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Jimc64

Alleged dangerous / careless driving charge

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Jimc64

Dear all, I'm looking for some advice here from the knowledge base

I had a knock at my door on the 22nd March from 2 police officers, they said It was a driving related matter, so I invited them in

They proceeded to state that an allegation had been made as follows

On the 9th March it was witnessed by 2 people travelling in the same car that my car had been noted driving ( in their opinion ) in a dangerous / careless manner and what did I have to say about it?

To be honest I was absolutely gobsmacked and couldn't believe it, but listened and gave them my details as requested. They then asked if I remembered the incident, to which I replied definitely not.

Supposedly it was at 7pm on the main road!

I asked what main road and they pointed to the road outside my house, I questioned if it was the **** to which they replied yes, that was it they thought?

I asked for further details as genuinely nothing, absolutely nothing came to mind but they could not / would not elaborate

Shortly after they stated that they were charging me with dangerous / careless driving and that the matter would be reported to the Procurator Fiscal

As a motorist who has travelled in his job covering approx. 50k-70k miles per year, I have in the long distant past received my fair share of points and fines, I suppose having covered well over 1M miles in the last 20 years or so it could be considered almost a hazard of the job in some ways.

To be fair my licence is clean and has been for around 9 years now, no accidents / claims or losses insurance wise these past 6-7 years either

I know from past experience from many years ago that any heated incident really sticks with you fro some time, at least it did with me, but in all sincerity having racked my brain I cannot for the lie of me come up with anything in the last several months, let a lone the last 2-3 weeks.

That aside.....here's the advice I'm looking for and hope you can help with

The officers verbally stated that they were charging me with dangerous/ careless driving and that the matter would be reported to the PF. This evidence as far as I know is based on the testimony of 2 other people travelling in the same car......so could they be considered independent witnesses?

Over and above that I was not given or have at any time received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)

Is a verbal charge valid in the home, with no accident 13 days after the alleged offence>

Bearing in mind that the supposed offence date was the 9th March and it's now the 25th March with no NIP received would the 14 day rule apply?

To be honest I even hate myself for asking this, it seems or feels like I'm trying to evade something, but I'm genuinely not, nothing, absolutely nothing in my mind resonates with this at all.

Having said that, I love to drive and am a car guy, it's a passion of mine and what makes me tick and a lot of people know this, so would be a sure way to really get to me. I am genuinely concerned for my licence and am genuinely innocent.

Suffice to say it's all rather worrying.

Any advice you can offer would be most appreciated

Thanks

Jim

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Dan!Dan!Dan!

The Officers don't need two "independent" witnesses just sufficient evidence to charge and they have charged you within 14 days so get a solicitor.

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Jimc64

Hi there and thanks for the reply on that portion, much appreciated

Bearing in mind that the supposed offence took place on the 9th March and it's now the 25th March with no Notice of Intended Prosecution ( NIP ) received would the 14 day rule apply?

Thanks

Jim

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Dan!Dan!Dan!

Why would you need a NIP when the Officers have already told you that they intend to prosecute you when they visited you on the 22nd?

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A-91

As Sub says- you've had your notice when the officer's attended your home address. No need for a NIP through the post.

So the answer to your question is would be yes, it applies. As they've notified you within that period.

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Tobermory

To show some sympathy with the original poster, I had exactly the same thing happen to me. A somewhat vague foundationless, baseless allegation that the police seem only too willing to believe despite the only evidence being two linked witnesses with an obvious axe to grind..

​I fear you perhaps made yourself an easy target by immediately inviting them in trying to answer police questioning, the fact that they did not elaborate on the actual incident (same with my case) suggests to me their questioning was nothing more than fishing for info. The best possible advice is not to say ANYTHING, don't even let them in your home. There is absolutely nothing that you can possibly say that will alter the course of events, the police intended to charge you, that will happen irrespective of any comments you make.

​I would absolutely agree with Sub7 that you should speak to a solicitor. My advice would also be to get a dashcam, they are really cheap these days and while they probably wont stop baseless allegations being pounced on by lazy coppers, they will help to provide best evidence where it matters, in court.

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Jimc64

Thanks Tobermory, Yes, it's extremely frustrating that it is so vague and I have absolutely no recollection of any "incident" that would / could be thought of in that way.

