I have received a court summons for allegedly ‘going through a red light’, which the officer who pulled me over and who has submitted his witness statement says had been red for ‘two or three seconds’ before I went through it.
That is completely inaccurate, as the light turned yellow just before I went through it, and it was too late to stop safely. I did not go through a red light, and I did not accept the penalty notice, choosing instead to receive the summons and defend myself in court. I have now received the summons and am trying to fill it out and return it.
I am just trying to get my head around some of the implications. I am definitely going to court. Although it may have been ‘easier’ in the long run to accept the fine and points, I refuse to be bullied into accepting a crime I didn’t commit. I am trying to ascertain whether or not I should be making the officer come to court as a witness or not? It gives me the option on the summons, but I don’t know if it is necessary. At the end of the day there are no witnesses or evidence other than myself and the officer who alleges the offence.
As far as I can tell the best I can do is outline my professional character, draw attention to my stellar driving profile (20,000 miles in three years without as much as a parking ticket), and highlight that the officer is mistaken and has no witnesses to support his mistaken opinion (for example, I believe a speeding offence would require two officers to witness and corroborate each other?).
I suppose my question here is, as I am definitely not pleading guilty, do I bring the officer to court as a witness or can I simply argue against his ‘witness statement’ without him present, and how on earth do you defend yourself when it is one man’s word against the other? Surely the burden of proof is on them? Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
79% of people who plead not guilty to road traffic offences get convicted in the magistrates court so handle this with care. In theory the argument is straightforward. You have to cast a reasonable doubt in the minds of the magistrates. The officer has to convince them beyond reasonable doubt for you to be convicted.
So in rough terms a 90% burden on him and a 10% burden on you.
All nice in theory but when you are in a court room against a CPS lawyer and an officer used to giving evidence on oath you will struggle.
There is no point in putting anything other than not guilty on the court forms. The court will not drop the case.
I get the CPS to drop 83% of the cases I take on without trial but that involves persuading a lawyer that the police have made a mistake.
In red light offences there is no need to corroborate the officer’s opinion like they have to in speeding cases. If you deny what the officer is saying you cannot accept his statement in writing. You need to have the chance to cross examine him if he is saying you went through on red or amber.
Your good character will help and the court will give weight to what you have to say.
If you want my help you will stand a better chance. I assume you deny that you went through on red or amber from what you have said?