Do I Have To Incriminate Myself?

 

Question:

Can I be forced to provide driver information in relation to a speeding matter. The police are effectively trying to compel me to incriminate myself or somebody else. Is this a breach of my human rights? Can I be forced to provide this information?

Emma Says:

Unfortunately yes they can compel you with the threat of prosecution for failing to name if you don’t. This issue has been tested repeatedly at the European Court of human rights and they have found that the compulsion to provide driver information is proportionate to the need to maintain road safety.

You are not being required to admit speeding. You are simply being asked to provide information in relation to one element of the offence. Even if you admit that it was you driving, the police still have to prove that you drove a motor vehicle on a road at a speed exceeding the limit.

They have to prove all of these issues beyond reasonable doubt. You are simply providing them with evidence in relation to one aspect of the case, the identity of the driver. It is still up to you whether or not you want to plead guilty to speeding or accept a speeding ticket. You still have the right to say that you are not guilty and to try and cast a reasonable doubt.

If you refuse to provide the information you expose yourself to the serious risk of a charge of failing to name the driver which normally carries significantly more penalty points the original speeding matter and also the risk of far higher fines and court costs.



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