Seeing the Prosecution Case

barrister

When you receive a speeding ticket through the post, telling you that the driver of your car will be prosecuted and – if you don’t fill in the form and tell who the driver was – you will get 6 points; you might think that, before you do anything, you have a right to see the evidence. Well you would be wrong! In the majority of cases the only time you will see the prosecution case against you is if you plead not guilty. For a motoring lawyer advising a client who has received a speeding ticket the most that can be done, without sight of the prosecution evidence, is to advice generally on the basis of what the client can remember about the incident.

Remember, that if you simply plead guilty after receiving a speeding ticket then nobody is likely to look at the evidence: certainly not the Magistrates’ as they will simply deal with you on the basis that you are a speeding motorist who has accepted his guilt. If you are happy to simply plead guilty on the strength of a speeding ticket and the say so of a clerk in a police central ticket office (or a traffic enforcement officer i.e. not a trained police officer) then that must be your decision.

My point is this, if you plead guilty to a speeding allegation then you are accepting that you are guilty of a criminal offence. If a police officer stopped you in the street and said that you had just been caught on video stealing from a department store would you simply say “alright officer if you say so then I must be guilty”? But that is exactly what you are doing by pleading guilty after receiving a speeding ticket, when you choose to go along with what the police are saying and take no steps to find out whether or not they do have a proper case against you. I have seen too many mistakes over the years to have full confidence in what is alleged in any summons shown me by a client. My view is that one should always attempt to see the evidence before entering a guilty plea, to a speeding or other allegation, and I think that this is the view of most barrister and solicitor speeding specialists.