Penalties & Fine
What is the likely penalty?
For most cases, having considered the mitigation presented and the circumstances of the offence, the Court will impose penalty points and a fine pursuant to the current Court guidelines. You will also be ordered to pay Court costs (a minimum of £85) and a Victim Surcharge which is normally 10% of the fine.
What is a Victim Surcharge?
Whilst there is no "victim" for the majority of motoring offences, the Victim Surcharge is a tariff imposed on motorists and used to compensate victims of other crime.
How is the fine calculated?
Each offence has a maximum fine and the amount you will pay is based on:
- Your income/outgoings;
- Severity of the offence;
- Mitigation and other circumstances.
How long will I have to pay a fine?
The Court will normally allow 14 days to pay the fine, however, you may be able to increase the time or pay by instalments, subject to your financial circumstances and mitigation.
Can I be banned from driving?
Most motoring offences can result in a discretionary disqualification. However, if there is any risk of disqualification in your case, the Court will allocate a hearing date for a personal attendance. You will not be disqualified without being given the option to attend Court to present a submission in person.
When is there a risk of disqualification?
There is a risk of disqualification if:
- The offence is serious enough to justify potential disqualification, for example, very high speed; or
- In addition to the points at the time of the offence, the penalty arising from the Single Justice Procedure Notice could take you to a total of 12+ penalty points, you face a potential 6 month "totting up" disqualification.
Can I avoid a totting up ban?
Yes. If you are at risk of a 6 month totting up disqualification for reaching 12+ points, you will still have an opportunity to prevent a ban by presenting an exceptional hardship submission. This is a specific process / criteria and you should seek guidance and assistance to give you the best prospects of success.
What if I am being charged with more than one offence?
If more than one offence is alleged, whilst you would still be able to, subject to your pleas, resolve matters via the Single Justice Procedure process, it is sensible to obtain advice before replying. It may well be that there are opportunities available to have one allegation withdrawn or to prevent penalty points being imposed for more than one matter. Whilst this would depend very much upon the exact allegations etc., with appropriate guidance, you will probably obtain a better outcome than merely indicating guilty pleas.
Can I influence the penalty?
Yes. The Magistrates will consider your response to include your circumstances and mitigation before deciding on a penalty. This can affect the number of penalty points, the amount of the fine and the time to pay the fine.
I am a new driver, can my licence be revoked?
Yes. If the penalty imposed takes you to 6 or more points, the licence will automatically be revoked, pursuant to the Road Traffic Offenders Act. If you want to prevent revocation/retaking your driving test, seek advice before you respond to the Notice.
Will I receive a criminal record?
If your matter is resolved via the Single Justice Procedure, it has still been concluded in a criminal Court and a record will be made of the outcome. Consequently, whilst you have not been arrested, you would still have to declare any conviction. Typically, for employment applications, citizenship etc., you may be asked "have you been convicted of any criminal offences to include motoring offences?". Assuming there are no other matters, your answer should be "only motoring offences". The record is removed 4 years from the date of the incident.
Will the offence show up in a DBS check?
Yes. There will be a public record of the conviction and a Memorandum of Conviction can be obtained from the Court by any party making the appropriate application. However, motoring offences of this nature should not actually impede any employment/citizenship applications etc.
When should I inform my insurance company?
You should notify your insurers when you receive the Single Justice Procedure Notice and you should update them once you know the outcome.
How long will the points remain on my driving licence?
Penalty points are valid for 3 years from the date of the offence and removed on the fourth anniversary of the offence.