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How do I make a Statutory Declaration?

Every client we take on comes to us at different stages, in respect of their motoring case. Some of clients have just submitted a statutory declaration and some have just found out they need to make one, but are unsure how to proceed. If we are handling a client’s case at the stage where they are required to make a statutory declaration, we will take care of this for them. However, some clients prefer to submit their own. 

Below is a guide to help you if you are in this position or to inform you as to the process that takes place when making a statutory declaration. 

Generally, our clients enquire about making a statutory declaration when they have been convicted of a motoring offence, without being notified to attend court prior. This may be a result of an individual not updating their address, poor postal service or just human error. A statutory declaration is a written statement which must be signed by authorised witness, such as a solicitor. The individual making the statutory declaration must adhere to the strict submission process imposed by the court. You do also have the option to apply for the case to be re-opened as per Section 142 of the Magistrates Court Act. For information on this please see our article ‘How do I apply to reopen my case’. 

You must make your Statutory Declaration within 21 days of realising you were convicted of the associated offence, without your knowledge. If your declaration is not made within the initial 21 days, the Magistrates do have the power to refuse to allow you to proceed with the Statutory Declaration. It is also important to ensure the statutory declaration you are making is truthful/factual, as if the Magistrates do not believe the information provided, you could be charged with perjury under Section 5 of the Perjury Act 1911. If the court do refuse your Statutory Declaration, you do still have the option to appeal to the Crown Court. Although this appeal would most likely be out of time, the court generally will still consider this, if the circumstances surrounding the statutory declaration are mentioned. See our article ‘How can a solicitor help me appeal a Magistrates Court decision’ for more information on the appeal process. 

Within your Statutory Declaration form you will be asked to enter the following information:

  1. Enter personal details, such as your full name, date of birth and address. 
  2. Enter the court you were convicted at and the court where the declaration was made. 
  3. A Signature on the Declaration section, noting the date your hearing took place and the date you were made aware of this. 
  4. Whether the declaration is within the 21 day time period.
  5. Information on how you found out about the case taking place in your absence. 

After you Statutory Declaration form is submitted, if successful your conviction will be set aside. The matter will then be re-listed for a hearing, to give you the opportunity to enter a plea and attend the hearing with any evidence you may wish to present. If the information provided within your statutory declaration is indicative of you wishing to plead not guilty, a trial hearing will most likely be listed. If not, you will be sent a court summons informing you of the relisted hearing date. 

If you have just been made aware of an offence which has taken place in your absence, please give one our motoring experts a call on 0300 912 2124 and we can talk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

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