Mobile Phone Trial Success
Chesterfield crime solicitor David Gittins travelled to Rotherham Magistrates’ Court to represent a local client facing an allegation of using their mobile phone whilst driving.
This offence has recently been in the media as the proposal is the raise the number of penalty points on conviction to six. Such a conviction would particularly effect new drivers, who would face revocation of their licence upon conviction.
The allegation in this case was that David’s client had been seen by a police officer driving a work van whilst using his mobile phone. Specifically he was seen holding it to his ear. Our client was stopped at the roadside and denied the offence. He offered his phone to the Police to check. They refused to do so.
The driver received a summons. This ordered him to appear before Rotherham Magistrates Court.
David’s client represented himself to start with. He pleaded ‘not guilty’. He told the court that he had not been using his phone. The court advised him to get evidence of this.
Anyone who has tried to obtain all outgoing and incoming call records will know that most major network providers will refuse to release them without a witness summons. This is issued by the court. Our client was unaware of this and when facing difficulties securing the necessary evidence he contacted David.
David immediately contacted the phone provider and obtained the relevant information for all outgoing calls. For incoming calls and all data usage, David successfully made an application to the Court for a Witness Summons. This secured the release of the information.
David then served this evidence on the Prosecution. It supported what his client had said. The phone was not in use at the time. He asked that the prosecution review the case.
Unfortunately for the client and the court, the prosecution maintained it did not have time to properly review the case before trial. Instead, it suggested the case be adjourned. The case had been before the court for some months. David’s client was understandably anxious. David objected to the prosecution application.
As a result all parties attended Court. David repeated his representations to the prosecution. After a short wait, and no doubt interesting conversations between the CPS lawyer and police witness, the prosecution offered no evidence. The client had the benefit of a ‘not guilty’ verdict.
This case shows the benefits of instructing an experienced Solicitor. David was able to make an early decision about what to do to obtain the mobile phone records. All preparation was directed to show that his client was not guilty of the offence.
Although common sense would say that some things, like your own mobile phone records, should be simple to obtain, this often is not the case. Unfortunately, court procedure may mean that you seem require the need of expert legal knowledge.
Legal aid is often not available in such cases. Here, David was instructed privately. An affordable fixed fee was agreed to conduct the trial. Information about funding can be found here.
As our client won his case, David was able to apply for costs from central funds which will mean that the client will have his costs refunded.
Should you wish to contact Chesterfield crime solicitor David Gittins to discuss an offence involving a mobile phone, please telephone him at our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000 or email him here.