Worried About Court Costs

Question:

My husband was stopped by one policeman on his way to work on Monday.

He advised that he was not on the phone but the policeman said he saw my husband’s hand by his ear and his mouth was moving.

My husband tried to show his phone to the police officer to show he was not on the phone, but the policeman had a quick look saw there was an unread text message and a missed call and said see you were on the phone. The call was missed as it had not been answered but this did not seem to make a difference and he was not very interested in looking at the call history. He did ring my husband’s phone number to make sure it was the right one.

He advised that my husband could pay £60 and get 3 penalty points or pay £100 and attend a course; my husband did not feel he should do either so the policeman said he would have to go to court then.

My husband took his driving licence into the Police station later that day and told them the same story and that he would ask the phone company for records so he could prove. He said he didn’t feel he should pay as he had done nothing wrong, the phone was in the front of the car but he had not been holding or using it in any way. They advised it would be best to pay as he had no real chance of winning in court and would likely end up having to pay £1000 and get 4 penalty points.

We can not afford to pay £1000 and penalty points could mean he could lose his job as he has a company van and the firm is very strict about mobile phone use of any type (even hands-free) in their vans. The risk of losing in this case is very high and therefore we feel we have no choice but to pay £100 even though there is no crime. We feel very frustrated and disappointed at being wrongfully accused and that the word of what one policeman thought he saw is enough to cause all of this.

My husband is a very careful driver and has never had any offences previously.

Please could you give us some advice as we are at a loss what to do.

Paula Says:

If you husband takes the matter to court and loses he will still only be at risk of 3 points. You have been misadvised in that regard.

There is a risk of higher fines and court costs but they are unlikely to be £1000 – that’s the maximum that can be imposed.

If your husband does want to contest the matter then the phone records will help.

I defend over 95% of allegations and get over 83% withdrawn without trial. If we were to win your husband would get back his reasonable legal expenses.

I do charge private fees though and to try and get a case withdrawn without trial I charge a fixed fee of £600 plus vat.

Come back to me if you would like my help with this matter.



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