Tag Archives: postal requisition

I have received a postal requisition – what should I do?

Since the change in the rules relating to police bail a postal requisition has, in many cases, replaced a formal police charge in bringing a defendant to court.

What is a postal requisition?

postal requisitionA postal requisition is a summons to court, telling a defendant what they have been charged with.  It will also contain the date and time that you must attend a particular Magistrates’ Court.

They will be used in cases where the police do not seek bail conditions.  They will be appropriate where there is no language or communication problems and there is a known fixed address for the defendant.


When will I receive one?

Although a postal requisition will be used in motoring offences in a similar way that a summons would have been issued, they are also used for a wide range of criminal offences including the most serious.

As a result, if you have been interviewed by the police as either a volunteer or while under arrest and been released under investigation the first thing you hear about the outcome of the investigation might be the postal requisition.

Unfortunately, the timing of the requisition will be hard to predict.  It could be received within weeks of a police interview, or months afterwards.

What happens if I don’t attend court?

If you fail to attend court in answer to the postal requisition then it is likely that a warrant without bail will be issued for your immediate arrest.  This means that the police will arrest and detain you at a police station in order to bring you before the next available sitting Magistrates’ Court.  This could be on a Saturday or Bank Holiday and you could spend many hours in custody.

Bearing in mind the possible delay in sending the requisition it is extremely important that you check your post regularly and keep the police informed of any change of address to avoid an unnecessary arrest.

postal requisition
A helpful reminder outside our Chesterfield office

If we have provided you with free and independent legal advice in your police interview then we will make regular contact with the police to ensure that you know what is happening with the investigation.  We will be able to keep the police informed on your behalf of any changes of address.  We will also be able to tell you when the investigation has been concluded and if you are likely to have to go to court.

Even if we have not advised you in interview, please feel free to contact us afterwards.  We will be able to advise you on the likelihood of further interviews, and provide the same service to you as we would to those who we represented in interview.

What should I do if I receive a postal requisition?

Hopefully you will have already taken advantage of our free and independent legal advice at the police station so in those circumstances simply contact the lawyer at this firm who dealt with your case.

We will be able to provide you with advice as to the availability of criminal legal aid or discuss private funding with you.  We will also be able to make a request for the papers in your case prior to the first hearing and begin to take instructions and advise you as to plea.

postal requisition
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

This will ensure that you have representation at this all important first hearing and will have investigated any defence that you might wish to put forward.

If you did not have representation in interview or this was from a different solicitor, then we will still be more than happy to receive your instructions in your case.  Please contact your nearest office when you receive the postal requisition.

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:


Postal Requisition out of Time

derby criminal solicitor Nick Wright
Derby criminal defence solicitor Nick Wright

Derby crime solicitor Nick Wright recently represented a client who had been subject to a ‘postal requisition’ bringing him before Derby Magistrates’ Court for an allegation of Disorderly Conduct.

The system of postal requisition has replaced the old summons in order to commence court proceedings.  Strict time limits apply to many cases.

Case commenced by postal requisition

The allegation was one that perhaps ought to have been given priority by the police.  It involved an allegation from a local Member of Parliament who maintained that a vehicle had been driven past her while she was attending to her bins.  The driver, as the vehicle went by, was said to have shouted ‘I hope you die’, swearing and using additional abusive language.

postal requisition court summons Derby crime solicitor
Derby Magistrates’ Court

The complainant had the presence of mind to take the registration number of the vehicle as well as its description, and was able to describe the driver.

The police believed that the incident arose due to the MP’s political beliefs.

Admitted Presence

On arrest, Nick’s client admitted that he was the driver of the vehicle, accepted that he had been shouting, but denied that he was shouting at the MP.  He denied knowing she was on the road, and stated that the shouting was during an argument and the circumstances meant that he was not guilty of the offence.

Always read the small print

There was not an opportunity for the matter to be argued at trial.  As the charge could only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court it was subject to a 6 month time limit to start proceedings.  In fact, proceedings were authorised nearly a month after this time limit expired.  As a result, once Nick identified this as an issue and spoke with the prosecutor, the prosecution had no alternative but to withdraw the charge.

Contact a Derby Criminal Defence Solicitor

If you are being investigated by the police or face court proceedings then you will need a solicitor to take the time to examine all of the evidence, including whether a postal requisition has been properly issued in time.

Nick Wright can be contacted by telephone on 01332 546818 or by email here.  Details of our Derby Office can be found here.