Time Limits


How long do I have to reply to a Single Justice Procedure Notice?

You must respond within 21 days of the Notice posting date. It is important to understand it is not 21 days from receipt, but 21 days from when the Notice was generated and despatched. Some Police Forces will specify on the Notice the exact date by which you must reply. Assuming that it has taken at least 2-3 days for the document to reach the recipient, realistically, you will probably only have a maximum of 17-18 days left to reply.

What happens if I do not respond to the Notice?

If you do not respond within the time limit imposed, the Court can conclude matters on the basis that you have chosen not to reply. It will not be assumed that you have failed to receive the Notice, the assumption will be that you have chosen to ignore same. You would therefore lose your option to plead mitigation / reduce the penalty.

What if I need more time?

If you need more time, for example, you were away when the document arrived, you can normally obtain an extension by contacting the Court direct.

What if I did not receive a Notice?

If the first communication you receive is a Notice of Conviction and you had no prior knowledge of the Single Justice Procedure process, you can apply for the case to be re-opened by making a Statutory Declaration. Before you do so, seek advice as to whether you are likely to obtain a better outcome by proceeding along these lines.

What is an early guilty plea discount and how do I obtain it?

To encourage prompt conclusion, if you enter a guilty plea within the time limit, the Court offers a theoretical reduction of potentially 33% on the fine, subject to your mitigation / circumstances. The discount does not affect the number of penalty points.

You will receive the same discount regardless of whether your response is received on day 1 or day 21.

How long do the Police have to issue a Single Justice Procedure Notice?

For most offences, the process must be commenced within 6 months.

Is my Single Justice Procedure Notice valid?

The Single Justice Procedure Notice will normally detail a "posting date" but if that is not within 6 months, there will be an earlier "authorisation" date which is when the actual procedure started. If you believe that the Police have commenced the process too late, seek advice before you reply.