well in shock and don't know what to think - Headway


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well in shock and don't know what to think

irishrose48 profile image

today we got a letter saying my hubby is being charged for driving without due care and attention ? I don't understand why as no police have been here and as you know scott has no memory of the smash what so ever ,he has decided to plead not guilty due to the fact he has no memory of this ? he said how can I plead guilty to something I have no memory of we have filled in the forms to say he pleading not guilty and no doubt there will be a triall,am now scared what all this will lead to

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Oh dear. We have had almost exactly the same problem. Were the DVLA informed about Scott's brain injury? By law they have to be informed and then they decide whether or not to allow the person to drive. In our case, they got my husband to have a special driving test that also tested his responses and mental ability. He passed with flying colours - they then asked for a neurological report and refused to let him drive again, ever. If Scott is driving without the DVLA and his insurance company knowing about his problems, he will almost certainly not be covered by his insurance.

I would seriously suggest you see a solicitor. Apart from anything else, as a vulnerable person, Scott should not be interviewed without someone with him. Has he got one of the cards (available from Headway) that say 'I am the survivor of a brain injury. I may have problems with my memory, speech or actions. Your help and patience would be appreciated'. (Of course, he has to remember he has it to present in cases like this.) Mike doesn't ever remember that he has one. When he had to be interviewed by the police recently over another matter, I insisted that they did not speak to him until he had a representative with him.

Don't let him drive again until you have cleared it with the DVLA and your insurance company. If he had a big accident he could find he has no insurance to pay for repairs and any compensation if it was his fault. Also, as in my husband's case, in the event of an accident the other party (if they realised his memory was a problem) could put all the blame on him, even if it wasn't his fault, and he wouldn't remember what had really happened.

Sorry to be full of so much doom and gloom, but we have had very similar problems to this in the last year so have a pretty good idea of how serious it could be. Luckily we had a couple of friends in the police who helped us understand all this.

irishrose48 profile image
irishrose48 in reply to Hidden

scott was a dpd driver when he had the smash his head injury is a result of the smash scott has not driven since the smash as dvla has revoked it for 6 months to give his brain time to heal

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Hidden in reply to irishrose48

Oh OK. That is much better, I thought you meant he had been driving since the injury. I would seriously suggest a solicitor, though. Presumably there were witnesses to the crash and a solicitor could get hold of their statements to find out what evidence there is about liability. Does DPD have any insurance to cover their drivers (although I think they are self-employed aren't they?). Is there some sort of federation for delivery drivers that might be able to help or could Scott's own insurance cover some legal help for you? It's worth finding out as it sounds as though he could do with some legal help.

Good luck with it all. Sorry it's not more helpful. I really would suggest that you get hold of one of the Headway cards though as it might be helpful if there are any more problems.

Agreed you need a solicitor, It may not come to trial. rather depends on the details. I assume other people and/or property was hurt at the same time? a solicitor would hopefully find out why he has been charged.

I would assume they would ask Scott for a interview, even if Scott can't remember. Try not to worry and hopefully you can find out more soon as reality tends to be better than ones imagination.

I'm sure you're entitled to know on what evidence the charge is based Susan. Did the police interview Scott at the scene or in hospital and accuse him of Driving without due care ?

The main issues are the extent of the damage and whether others were injured in the collision. Do the police have video footage (surveillance camera) or anecdotal evidence...................... from one person or more than one ??

I think you need to phone the station and ask to speak to the officer involved and ask him these questions, whilst explaining that Scott has suffered Retrograde amnesia and therefore cannot plead one way or the other.

If Scott has discharge notes from the hospital they can back up this issue, otherwise it might be a good idea to request a letter from either his GP or the hospital for confirmation of his memory loss.

There's a lot you can do yourselves if this is just a clearing-up exercise but, as others have said, if the matter starts to look complicated get the help of a solicitor.

It beats me why the police have waited all this time to contact Scott about the accident but, whatever you do Susan, don't let them tie either of you in knots ........... get a solicitor.

Good luck m'love ; hope it's all done & dusted quite painlessly ! Cat xxx

I am assuming you had a notice of intended prosecution ? Or is it a specific letter ?

The essence of prosecuting drivers is to obviously punish them for misdeeds and also award licence points to remove persistent offenders from the road,s. Since your husband has effectively surrendered his licence then post accident and injury then one aim of the potential prosecution has been achieved. In that your husband is no longer a risk to other road users.

