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1st time in court by mistake, what to do?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
From what I remember... I was arrested after calling the police to help me having been attacked late at night. I was very drunk, bleeding and abusive so the police arrested me and took me to hospital and then to the cell. I have no prior experience of the police and thought i could speak in confidence to a police officer the next day. Without any intention of going to court, I queried my charge because i was simply confused and the 80GBP fine is a lot to me. Because of this stupid mistake I now have to appear in court :banghead: I sent a letter to try and reverse the decision and pay the fine but to no avail. What i am most concerned about is getting a criminal record. Any advice for the court appearance (which is in a week)? thanks :)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    whatd you get charged with ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    sry, drunk & disorderly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    have you saw a solicitor yet?

    if you've a clean record and it looks like a one off incident you can get your solicitor to write to the PPS and request an adult caution

    i was charged with disorderly behaviour a few years back and managed to get away with just a caution!

    :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i spoke to one who said write a letter (which didnt work) or see the duty solicitor at trial. I feel it's too late now to write another letter although I will think about it. This is how i ended up with a trial:

    was asked, in my cell, whether i want to pay the fine or take it to court

    i accept the fine

    an hour later i am about to be released and ask for a solicitor

    i am told there is no solicitor and pointed towards another officer

    i merely ask about what would happen if i challenge the charge (still worried about a conviction on my record), and then BAM he says i now have to go to court :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    who did the solicitor tell you to write a letter to? my solicitor wrote to the PPS on my behalf

    sounds like the officers you dealt with were wankers, me and my mate spent 6 hours in a cell over that 'disorderly behaviour' charge because we disagreed with them. unfortunately theres not much ya can do about it, their word against yours n all that, you don't really have a leg to stand on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i wrote it to the pps

    just going to turn up to court by myself and look sorry i guess....

    such bs, the cops were wankers, the system is lame, waste of time

    thanks for your input mate
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    come to think of it .. as its a fixed fine does it count as a conviction?

    i got fined 90 quid for drinking in public a few months back and my solcitor said it was a civil case, not criminal, so wouldnt go on record
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    just googled there and seems like your outta luck mate, some cop posted this up on another site
    The £80 ticket is a fixed penalty ticket, issued for one of a number of offences (probably the most are issued for being drunk and disorderly).

    Fortunately for you the £80 tickets are NOT recorded as a conviction. I am 100% definite on this.

    If you were not previously recorded on the PNC (Police National Computer) then that is still the case. You have nothing to disclose.

    The fixed penalty in question are commonly known as 'Fixed penalties for disorder'. I have issued plenty of these and explained them to detained persons on issue. One of the criteria is that if they accept the penalty then they will it will not be recorded as a conviction. If they did not accept the fine they would end up in court, and if found guilty then it would be classed as a conviction. Obviously this encourages more people to accept the penalty.

    Any person arrested for a recordable offence will have photo, prints and DNA taken. This does not mean you have a criminal record.

    so unless somehow you manage to get away with it in court it looks like your fucked

    id get to a decent solicitor in the meantime and stress that you didn't refuse to accept the fine, you just asked for a solicitor .. mightnt be of much use at this stage tho!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thing is, will any solicitor take my case? ive heard that even the duty solicitor on the day will not help out
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Slightly confused by this one. It sounds like there have been some issues with procedure, and frankly issues of procedure make or break cases. I'd be surprised if you were not entitled to some representation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    how do i go about that, ask beforehand or use the duty solicitor?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You can't JUST be issued a penalty notice. One of the main caveats of the system is that the person being issued the notice has to accept it.

    When the ticket was written out you should have been offered a choice, and the conscequences of each should have been explained to you.

    1).Accept the ticket
    A)You will have to pay the fine within so many days.
    B)Once you have paid the fine you will have a skeleton police record (NOT a criminal record) This is so if the police arrest you they can find out how many tickets you have been issued and for what. The police record in this case is NOT disclosable to anyone unless you have an enhanced CRB check. ie if you apply to join the police.
    C)Accepting the ticket means you are discharging your liability. You have been arrested, charged and tried. You won't have a criminal record.

