Guardia civil complaints

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04 Jan 2012 00:00 by markspain Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

 Hi, Something should be done regarding the guardia civil. I need some help as I do not know what to do and do not speak spanish.

My husband and my son were going out in the morning to get a newspaper. On our urbanisation there is a very bad bend and the road was wet. The car lost control and ended up sideways across the road. The guardia, not from our area, came and issued him a ticket ...wait for this.....for doing a handbrake turn!!!!!

My husband refused to sign the ticket and we took it straight up to our local police. The guardia had said it happened on the main road, which is untrue. The local police said they drove passed and saw guardia with us...and they saw it was NOT on the main road, and also that the guardia should have informed them as it was not there 'patch', which they did not.

We then recieved a letter from traffico saying we have been fined 500 euros!!! I am so angry about this. We took this to local police who kindly wrote a letter for us to traffico. Traffico then replied saying we still owe the 500. We have a witness from someone who had just passed us on the corner just befoe it happened, who again has stated the road was wet and the corner is dangerous, and that this happens many times on this corner. The local policeman has said they will attend court. The problem is...after contacting a solicitor, we have to pay 400 up front, then more for the hearing, and they state that taking guardia to court couldbe a losing battle!

How can they get away with this? They think becauswe we are english and cannot speak the language that we will roll over and pay...well I will not.

Has anyone any suggestions, i contacted british consulate who were no help at all and just said get a lawyer.

Please help

Thanks

Mark





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04 Jan 2012 13:27 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

You could try your car insurance company.  Usually as part of the standard cover, they will appeal fines on your behalf.



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04 Jan 2012 16:14 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Sorry Mark, but from your description of the incident,   the driver was guilty of dangerous driving. Accidents don't happen  (Drivers not CARS lose control)  they are caused by driver error.  It's just fortunate that no one was was in the wrong place at the wrong time or it may have been even more serious.
 
My brother turned his car over in UK he was prosecuted for, and rightly convicted of,  dangerous driving despite all the excuses he made that he was not to blame, it was the fault of the road etc.etc.

 

Do I have a suggestion?  Yes, it would be the same to person speaking Spanish or any other language,  plead guilty, save yourself further expense and drive more carefully in future.





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04 Jan 2012 16:18 by markspain Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

 The roads were wet!!! I have never had a driving conviction in my life. The bend is dangerous and it has happened many

times to other people. And I certainly would not drive in a dangerous manor with my son in the car!





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04 Jan 2012 16:22 by Bri Star rating in North. 591 posts Send private message

 Yes I agree Johnzx, and I have said exactly the same thing to a friend in the UK who has been accused of using his mobile while driving in London.  He refused to sign because 'the mobile was tucked into his  collar and he was not touching it'.  The police version is that he was holding it.  I am afraid he has no chance of winning and will end up considerably out of pocket.  The only other thing I would add is that trying to speak Spanish can go a long way to defusing a situation, and it would be worth trying to get up to some kind of communication level.  If you are going to dispute, you need to pay for someone to interpret for you from the start.    



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04 Jan 2012 16:25 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Sorry but the very fact you had an accident proves you were not driving safely.  That others have also had accidents does not alter the fact that, as I said,  accidents are caused by drivers.

 

Look at it another way.  Had you been a pedestrian or another driver,  and were hit by the car, whose insurance would have had to pay out ?





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04 Jan 2012 16:33 by markspain Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

 Hi John, I have to disagree with you. The bend is bad, basically my husband crawled round it, which you have to do anyway, accelerated to get up the hill and the back end just whizzed round. He certainly is not a fast or dangerous driver, i can assure you.





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04 Jan 2012 16:37 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Sorry,  I know no one ever wants to admit they were at fault.   I was using my 'professional hat' and it is my professional judgement based on the descrption you gave of what happened.  I was not there.





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04 Jan 2012 16:41 by Theguru Star rating. 35 posts Send private message

What car is it please

G

 

 





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06 Jan 2012 18:47 by Lifeline Star rating in Murcia. 367 posts Send private message

Lifeline´s avatar

 An alternative could be not to pay, wait for the Guardia Civil to take you to court for non payment and get your local police to attend with the information that the G.C. is giving is incorrect information.

A downside to that could be that the courts don't listen to the local police as they are regarded as little more than traffic wardens with guns and you will still be fined and have points taken off your licence. If you don't have a Spanish licence the court can insist that you get one and then Traffico will knock the points off.

In any case if you knew it was a dangerous corner you should have been driving slower.

It is not related to being British here as I had the same problem many years ago in Scotland when the police chose to falsify the truth and the AA lawyers said that I was better to pay because the Scottish court would always take the word of the police.

At that time many of my close friends were serving police officers and they agreed with the advice given by the AA.



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07 Jan 2012 08:06 by guslopez Star rating in Lorca, Murcia.. 745 posts Send private message

"

It is not related to being British here as I had the same problem many years ago in Scotland when the police chose to falsify the truth and the AA lawyers said that I was better to pay because the Scottish court would always take the word of the police.

At that time many of my close friends were serving police officers and they agreed with the advice given by the AA."

 

& that's the problem , too many people taking the easy option & so allowing the corrupt scum to get away with it !



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07 Jan 2012 09:29 by icaru Star rating in Kalkan Turkey. 46 posts Send private message

icaru´s avatar

This is not just Spanish injustice.  Something similar happened to me in Boston -- no accident involved -- when a police officer issued a ticket that was untrue.  When I refused to pay, they took me to court and I ended up paying over $1000 all because a single police officer was in a bad mood and I answered him sarcastically.  I tried to make a complaint against him, the police branch refused to accept it.  Difficult to win against the police in any country.



