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The longer you spin out the arguments the more they would be likely to abandon the fine or run out of time.
As Alex suggested, you could impose your own time-limit, such as “If I do not receive the information requested within 14 days I will assume you have (a) withdrawn all accusation/s, (b) cancelled all associated penalties & charges and (c) ceased all action/s”.
Again, I would reiterate that I am not a lawyer, so I cannot be sure, but I would repeat Peter’s suggestion that if you are a European Union resident and you have received a fine more than 210 days after an offence, you should write back quoting case no C-224/00, and saying you will write to MEPs etc about this.
If this does not get the Italian authorities off your back – then speak to a lawyer (class actions are possible in Italy now -and I know a good firm of lawyers too! In summary – if you received a fine for any motoring offence after 210 days, and you are an EU citizen, you may be able to refuse to pay on the basis of C-224/00.
It seems you are allowed 60 days from receiving a fine to pay up or appeal, so you could email or fax – in your own language – on the 59th day from receiving a penalty notice in Italian (or an incorrect own-language translation containing bad grammar or wrong spelling such as “Grait” Britain), saying you don’t understand it and ask for an accurate translation.
Meanwhile the 210-day clock is still ticking, as the notice doesn’t count as served unless it’s , and of course sent by registered post.
2 – Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be , of the nature and cause of the accusation against him; (b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence; (c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require; (d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him; (e) to have the of an accusation – presumably so you can recall the circumstances of the incident and collect any evidence you need while memories are still fresh.
If it contains any factual errors (name, time, date, location, car Reg.
No, make, model etc) you can safely ignore it as it does not accurately describe the accusation and is thus unprovable – but don’t tell ‘em as they could re-issue a correct one within the 210-day period.
And here is a comment from reader Pablo, dated 7 March 2010, which other people may find interesting: Many posts above complain about the Italian authorities’ delay in notifying traffic penalties and their insistence on communicating in Italian.
Fear not – the law is on your side, as I think both issues contravene the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Part I Article 6:“1 – In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
You can form your own opinion of why Italian authorities delay sending a penalty notice for a year or more.