all went well EXCEPT for the sting of the back duty which was extremely harsh under the circumstances and not justice.

What now?

If it was me I would be writing to my MP about the harsh imposition of the back duty. Whether he would take up your case with Transport Minister is debateable but if no body complains then nothing is ever done?

DVD
Don't mess with the DVLA - wemyss
Like yourself Smokie I enjoy these programmes and at the onset of this particular one when they aanounced that the South Yorks police were running operation something or other to clear Sheffield of untaxed uninsured cars, I settled down to watch the bad guys get their rightful retribution.
Instead I watched an almost apologetic approach by the Authorities and felt sorry for the Police who seemed to get little support.
The driver was obviously drugged out of his head and convulsing and then the invisible Doctor behind the door who wouldn't support this was unreal.
The Policeman who had put him in there held his feelings in check amazingly well..
No road tax, no insurance, no ownership, drugged up..how much more do you need?.
Don't mess with the DVLA - No Do$h
No road tax, no insurance, no ownership, drugged up..how much more
do you need?.


A job so they can fine you.
Don't mess with the DVLA - glowplug
Seems obvious to me, the more you conform the easier it is to punish you and more severly. If you don't conform how can they, prison? Don't make me laugh!

Just look at the poll tax fiasco.

BTW living in Sheffield I realize that ALL motorists must be criminals, that's why the council treats us like they do!

Steve.

Insured!!!!
 

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