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07 Jan 2012 09:36 by mishcom Star rating in Fuengirola. 6 posts Send private message

 Generally I have found the Guardia to be the better police force in Spain, at least they generally greet you and are civilised not like other police forces in Spain. I have found they generally react according to your reaction to them, being apologetic and calm has always resulted in my getting a much smaller fine (or none) than what I was stopped for although I also understand that there are bad apples in every basket.

I used to and still do get very angered at justice here but in my experiance it will be cheaper for you to just pay the fine and take this on the chin, it 'will' cost you more otherwise. The Police, I hear from people that all the different police have now been given targets for fines and they will give you one if they can. The DGT is run like a mafia service, they make the rules, they dish out the penalty and you don't have a lot of recorse... third world yes but as long as they are permitted to run things this way then not much will change, not even fighting it, in fact if you know the Spanish will will know that fighting there decisions will generally only make them worse... even if there is no logic to their decision.

If you look at it as it seems: The road was wet and for your car to go sideways would seem like you where not driving with care. If your brakes come on even slightly stronger at the back than the front your back wheels could have locked up and made it look like a handbreak was pulled on but that is not the problem of the Police, it is the problem of the driver of the car and it's owner. The fact that it has happened to others at the same spot prooves nothing except that most drivers here drive with undue care... which we already know. Driving with undue care and attention would be my slant on it.

When the roads are wet in Spain they can be like ice as there is a buildup of oil and grease that lifts and makes driving conditions poor in the wet, roads are not built to camber in the correct direction at bends... but then we as drivers know this and so driving with extra care in the wet is needed to drive safely in these conditions... take it on the chin :-)

 



This message was last edited by mishcom on 07/01/2012.



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07 Jan 2012 10:28 by Jimbofinn Star rating in Chiclana De La Front.... 213 posts Send private message

Jimbofinn´s avatar

Just to put things into perspective:  As a police officer many years ago a colleague and I were performing speed checks.  A taxi was pulled over for being in excess of the prescribed limit (30 Mph) and the driver, to avoid embarrasment to him or his passengers was asked to go to my car where he could get his ticket and record his details.  Afterwhich he went on his way.  The following day I was hauled in by my inspector to hear that a complaint had been made against me and my colleague.  Me for being rude and offhanded with the fellow and my colleague for failing to show the driver the recorded speed on the speed gun.  Nothing could've been further from the truth.  Indeed we treated the man with tact and the utmost courtesy.  Unfortunately, he saw that if he made a complaint he thought that the summons would be dropped.  This is all too often the case within the police service in the uk and probably here in Spain as well.  Needless to state that the driver got his day in court and the complaint was not investigated any further.  With regard to this thread, if one knows that a particular road is hazzardous in certain conditions then one should drive according to the conditions on that road.  I accept the fact that you state you did not perform a handbrake turn (who would with a child in the car)?  But it looks like you are going to also have your day in court.  If it is principles that you are sticking up for then the matter is likely to be very costly for you



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07 Jan 2012 10:52 by midasgold Star rating in Mijas.. 91 posts Send private message

Look on this as  a form of TAX. You are the unlucky guy thats been netted to-day.

Any other action by you  is a total waste of money and time. 



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07 Jan 2012 12:55 by PablodeRonda Star rating in Ronda (Málaga). 73 posts Send private message

MarkSpain: I'm afraid johnzx, Lifeline and mishcom have got it right! You may feel aggrieved, but you were at fault and you ain't gonna win against the cops.

I recently got a parking ticket - incorrectly in my view - and I was going to challenge it on a point of principle, but I've changed my mind and decided to just pay up. Anything else will cost far more than the 25 euro fine.



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07 Jan 2012 13:09 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Some years ago I did argue a parking fine and removal charge.  It took quite some time but I got my money back and the town hall offered me a job (They said they had never seen any paperwork so well presented).
 
However, in general the police do not prosecute people for the fun of it.  It makes work for them and, unlike some people would like to believe, they don't get bonuses, days off etc.  In fact when I was in UK  a court appearance often happened on my day off or during my annual leave,  so I lost out.
 





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07 Jan 2012 13:13 by PablodeRonda Star rating in Ronda (Málaga). 73 posts Send private message

That's encouraging, but I'm still going to pay up.

In fact I was going to pay online, only to discover you can't, so I went to the Policía Local on Thursday afternoon to pay, but they don't take payments there - I have to go to the Provincial Collection Office (Recaudación Provincial). Doh!



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07 Jan 2012 13:20 by markspain Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

 Hi, It annoys me that they said it was on the main road, which it was not. They should have taken it to local police because it was on the urbanisation but they didnt, local police told me that. Local police actually drove past when mark was talking with them, so they saw where it happened and have agreed to come to court to state this. There was also oil on the road which caused the slip, the mark is still there now. I have pictures of everything. I also have a witness, and the guardia said there was no witnesses. It is difficult to explian without showing the pictures, but the witness had just passed us on the bend, both at the same time, but the guardia would not have seen this from there angle. We havnt the money for the fine...nor the court costs, so i dont know where that leaves us.

Local police have known us years and know mark would never drive badly, they even wrote the letter for us to send to traffico, but traffico will not budge. The witness has said mark was not driving fast around the corner, he saw the car lose control on the oil through his review mirror.  I just wish i had never come to spain in the first place.





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07 Jan 2012 14:22 by TheGuru Star rating. 35 posts Send private message

What car is it please

G





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