Last Updated on 15.2.23 by Amanda McIntosh
If you open the post one morning and there is a notice of fine or endorsement from the Magistrates’ Court in respect of a motoring conviction which you know nothing about, don’t panic as you can make a Statutory Declaration. Once the court receives your Statutory Declaration the conviction will be set aside, and the proceedings will start again from the beginning.
This scenario is not uncommon, but you need to act fast. You must contact your local Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of discovering that you have been convicted in your absence of a motoring offence.
You will need to complete a statutory declaration (ignorance of proceedings form) explaining when and how you heard about your court case. You will also need to provide details of the case, including where the hearing was held and on what date.
The court will then arrange a date for you to make your statutory declaration, and you will need to swear an oath confirming that you were not aware of the proceedings. It is important to note, that any person who knowingly and willingly makes a statutory declaration which is false is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for a period of up to 2 years, or a fine, or both (section 5 of the Perjury Act 1911).
Once the conviction has been set aside you will need to confirm your plea in respect of the original offence (s) and the court may proceed to sentence if you are pleading guilty or adjourn the matter for trial if pleading not guilty.
Our team of Specialist Road Traffic Defence lawyers here at Gorvins LLP are able to assist with this legal process, guiding you through the different stages and arranging expert representation to ensure the matter is resolved.