    2)By NOT accepting the ticket or by not paying for a ticket you have accepted you have to attend court. At court the judge will be told that you have been offered a ticket and it will be for him to decide on your guilt. If you are found guilty the fine is normally higher than the original ticket, often by at least double. You will also recieve a criminal record.
    If the judge finds you not guilty then the matter is closed, and you go home.
    My best advice (assuming you wanted to accept the ticket and got confused) is to explain this to the judge. Show him the evidence you have of sending letters trying to accept a ticket and try and appeal to his better nature.
    He may send the case back to the CPS and instruct them to issue a ticket, or he may not.

    I hope some of this makes things a bit clearer. It seems that at some point you have inadvertantly refused the ticket, make this clear and you might get lucky.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just a slight aside, there's a lot of stuff other than applying for the police that requires an enhanced CRB.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just a slight aside, there's a lot of stuff other than applying for the police that requires an enhanced CRB.


    I know, it was an example. Pretty much anything where you're working with children, in a position of trust over other people or in the legal profession, but the fact that you were issued a PND wouldn't disqualify you from a job as accepting one is a discharge of guilt.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Back from court. My solicitor is trying to get me an adult caution, which would be sweet. The case has been adjourned for several weeks...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To me it sounds like they took advantage of the fact you were drunk "most vulnerable when drunk" afterall. Best of luck with it, but its worrying that you can be attacked (so, presumably not altogether with it) and drunk and the police can extract a plea from you like that.

    It's not too far a step from drugging people up before an interview. I think it's especially bad you asked for legal representation / advice (as is your right) and they denied you that right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    f.simpson wrote: »
    Back from court. My solicitor is trying to get me an adult caution, which would be sweet. The case has been adjourned for several weeks...


    Good luck with it.

    To Shyboy, i agree. The PND guidelines state quite clearly that the person must understand what is being offered in the ticket, and they cannot be issued to someone who is drunk or doesn't understand (although drunken people are normally locked up overnight to sober up.....).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Good luck with it.

    To Shyboy, i agree. The PND guidelines state quite clearly that the person must understand what is being offered in the ticket, and they cannot be issued to someone who is drunk or doesn't understand (although drunken people are normally locked up overnight to sober up.....).

    Thanks. Yeah this is what really pisses me off, and being refused a lawyer.

    They have now decided to reject the caution plea and the CPS are charging me with resisting arrest (because I tried to stop the officer putting me into a police van). FFS :mad:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    f.simpson wrote: »
    Thanks. Yeah this is what really pisses me off, and being refused a lawyer.

    They have now decided to reject the caution plea and the CPS are charging me with resisting arrest (because I tried to stop the officer putting me into a police van). FFS :mad:

    http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Do you think I have an argument here? I mean, I was an arsehole to the police....

    Would this affect the court case?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You'd still be prosecuted, how the police have handled you doesn't automatically mean you aren't guilty.

    But from what you've said the police could have done things better. Issuing a PND to someone who is drunk or someone who hasnt been made to understand the process is unacceptable, at least in my force.

    I'd agree you have cause from complaint, but I don't know how (if at all) it would affect the court case. You really need a solicitor.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm getting really confused by this whole case.

    I was taken to the police cell so that a D&D PND could be issued to me in the morning, when i was sober. Not knowing the severity of a PND and its consequences, I asked to speak to a solicitor. I was told "ok" and yet an hour later was released from my cell and had a PND issued to me without said solicitor...??? I again asked for a solicitor but was told none were available, but to raise my concerns to a police officer. This resulted in me being taken to court for disputing the D&D. Now they are bringing up resisting arrest because my lawyer didn't read the 2nd half of the police statement :banghead:
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