Re an axe to grind....There are certainly at least 3 or 4 people in the street who could / would possibly have an axe to grind over street politics. There was a situation some years ago where 3 or 4 neighbours wanted a childrens play area removed, but I didn't agree. I petitioned the entire street, contact my local MP, the local newspaper etc and suffice to say the childrens play area is still intact.

There is some ill feeling over this from those concerned, all childish stuff really, dirty looks, chinese whispering etc etc

The only other thing I can think of is that I have quite a nice car, some might consider it big / posh etc as it's always commented on. Being a car guy I keep it very nice and am always washing / polishing it to keep it in good condition. I don't think there's any jealous / envy, but possible that anyone who wanted to do me ill, would know that either damaging my car or my ability to drive it would be the best way to go about it.

I have spoken to a solicitor and they've stated there's nothing else to do but wait and see what / if anything happens.

Re dashcam - I do have a dashcam installed, usually this may have helped, but as it was so long ago and I had recently undertaken a long journey, all data was overwritten. I have a big 32G SD card and the cam records in 3m segments but still only holds 5 hours, so no help there either.

Thanks

Jim

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Tobermory

Childish insubstantiated claims will unfortunately not deter the police once they have their hooks in you.

​Don't answer any questions, it's important to remember that when you are being charged or under consideration for charge, the police are NOT YOUR FRIEND.

​With a bit of luck, the PF will laugh at them. I wish you the best.

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Dan!Dan!Dan!

Is there a reason that you have an axe to grind Toby?

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Tobermory

​Exactly the same thing happened to me, and I found the constables in question to be bitter, vindictive and downright twisted. It was an experience that completely changed my outlook towards police so I empathised with the original poster. In the above situation, do you think Jimc64 should consider the police to be on his side? Their primary objective is to gather evidence for prosecution after all.

​Please don't get me wrong, I am not anti-police. I am anti-corrupt-police, anti-bad-police, and anti-power-abusing-police. I am also pro-civil liberties.

The majority of constables in this country are good, conscientious men and women who do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances and with far too limited resources, but as I said in a previous post, we cant tell by looking whether you are dealing with a good cop or a bully with a belt full of weapons. Therefore a healthy suspicion of police is a very healthy thing.

So no axe to grind as such, just looking to throw a little balance on the "police can do no wrong" assumption that many people make.

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Jimc64

I have came across both types in my life to be honest. I have met the smiley, friendly, helpful type who have a heart and are considerate whilst doing a very tough job, usually meeting opposition all day long. They've had a caring attitude and get the job done in the best possible way.

I've also met the in your face, do as you're told, unfriendly even aggressive type, short, abrupt etc.....There's not always a need for that and it doesn't sit well with me at the best of times.

The two who were at my door some time ago, fell, to some degree in to the latter category, short, abrupt, almost on a power trip somewhat.....

I am a fan of the police and they have a difficult job to do at the best of times, usually with little thanks

My son's girlfriend in currently in the police going through training, and 2 of my sons are also either considering joining and or have already submitted application forms

It makes me laugh as some people I know of call the police for everything, the usual names and or of course talk about snitching etc etc

They have some trauma of some kind in their life, who is the first people they call and ask for help????

Yep, you've guessed it, kinda hypocritical if you ask me.

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Tobermory

Have you had any update on whether they are actually going to charge you yet?

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Jimc64

Hi there.....As I stated in my original post....

The officers said they were verbally charging me with the alleged offence and it would be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

To date, I haven't heard anything back, but have been advised it could be months before I do, so it's a waiting game, which is pretty rubbish to be honest

Thanks

Jim

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IanC1546619985

The police turning up at your house some time after the incident and charging you with an offence doesn't satisfy the requirements of section 1 of the RTOA. The act states that a verbal warning of prosecution must be given at the time of the offence. There is case law which held that a warning given at the scene about 40 minutes after the incident but as soon as it was practical to do so was at the time. Days after the incident is not considered at the time. If a verbal warning wasn't given at the time then either a notice of intended prosecution or complaint must be served within 14 days.

A caveat to the above is that there is no requirement for a warning or NIP if there was an accident. An accident doesn't necessarily have to result in damage or injury. The courts have held that an untoward occurance, such as causing another vehicle to swerve but not actually crash, can still constitute an accident.

If you haven't been served a written NIP within 14 days and there was no accident then this should be a bar to any prosecution.

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Dan!Dan!Dan!

How could the Police verbally warn him at the time of the offence in these circumstances?

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