Same occasion defence

I have just received court papers to telling me I must appear in court for not being in proper control and driving without due care and attention. I was seen by a police officer performing two wheelies on the same stretch of road. I was not stopped and reported at the time and I did I know he was there. The summons refers to two counts of each offence, presumably for each wheelie. Is there anything I can do to get off this or if not, as I suspect, to reduce the penalty?
Jacob, by e-mail

Answer

You are very lucky to only be charged with driving without due care and attention otherwise known as careless driving. Within the Crown Prosecutors manual a wheelie is a specific example of dangerous driving. This is a more serious offence which they could have charged you with and the consequences could have been far more severe. 

I take it that you agree you performed the wheelies and if so an early guilty plea could reduce the penalty. You could also try to persuade them that you will plead guilty to just one of the offences as they were so close in time it is arguable they constituted the same act. This is known as a “same occasion offence”. This defence can be found at section 28 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

The court may or may not agree with you but it is definitely worth a try.

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