Court hearing for SP30 - ferrari89

I appreciate this is a bit of a lengthy post, but any advice is appreciated.

To summarise I was pulled for doing 48MPH in a 30MPH limit in august 2013 and handed a yellow ticket. I chased the fixed penalty notice as this took 6 weeks to arrive.

When it did arrive they had the wrong registration on the letter so I responded in 2 weeks noting “This is the wrong registration I was not driving that vehicle.” I included both parts of license and payment information and posted to the address as instructed. This was stamped by 2 different departments and returned to me 2 months later in the first week of December.

The letter did not say why it had been returned but acknowledged that the incorrect registration did not invalidate the notice (I never said that it had) and went on to say “Please comply with the Conditional Offer by sending both part of your driver’s licence and payment to the Fixed Penalty Office” but it did not provide an address for me to do so, as it was sent from another department.

I responded by phone on 02/01/2014 (after Christmas period) within 28 days of receipt of their letter and was told the case was now with the courts, despite the fact I had already sent all the correct information. I pleaded guilty by post and following a conversation with the Criminal Justice Department decided not to attend as I had forwarded copies of all correspondence and the full mitigating circumstances, detailing all the dates of calls I had made.

Following the hearing on the 14 th July I received 5points and a £322 total fine for something I had initially tried to pay. This seems very unfair and I wish I had of attended court. I am now contemplating appealing this ruling.

Has anyone had any similar experiences, or able to offer any constructive advice on how I should proceed. I am worried I will incur further costs should I appeal.

Thanks.

Court hearing for SP30 - RobJP

For a court hearing, for a speed of 48 in a 30 limit area, you CAN (although it is unlikely) actually be handed a ban.I don't think 5 points is an unreasonable penalty in this case.

The fine is based on a number of factors, including ability to pay. Assuming you sent in the Statement of means form, it will have been based on that. The form should have been with the documentation that you pleaded guilty by.

Basically, you've got no grounds to appeal. The penalty points applied are reasonable, the fine isn't ridiculous (though we have no idea on what your earnings/disposable income are, so really can't say)

The only grounds you'd have would be that it shouldn't have gone to court in the first place, that any delays were the fault of the departments who sent out the original forms, and then messed up the re-sending once revised. But I wouldn't fancy your chances.

Finally (and I'm sure I won't be the only one on here to point this out) ... 48, in a 30 limit. I'd count myself lucky that I hadn't killed some kid, and I just had some money to pay, and points on my licence. Sermon over.

Court hearing for SP30 - scot22

Just add my agreement to your final point, 'Sermon'. Got away very lightly.

Court hearing for SP30 - ferrari89
Thank you for your opinion.

I accept I shouldn't have been speeding and understand 48 mph is excessive (it was late at night traveling past a military base and I have no other points on my licence, yet I again appreciate that doesn't make it right.)

Their administrative errors have pushed me into a corner and there is very little I can do about it. I wonder how frequently they make these 'errors' or if this is a rare example.

Edited by ferrari89 on 30/07/2014 at 00:12

Court hearing for SP30 - brighteyes
As with most administration departments mistakes are made and where the mistake involves a prosecution as long as the mistake doesn't impinge on your right to a fair defence (which, as I've pointed out in a previous post, can be defended under "abuse of process") then, as far as I am aware, they correct the error and proceed with the prosecution. In your case I think you should be thankful that the offence wasn't increased to driving without due care and attention, it must have been a close call.
Court hearing for SP30 - ferrari89

Driving with out due care and attention is a separate offence completely and not related to my circumstances. The judge would have had to have been very ill informed to charge me with this.

My point is that the legal system should be consistent, and having had the offer to deal by fixed penalty, and accepting it, I expect it to be dealt this way, the same as any other person offered this.

Court hearing for SP30 - FP

"Driving with out due care and attention is a separate offence completely and not related to my circumstances."

I'm not a lawyer, but I can imagine that the offence of driving without due care and attention could possibly be applied to speeding. However, there seems absolutely no precedent for it.

"The judge would have had to have been very ill informed to charge me with this."

Judges do not charge people with anything. Acting impartially, they run the court hearing and reach decisions about the case. If they charged people it would mean they were on the side on the prosecution.

"My point is that the legal system should be consistent, and having had the offer to deal by fixed penalty, and accepting it, I expect it to be dealt this way, the same as any other person offered this."

I can understand your irritation with this, but in the larger scheme of things it's a small procedural matter. The legal phrase that covers this is "de minimis non curat lex", meaning "the law does not concern itself with trifles", so I doubt you would get anywhere in challenging it.

Court hearing for SP30 - scot22

ferrari - appreciate the situation in which you were speeding ( not quite as much indignation), and that you acknowledge that it was still wrong.

On your main argument fully understand and accept your arguement. However, it probably will not make any difference in court. Less stress not to contest especially with little likelihood of success.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car