Not guilty' motorists face court costs

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>
> 'NOT GUILTY' MOTORISTS FACE COURT COSTS
>
> Drivers acquitted of motoring charges will pay costs under new government
> scheme
>
> Could you afford to fight an unfair ticket?
>
> New regulations set to come into force later this month will see motorists
> forced to cough up court costs - even if they're found not guilty or
> acquitted of motoring offences.
>
> The government-inspired change to the current set-up - where drivers get
> costs refunded if they're innocent - is being implemented to save cash, in
> spite of fierce opposition from legal and motoring groups who were
> nominally 'consulted' before the new policy was drawn up.
>
> According to the Ministry of Justice, the age old principle of 'the loser
> pays' has been costing the government too much money. As a result the new
> rules make it clear that in future drivers will have to foot the bill for
> clearing their name. According to
>
<http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/research/2009/09/innocent-motorists-to-hav
e-reclaimed-legal-costs-slashed.html>The
> Taxpayers Alliance, that equates to 400,000 people, or one in four of
those
> who challenge a ticket.
>
> Now the Conservative party has joined the last ditch effort to derail the
> changes, and campaigners are looking for more signatories to a petition on
> the Number 10 website.
>
> To sign the petition:
> http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/CostsRecovery/
> __________________________________________
>
> AMOL press Release:
>
> Tories Back Protest Against the MOJ's New Costs Recovery Rules & Vote for
> Parliamentary Debate
>
> Current law dictates that if you have paid for legal representation and
are
> prosecuted for an offence and found not guilty, you will receive an order
> for your costs to be assessed and paid back by the court. However,
> according to the Ministry of Justice, this age old principle of "the loser
> pays" was costing the government too much money. A consultation was first
> announced in 2008 on restricting the costs the government has to pay as a
> result of losing so many cases.
>
> The consultation attracted responses from over 100 organisations and
> individuals. Responses included overwhelming opposition to the change in
> rules, as it was felt that if a person is proven innocent they should not
> be financially penalised with an extensive legal bill. The new rules, to
be
> implemented in October, will mean that even if a defendant is acquitted of
> an offence, they will be expected to foot the majority of their legal bill
> themselves.
>
> In June 2009, the MOJ announced their plans to go ahead with their rule
> changes regardless of the resistance. Jeanette Miller, President of the
> Association of Motor Offence Lawyers, was astounded that the MOJ ignored
> the opposition and steam-rollered ahead with changes in the rules. Not
> satisfied with the MOJ's complete disregard to the protests raised during
> the consultation process, she launched an e-petition live on the no.10
> website. To date the petition is backed by 3,559 signatures and the number
> is increasing every minute -
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/CostsRecovery.
>
> Miss Jeanette Miller of the Association of Motor Offence Lawyers (AMOL)
> comments:"I recognize that government spending may need to be reduced but
> it will be taxpaying motorists and small businesses who will be most
> penalized by the planned rule change. Saving money at the expense of
having
> a fair system with access to justice for all parties accused of a crime is
> not the answer. It will most likely result in increased costs as lawyers
> across the country are being briefed on a campaign to make wasted costs
> applications in every instance of CPS inefficiency which will result in
the
> CPS being forced to pay sums expected to far outweigh the amount the
> government are seeking to save.."
>
> The petition itself outlines the affect these rules will have on
motorists,
> as legal aid is not available for the majority of motoring prosecutions
and
> most members of the general public will appreciate the grave impact of the
> inability to defend a prosecution for a motoring offence being that there
> are currently around 27 million licence holders in the UK. However, if
> allowed to be implemented, the rule changes will also affect any defendant
> acquitted of a crime in the Magistrates' Court if they chose to instruct a
> lawyer who charges normal (not legal aid) rates. 1.4 million motorists
were
> prosecuted through the Magistrates' Courts in 2007.. 26% were found not
> guilty. This is a huge issue and until now, it seemed to be sweeping in
> under the carpet due to a lack of understanding of what it actually means
> to the average citizen on the street.
>
> So far the petition has support from the Law Society, dozens of QC's and
> the Criminal Bar Association have fully endorsed the sentiments behind the
> petition. The petition is also backed by the following organizations:
>
> 1. Association of Motor Offence Lawyers (AMOL);
> 2. Health and Safety Lawyers Association;
> 3. The Criminal Bar Association;
> 4. The Association of British Drivers;
> 5. Drivers' Alliance (responsible for the largest ever petition against
> road pricing who obtained 1.8 million signatures over a 3 month period);
and
> 6. The London Criminal Solicitors' Association;
> 7. The Taxpayers' Alliance; and
> 8. The AA.
>
> Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance said:"This
> proposal is unjust, unfair and will prevent innocent motorists from
> effectively fighting penalties. With police forces too often using speed
> cameras more to raise revenue than save lives, it is vital that people are
> given a fair opportunity to clear their names when given an unjust penalty
> charge; they shouldn't be financially punished if they are acquitted.
> Motorists will fight this to the hilt, and the Government is going to feel
> the full force of people power until it sees sense and backs down."
>
> Dominic Grieve QC MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and MP for
> Beaconsfield commented:
> "I entirely share your concern about these proposals and do not believe
> that it is right that the defendant should only receive a fraction of
their
> legal costs back from central funds if they are acquitted. While there may
> be an argument for preventing a claim for grossly excessive costs, the
> Government's proposals appear to me to be unfair and wrong."
>
> Since launching the petition, it has gathered increasing support from
> members of parliament. After spending an afternoon at the Houses of
> Parliament with Shadow Minister for Access to Justice, Henry Bellingham
MP,
> he made the decision to call for a committee to be selected to pray
against
> the new cost recovery rules, with a statutory instrument to be implemented
> at the end of October.
>
> Mr. Henry Bellingham MP is confident of a vote being organised within the
> next two weeks saying:
> "It is a disgrace that Ministers apparently have no intention of debating
> this issue in the House to justify themselves. That is why we will try to
> force a vote and a debate on the new regulations."
>
> Mr. Henry Bellingham MP went on to say:
>
> "If the Conservatives win the next election they will certainly wish to
> review this issue as far from saving money, it might actually trigger
> numerous additional cost that would far exceed the government's target to
> save £20 million per year."
>
> PRESS RELEASE ENDS
>
 

robertjrt

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The loser pays? err, not in my experience and the statement "Order for your Costs TO BE ASSESSED and paid by the Court" is fraught with financial dangers.

