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Defending a Speeding Case

How can you follow up if you feel that the gardai have given you a ticket and your sure that you were under the speed limit?

Hi. I presume you were caught on a speed camera. You are entitled to a copy of the photograph so ask them for this as soon as possible.

The photo should show the speed at which you were travelling so it would come down to the calibration of the speed gun which is tested and certified on a regular basis. You don’t have the automatic right to call for the testing of the gun on an individual case basis.  

The questions I’d ask you are why are you sure you were under the limit? Did you have a passenger in the car who can verify that? How accurate is your own speedometer?

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 speed – you or the Garda.

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 you are entitled to an acquittal.

But there is a very important point about the legal procedures establishing speed limits -  for local limits (50 or 60kph etc) that to establish them, legally it’s not good enough for the local Council to simply erect a sign – the council must establish the limit and the exact geographic area it covers by Statutory Instrument. Signs or no signs if the Statutory Instrument does not clearly define the area then there is no law for that limit in force and you are entitled to an acquittal. Get a map of the place you were caught, go to the local council offices and ask to be shown the Statutory Instrument establishing the limit there. You can also access Statutory Instruments at: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/statutory.html

………….but there are thousands of them so better go to the council offices. Sometimes these are kept in the Garda Station so the council might refer you on.

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.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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