Speeding: Are you actually guilty? – BBC Radio
Motoring offence solicitor Marcus Johnstone recently spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live regarding the thousands of speeding convictions that could be overturned on the M42 motorway after it recently emerged that warning signs did not have official approval and should have not been used to enforce the speed limit.
Marcus has successfully defended a large number of clients accused of speeding on the M42, in the last few months alone;
- Mr L was summonsed to appear at Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court after allegedly speeding at 103mph in a 70mph area. This case was discontinued before it ever reached trial with the CPS offering no evidence.
- Mr K was summonsed to appear at Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court after allegedly speeding at 68mph in a 40mph zone on the M42. This case was also discontinued before ever reaching trial. Again, the CPS offered no evidence.
- Mr J was summonsed to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates’ Court after allegedly speeding at 102mph in a 70mph zone on the M42. The case was discontinued before a Case Management Hearing as the CPS offered no evidence.
- Mr W was summonsed to appear also at Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court after allegedly speeding at 102mph in a 70mph zone on the M42. This case did go to trial however our specialist barrister won trial after the CPS offered no evidence.
- Mr B was also summonsed to appear at Leamington Spa Magitrates’ Court after allegedly speeding at 89mph in a 40mph zone. This case also went to trial but again the CPS offered no evidence.
- Mr J was summonsed to appear at Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court. This case was discontinued before a trial with the CPS offering no evidence.
- Mr W was summonsed to appear at Warwickshire Magistrates’ Court. The client was accused of speeding at 74mph in a 40mph zone on the M42. This case also went to trial and again, the CPS offered no evidence and no further action was taken against our client.
When questioned about the possibility of motorists having their convictions overturned, Marcus said. ‘In this situation it is very favourable. Motorists can go back to the magistrates’ court, make an application under the magistrates’ court act and ask the magistrates’ to in affect cancel that conviction. The key test is it in the intrest of justice for the court to do so.’
‘The would particularly apply for someone who pleaded guilty to an offence or has been convicted of a not guilty plea.’ Marcus added.
‘People may plead guilty in circumstances were they believe the speed warning signs were correct and on that basis accept that they were speeding and plead guilty. If it later transpires that the speed limit signs were unlawful and unenforceable, they could apply to the court and state it is clearly not in the interest of justice for me to be convicted in these circumstances.’
BBC 5 live radio presenter Adrian Goldberg also questioned Marcus on the Crown Prosecution Services decision not to do a test case when speeding limits were not being enforced by the police around the M42 motorway.
Marcus said ‘CPS areas take different approaches. There are so many types of speed signs, different regulations, warnings, guidance given to motorists…its an absolute minefield.’
Marcus Johnstone, known as the Speeding Solicitor, finds that working with these types of cases day to day, ‘CPS lawyers and police officers do not fully understand what rules actually apply.’ Unfortunately it’s the motorists that take the hammering, adding ‘it’s unfair.’
‘It’s not people getting away with speeding, these are people who may have been travelling within the 70mph limit who are all of a sudden accused of going over a 50mph limit which may not be enforceable. That’s the unfairness of it, it’s people who shouldn’t have been convicted and potentially can have disastrous consequences for them.’
Marcus has urged motorists who think they have been wrongly convicted to contact him directly on 07808 553 555.