Witness statements

If you have received a witness statement form from the authorities in Germany concerning a driving offence, read here for advice and assistance on what to do next.

If you are the owner of a vehicle and have received a witness statement form from the authorities in Germany concerning a driving offence, you may not be obliged to complete the form. This is particularly the case, for example, if a family member was driving the vehicle. You have the right to remain silent and you do not have to send the witness statement form back.

Witness statements

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The authorities are obliged to use reasonable endeavours to find the actual driver of the vehicle at the time the motoring offence was committed. One measure they can use is to contact the passport authorities to obtain a passport photo in order to compare it with the photo they may have of the driver committing the offence. Alternatively, the authorities may visit your address.

A consequence of exercising your right to remain silent is that you may be ordered to keep a logbook of journeys for your vehicle.

Caution: intentionally incriminating another person who did not commit the offence is illegal. It is punishable under § 164(2) of the German Criminal Code by sentence of up to 5 years or a fine.

Call us on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0 for more advice on road traffic law. Our expert team of German lawyers can help you decide what steps to take next.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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