I forgot to come to the Belgian ” Tribunal de police” or ” Politierechtbank”. What should I do?

I forgot to come to the Belgian ” Tribunal de police” or ” Politierechtbank”. What should I do?

If a person summoned before the police court does not appear, the judge will take the file by default. In other words, he will take a judgment without regarding the arguments that the person or his lawyer could have invoked if they had appeared before him during the hearing.

Generally, a judgment take by default is therefore less favorable to the person sued.

Also, the judge may interpret the forgetting to appear as negligence, casualness or even contempt. He will then be tempted to be more severe.

What to do then?

It is possible to form an opposition. This allows you to bring the case back before the same judge in order to present your arguments yourself or through your lawyer to try to obtain a better judgment.

How is it actually done?

A lawyer competent in road traffic law should be asked to handle the opposition. The lawyer will then contact a bailiff for the introduction of the appeal and your legal protection insurance to cover the costs and fees of the appeal and the defense.

It is also possible to contact a bailiff directly, but be careful, he will take care of the appeal but not of the defence, which you will then have to do yourself by appearing at the hearing or by mandating a lawyer. .

How soon?

The period for filing an opposition begins when the judgment is served, i.e. when it is given to the person concerned by a bailiff. If the bailiff manages to deliver it personally, the deadline is 15 days. Otherwise, the deadline is 15 days from the knowledge of the notification of the judgment by the convicted person who wishes to oppose. In the absence of proof of this knowledge, the period runs until the prescription of the sentence pronounced by the judgment by default.

For more information, you can contact me. Severine Vandekerkove