How to Make Statutory Declarations - Patterson Law
What are Statutory Declarations?
There are occasions when people can be convicted of traffic offences and yet know nothing of the proceedings.
This usually occurs when the registers address of the vehicle hasn’t been kept up to date and so the summons was sent to a previous address. Sometimes it occurs for people who have recently moved house and the summons was again sent to your old residence.
If you have problems with the post being delivered to your house this can also explain not receiving the summons.
Whatever the reason for you not being aware of the summons, it is deemed unfair if you are convicted of a traffic offence without any knowledge that there were ongoing proceedings.
The use of Statutory Declarations is a way to set aside (void) the original proceedings.
As long as you make a statutory declaration inside twenty one days from when you are made aware that there are either proceedings ongoing or you have received a conviction without your knowing about it, then the proceedings against you will be deemed void.
At this point the Court will usually either void the proceedings completely, or will set aside your conviction in order to allow you the option of pleading not guilty and contesting the matter.
It is important to bear in mind that it might not be in your best interests to use the statutory declarations procedure if you are going to accept that you were indeed guilty of the alleged offence.
There is a very good chance if you void the conviction that the CPS will continue with the prosecution against you and you could then end up being convicted again or possibly having to plead guilty to the offence because you don’t have a suitable defence against the allegations.
For people who want to plead not guilty to the allegations that are being made, you have 21 days from becoming aware of proceedings in which to do so.
In order to do so, you should speak with the Court that issued the conviction so that you can attend court and appear before a Justice of the Peace.
Magistrates are quite used to the procedure and will normally assist you.
It is important to note that if anything you state later turns out to be untrue you could be prosecuted for perjury, on offence that almost always carries a prison sentence.
How do I make a Statutory Declaration?
You must complete the following form and take it to court with you.
This information needs to be 100% accurate.
At court you will be required to read the declarations on the form in the presence of the Justice of the Peace.
You will then sign it and it will be countersigned by the Justice of the Peace who has just witnessed it.
Once you have done this, the court will either set aside the part of the proceedings that you missed, or the whole of proceedings and will also notify the CPS that they are doing so.
This will allow you to defend the allegation if the Prosecution decide to continue with it.
The sentence issued from the original conviction will be set aside also, along with any orders of the court pertaining to the original conviction.
The form that you need to complete and deliver to Court should read;
Statutory Declarations Act 1835
I (name) of (address) do solemnly and sincerely declare that:
(Specify the matter to be declared)
(e.g. "I did not know about the proceedings against me at XYZ Magistrates Court in relation to an allegation of speeding which resulted in me convicted in my absence on the 4th October 2010 until the 19th December 2010 when I received a call from the court bailiffs telling me that there was a fine outstanding in my
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1835.
Dated the (date) (Signature of the person making the declaration)
Declared before me (Signature of the Justice of the Peace)
Justice of the Peace for the County of
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A new client came to us after being banned by the Magistrates for 6 months. He had accumulated 12 points within 3 years and the Magistrates court banned him for 6 months. The client tried to argue exceptional hardship on his own and the court rejected his argument.
Our client instructed us to represent him at court when he was charged with overloading a hired minibus. He had hired the minibus as he had his extended family visiting for a holiday. At the same time builders were refurbishing his house and asked him if he could help them collect some extra sand and cement. Our client agreed and they went with him to the DIY shop to collect the materials.
Our client was stopped on the way back home for overloading. He was devasted by the charge and the subsequent court proceedings, due to the fact that it was an innocent mistake and he was in the process of applying for an indefinite leave to remain in the UK visa.
He approached many so called motoring lawyers before us who told him to plead guilty and take the fine and points. We acted on his behalf and made a special reasons argument and also an argument under s.48 RTOA 88. The court agreed not to give any points and to impose an absolute discharge meaning that the conviction was imediately spent.
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