Police fine, but evidence is missing (Bußgeld)

26 posts in this topic

Hello TT,

 

I received a police fine for having caused a minor accident.  Neither I nor the 5 passengers in my vehicle (4 kids, 1 friend) were aware that any accident occurred on the date given.  According to the Bußgeldbescheid (Notice of Fine?) there is a photo as evidence, but the local police station was not able to find a copy of the photo.  I responded to the initial Notice that the photo was not provided.  The police have sent a second letter increasing the fine to 63,50€, yes it is small but I'm getting fined for something that as far as I know never happened.  What can I do to get this fine removed or get some evidence of the accident?

 

Full Story:  We were in Aschaffenburg in January.  We got home and the local police came that evening and said I was suspected of a hit-and-run.  My statement at the time was that I did not know anything happened and if ever I did cause an accident I would stop and remain at the scene.  I registered the claim with my insurance the following day.  I received a letter a few weeks ago that the hit-and-run charge was dropped.  Beginning of April I received the first fine, with the claim that I caused an accident worth about 500€ (looks to be based on the statement of the person in the other vehicle).  I went to my local police station and they could not find a copy of the photo in their system.  I contacted my insurance and they told me they received a response from the police that there was no collaborating evidence (eg matching scratch marks on the cars).  I responded to the initial fine notice via email as per the instructions stating that the photo was not available from the Police and there is no other evidence the accident occurred.  I have now received a second notice with the fine increased to the above €63,50.

 

On the fine notice, after a brief description of the supposed accident, it has the following:

 

Beweismittel (evidence):

Foto

Betroffenenangaben (statements of those involved)

 

Zeugen (witnesses):

xxxxxxx   PI Aschaffenburg   <-- name of the police taking the initial statement

xxxxxxx  (U)   <-- name of the person claiming I caused the accident

 

 

Side Question:  Is the statement of a single person, with no other evidence, normally sufficient for the police to issue a fine?

 

Note:  If I caused the accident, I'm sorry, and it really sucks when this happens.  I just want to know why I'm presumed guilty when as far as I know nothing happened.

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Best option is to hire a lawyer or you can also just pay but that would haunt you for a quite a while since you were not even aware of hitting

anything or anyone. 

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Why would you get such a fine when there was supposedly € 500 in damage? Has the other party made a claim with your insurance company?

 

Doesn't make sense.

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You can take it to court.  If you win, of course you will not have to pay.  However, it will cost you time showing up etc.  Unless you have a no liability legal insurance, legal advice will cost you more than this fine.  If it was me, I'd be inclined to pay it.

 

If you are a member of ADAC, they will give you free legal advice, see  https://www.adac.de/der-adac/rechtsberatung/

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2 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Why would you get such a fine when there was supposedly € 500 in damage? Has the other party made a claim with your insurance company?

 

Doesn't make sense.

 

I'm not sure what is incongruous with the amount of fine, but that is what I was sent.  My insurance has reviewed the claim from the other party and they are looking to reject it as there was no collaborating evidence (as I mentioned).

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1 hour ago, LeonG said:

You can take it to court.  If you win, of course you will not have to pay.  However, it will cost you time showing up etc.  Unless you have a no liability legal insurance, legal advice will cost you more than this fine.  If it was me, I'd be inclined to pay it.

 

If you are a member of ADAC, they will give you free legal advice, see  https://www.adac.de/der-adac/rechtsberatung/

 

That's that I thought.  Just the time and headache hasn't been worth the fine.  I should just pay and get it over with...  "but it's the principal of the thing", y'know?  It bugs me to pay a fine for something that I didn't do, or if I did accidentally scratch the neighbouring car they aren't showing me any evidence of what happened.  If all it takes to make someone pay a fine is to say they caused damage, seems to be a case of guilty until proven innocent.  Grrrr...

 

Thanks for the tip on ADAC, we are members.

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The same thing happened to me a couple of years ago.  I was nowhere near the claimed (parking) accident but there was a witness to the accident that I was nowhere near. My wife and I knew that I wasn't there but couldn't prove it. We had the lawyer get the accident report and it was just a joke. I supposedly rammed into an expensive Porsche parking nose into the space in front of him.  There were diagrams made and a witness report.  I got an offer from the court that said to pay €500 and I would have nothing put on my record.  SInce the lawyer told me that was the best deal I could probably get I paid it.  Later I was told by some German friends of mine that there are people that do this to get free repairs done on their cars (read expensive), since the system is scewed against the person who has been accused.  I was neither allowed to know who my accuser was nor was I able to face him.  I suppose I could have gone to court to find out, but I took the deal and got it over with.  The principle of the thing really tore me up for a long time.  This "Anzeiger" thing seems to be unique to Germany and their culture of the holy automobile (Heilige Blech).  I now have fully stocked legal insurance so if someone tries this again I will call their bluff and take them to court.

 

Pay it and hope that their is some sort of Karma for these people.

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I would think it's better to pay it, too, BUT will admitting guilt (by not contesting it) lead to points on your license or some other lasting record?