I give an example, my Costs of £35k were reduced to £28K, so even if you are successful at court and proved to be "Innocent" you may well be seriously out of pocket and thats not taking into account the time you spend dealing with the matter.
 

Quick Silver

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This is already happening .

2 years ago I was charged with "leaving the scene of an accident"
"failing to report"
"dangerouse driving"

I was supposed to have hit a workman carrying out road repairs , This workman was carrying out road repairs locally and he had taken the details and no of my vehicle.

It was reported 3 weeks after the so called event at a Police Station in Kent where he also attended a hospital somewhere else in Kent for his injuries also 3 weeks after the so called event ? I live in Essex.

It was proved to be an opertunistic scam to obtain money in compensation from my insurers ,but it could have left me losing my licence , never driving a taxicab again, a possible prison sentence ,a hefty fine, and a driving ban.

I was aquitted of all charges , my insurance company providing the legal representation but the claim for all my out of pocket expenses was never paid being "lost in the system" twice then rejected only some of my witnesses recieved their claims.

The workman was an Albanian immigrant , he was never charged .
It caused me 8 months of hassle and needless worry not to mention increased insurance costs.

My only driving conviction ever was a fixed penalty for SP30 (Driving @ 38 mph in a 30 limit @ 3.30am) in 43 years of driving.
 
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jberks

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Whoever said the law is an ass was being polite.
The legal system is specifically designed to ensure control by the authorities. Being Stalinistic, this government find freedom abhorrent so this change should be no surprise.

This particular trick isn't to reduce costs. The costs are minimal in the great scheme of things. Its to discourage honest citizens from bringing cases that embarress the authorities. After all, many changes recent to motoring law have been proven to have more to do with fundraising and control than safety and the govt doesn't want citizens winning the argument.
 

PeterCLK

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Just another dodgy move by the 3rd rate politicians we have in this country.
I am not surprised.
 

robertjrt

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Whoever said the law is an ass was being polite.
The legal system is specifically designed to ensure control by the authorities. Being Stalinistic, this government find freedom abhorrent so this change should be no surprise.

This particular trick isn't to reduce costs. The costs are minimal in the great scheme of things. Its to discourage honest citizens from bringing cases that embarress the authorities. After all, many changes recent to motoring law have been proven to have more to do with fundraising and control than safety and the govt doesn't want citizens winning the argument.

Costs are not the half of it, I have just been told that the date for my next Court hearing is the 20th of March 2010.
 

xavierx

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"According to the Ministry of Justice, the age old principle of 'the loser
pays' has been costing the government too much money"

Suely the answer then is to REDUCE THE AMMOUNT OF INNOCENT PEOPLE CHARGED ?

Or am I just mad?
 

Daz Of Naz

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Without trying to sound like a teenager - OMG!
What else can we do to screw that extra couple of pounds out of Darren's pocket? Mmmm...

If I ever have to go to court, I'll have to quit my job and then claim legal aid!
 
OP
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signed before. It has very serious legal implications. The main one being that even though you are innocent, you are effectively punished for a crime you didnt commit.

The way you have worded that does bring the message home,and cannot be right
 

Daz Of Naz

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I've put a link to the petition on Facebook. It needs some more names.
 

kelbenz

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This ranks alongside the other great idea proposed recently that in any collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle the motor vehicle will be deemed to be at fault. In fact the govements advisers are proposing that for insurance purposes the most powerful vehicle would always be at fault.
If you fancy a new car just run into the back of a truck it will be his fault.
http://www.motoringlawyersonline.co...s-to-be-blamed-for-all-crashes-with-cyclists/
 
OP
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This ranks alongside the other great idea proposed recently that in any collision between a cyclist and a motor vehicle the motor vehicle will be deemed to be at fault. In fact the govements advisers are proposing that for insurance purposes the most powerful vehicle would always be at fault.
If you fancy a new car just run into the back of a truck it will be his fault.
http://www.motoringlawyersonline.co...s-to-be-blamed-for-all-crashes-with-cyclists/


I wonder if I can fit a hilman imp engine in my 500SL
 

cleverdicky

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Just another dodgy move by the 3rd rate politicians we have in this country.
I am not surprised.

You have that wrong dont you?

They are not 3rd rate at all. I'd say they are now the most adept and corrupt they ever have been.

'Some' people were taken in and took advantage of the 24hr booze Vote.
Meanwhile, while lining their own pockets OUR family silver was flogged off cheap, house price inflation allowed to rocket creating the loans demand and successive banks crises and all the time there was further distraction by flooding the country with immigrants, that helped water down the votes by those remained.
Not to mention all the other dodgy deals & battles done for oil.
Nah, I'd say they know exactly what they're doing.

Just ask St. Tony Bliar. Long live the King
 

cleverdicky

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Oooh, Just remembered.

Convince the public that replacing those old trustworthy hereditary peers, and the system meant to avoid corruption was a bad thing. You know, the life long historic ones (that couldn't be bought be bought but governed politicians decisions) with any old corrupt tom dick Mandelson or Michael Martin.

Yep, got a good deal there.
 

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