Whilst your husband can not remember the events pre or post incident there may be sufficient evidence to support a prosecution. However, considering that this is on the lower end of the summonsable offences then I doubt whether the Police or the Courts service will have much interest in pursuing the matter further once the know the full circumstances of your family's situation.

Before going to see a solicitor I would ask to meet the officer in charge of the case in the local Police station, Explain that you are not trying to dispute the prosecution but that your husband cannot remember the facts around the incident and there isnt an option between guilty and not guilty for "i don't know" and invite him to meet your husband.

This will achieve a lot more than a solicitor getting involved immediately as this often looks like you are trying to wriggle out of the offence. If the prosecution isn't dropped then go and see a solicitor. If it does go to court then you can demonstrate that you have made efforts to resolve the matter by removing your husband from the roads, visiting the prosecuting officer pre-court. This approach scores quite highly with magistrates.

it was just a letter that came throu the post saying charges driving without due care and attention ? we have no police here since july last year ? scott has also said if he is guilty he would hold his hands up no problem and plead guilty but as you know he as no memory.and dvla asked for his licence back due to head injury.the letter also said if you plead not guilty that we need to send in back to Lincoln court which we have it was just scott and other driver that was hurt.we have had nothing to say they was going down this route

Is this a summons for court?

Sorry to read this, it must be really upsetting.

You are right to put "not guilty" it is up to the Prosecution to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt and so on..... Innocent till proven guilty and all that.

I agree with exhaustedwife. Get some legal advice before Scott goes to court.

Driving without due care and attention is classed as a strict liability offence.

This means you commit the offence even if it was a genuine accident and you had no intention to drive in such a way.

It doesn’t matter if you are inexperienced, or if it was a simple error of judgement.

There are defences to the charge ( including becoming unwell whilst driving) but you need to get some advice legally in my view.

Sorry you are so upset ..... the police might be going on what the other driver said and any witnesses. It does not mean that they are right but there must be something on the file for the Crown Prosecution to look at it going to court.

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Hidden in reply to TiredNan

Not Crown Prosecution ..... it will go to a local Magistrates Court.

I'd agree that you should get legal advice asap. Ask for free phone consultation with them and I think you may get a no win , no fee deal. Good luck

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If Scott pleads guilty he will receive 3 points and a £100 fine. That's it. A solicitor to fight that would cost in excess of £100 ..... its balancing the cost.

[S3RTA I suspect].

He can plead guilty by post unless there is a specific requirement for him to stand in court. If he does he can offer a Doctor's letter as to his state of mind as well as detail of the rescinding of his licence.

Having no knowledge of an offence is not a defence to the commission of an offence. If there was a second party involved then they too may also have been charged with DWDCA.

There's also the matter of any past misdemeanours recorded on the licence.

I was charged with driving whilst uninsured, no MOT and Road Tax [as it was then] in 1967. Fined Five Quid told not to do it again and I didn't come out of my coma until a month after the hearing. Not losing any sleep over it at all.

Mind you, as I'm an intractible epileptic a driving licence is not a possibility for me.

Good luck.

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Should of added: It may well be the evidence for the offence comes from witnesses present at the time and whose statements have been recorded at the scene or shortly after. If you try to fight that when there's no knowledge from the driver you will lose.

Its highly likely that if found in favour of the evidence given Scott's injuries, outlook and feasible loss of earning potential, the Magistrate will look kindly on Scott.

We are not trying to deny anything he had 2 choices quilt or not guilty there isn't one for I don't know I will let him have his day in court at least this way he may get the understanding of what went off that day

Good luck to you Rose and to Scott. I think you are right. in what you say and how you feel.

As you say he has no idea what happened and that does not make him guilty of an offence. just because he cannot remember.

He has a right to know what has happened.

I'm really sorry that you have all this on you, you could do without all the stress.

thinking of you and sending all good wishes x

i think at least this way he will know what happened on that day and if he is found guilty and least he will know why ,anf if they fine him and ban him so be it at least he will know what for x

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Just a quick one Rose, on the day ask to see Courts solicitor before you appear. It is your right to be represented and unless theyve done away with that they could at least advise you on the plea.

i was going to say happy new year rose but thats not appropriate now!!! to back up your not guilty plea you need to get all his medical evidence together

we may have news on that as scott now needs to see the stroke team and he off to doctors tomz so I will ask if it was a stroke he had at the wheel of the van

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