 

it seems unlikely since the fine is so low, but this would worry me, at least.

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what an odd topic.  doesn't the burden of proof fall on the accuser, not the accused?

 

you go to court and some person points to you and says, "He did it" and that's it?

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Yup, that's right. Except you can take a chance on court where you can take your chances on facing your accuser. They are counting on you not taking the odds of winning but paying the lesser fine instead.  A kind of game theory. 

And my deal was no points, no record of anything. Just pay the money and be done with it.  I remember sweating it out until we got a letter with the deal. 

Funny thing is I somehow had it in the back of my mind that I did something wrong for quite a while when I actually hadn't. Paying the fine was an admission of guilt no matter how you paint it. 

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42 minutes ago, trrr said:

The same thing happened to me a couple of years ago.  I was nowhere near the claimed (parking) accident but there was a witness to the accident that I was nowhere near. My wife and I knew that I wasn't there but couldn't prove it.

 

500 really sucks.  That's fraud on the other guys part.

 

Did you know that google maps spies on you?  Somebody made me aware of this recently.  If you go into google maps on your phone and tap the 3 horizontal lines on the top left, you get to pick your timeline.  You can pick any given day and see where you were. Google maps has saved everywhere you were with your phone as long as you haven't turned it off in the settings and you had the GPS location turned on.  Even if you weren't using google maps to get there.

 

So although this may not be an alibi as you might not have had your phone with you when you supposedly went to maliciously hit Mr. Accusers Porsche, it can at least help you remember where you were on that day and possibly find someone who can give you an alibi.

 

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21 minutes ago, LeonG said:

Did you know that google maps spies on you?

 

true, but only if you "accept" when it asks you if it can track you :/

 

I have never accepted, and it still asks me for permission every freaking time I open maps on my phone.  No idea how you turn it off.  

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1 minute ago, lisa13 said:

 

true, but only if you "accept" when it asks you if it can track you :/

 

I have never accepted, and it still asks me for permission every freaking time I open maps on my phone.  No idea how you turn it off.  

 

I do not recall ever having given it permission.  I was talking to someone about not being sure which route I took driving somewhere and he showed me on his phone and lo and behold, works on my phone too.

 

If you tap the 3 horizontal lines, you will get this side menu and near the bottom of it, there are settings where you can set your preferences.  I just turned off all their messaging because it kept asking me to rate all kinds of different places I've been to or even just driven past.

 

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Sad but true... The wife of a neighbour of mine scratched their porsche Cayenne on a blue post in a park house...

 

They waited until some client who has a simmilar blue car with some bumper dammage and was at the Physio therapist practice just across the road.... 

 

Yep... he waited till they left, went to the practice and complained that one of their patients had touched his car... the practice then took note of who had just left!

 

He went to the police... the police went to the practice, got the persons info and went to knock on the door... They saw the dammage and my neighbour got paid out by the other guy ( He didnt go through insurabce though)... 

 

I never trusted my neighbour after he told me that!  Knob!

 

 

In the UK.. there was loads of "Crash for cash" cases...  Insurance companies get screwed over... therefore we get screwed over with rising premiums!

 

oh well...

 

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32 minutes ago, LeonG said:

I do not recall ever having given it permission.

 

how long have you been using google maps? You could have given permission years ago :)

 

when I open the app, it opens a message box saying blah blah blah about sharing my location, turn on location sharing?  "decline/ok" - it's worded in that way that we often just say "yeah yeah ok, let me move on".  If I open my timeline it again tells me I should turn on location sharing.  

 

Have you ever tried to turn it off? 

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Normally, they have to prove you did it

If its one persons word against another, the police will do nothing as they cannot say who is at fault.

 

A friend of mine, got accused of open their car door into another car - thus causing damage - the police came around and said the door heights and the impact points just did not match. So my friend was cleared.

 

You should always be treated as innocent - until the opposition has two bits of information - showing you did it.

Unless you get a case like Spiderpigs, then I would try to find out what information they have on you to prove that it was you who did it.

 

As others have said maybe its just not worth it, but if you have legal auto insurance I would ask them to look into it. 

I normally feel the same way you do in these situations - that I want to fight it. But you can take on an awful lot of work

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49 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

how long have you been using google maps? You could have given permission years ago :)

 

when I open the app, it opens a message box saying blah blah blah about sharing my location, turn on location sharing?  "decline/ok" - it's worded in that way that we often just say "yeah yeah ok, let me move on".  If I open my timeline it again tells me I should turn on location sharing.  

 

Have you ever tried to turn it off? 

 

I have never tried to turn it off and not sure if I want to.  I kind of like being able to see where I've been.

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1 hour ago, SpiderPig said:

Sad but true...  Knob!

Understatement.

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21 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Why would you get such a fine when there was supposedly € 500 in damage? Has the other party made a claim with your insurance company?

 

Doesn't make sense.

 

You always get a fine when you are involved in an accident and you are found guilty.  The amount of damage is irrelevant, it is a totally different thing.

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