Speeding Offence in Dunfermline
When an accused person approaches us for representation in a case where they are subject to a totting-up ban (usually when they already have 9 penalty points on their licence) and wishes to do all that is possible to avoid the requisite 6 months disqualification, we are usually able to offer them two courses of action. Which one they chose really comes down to how hard they wish to fight for their driving entitlement.
The first option is to enter a plea of guilty and move the Court to assign a proof on exceptional hardship; the retention or otherwise of the licence will be decided by that process alone. As an alternative, and to maximise prospects of success, entering a plea of not guilty in the first instance (an inalienable right of any accused person) allows us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution evidence and affords us greater opportunity to make something happen in a case. Exceptional hardship can then be utilised as a ‘plan B’ in the event that the Crown is in a position to prove the substantive charge beyond reasonable doubt.
In this case, our client wisely took the decision to first plead not guilty. Experience told us that, having regard to the speed measurement device, location and nature of the applicable speed limit, that the Procurator Fiscal may have difficulty in piecing all of the essential evidential aspects of their case together. At trial, our prediction came true. An attempt to have the case adjourned to allow the Crown to rectify the deficiencies was quite properly refused by the presiding Justice. Proceedings were consequently deserted which, effectively, means our client was found not guilty.
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