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Not stopped by Gardai for alleged offence.

Opened post today. €80 fine and two penalty points for crossing continuous white line. Never stopped or even saw a Garda. Is this possible? What are my options? Tim..

Hi Tim.  I presume this is a fixed penalty notice. Any chance that you were caught on a speed camera? Were you in the place at the time the notice says you committed the offence?  There is no obligation on a Garda to stop you or bring this to your attention, except to issue the fixed penalty notice as soon as possible. But you are entitled to a copy of the photograph if taken– ask them for this as soon as possible. You should know that there is a legal assumption that the registered owner is driving the car unless otherwise stated.

You also have the right to contact the Guard and ask him or her about the circumstances of what happened.  If the Guard is certain that he or she saw you do this and you yourself know that you were there at the time and you were driving, and the photograph (if it exists) bears this out then you should consider paying the fine and taking the penalty points.  The alternative would be to allow the case go to Court, defend it and if you lose there would be a higher fine and higher penalty points involved.

If you allow the case to go to court then it is a matter for the judge to decide who is correct on their opinion of crossing the line – you or the Garda. But be warned – usually there are 2 Gardai in a car so both may give evidence.

After that it’s up to the judge to decide if there is a reasonable doubt about the accuracy of the Garda evidence and if there is or say if there was serious delay in getting the Fixed Penalty Notice to you (and you couldn't reasonably remember the circumstances) you are entitled to an acquittal.

My advice is however don’t go to court on this case without a solicitor. An experienced legal representative will know exactly what will be acceptable and what will not – and you will be risking extra penalty points (or maybe more) in the process.

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