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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
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Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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hi I paid fixed penalty notice for driving uninsured car last

Resolved Question:

hi
I paid fixed penalty notice for driving uninsured car last year. I have paid the penalty (200pounds) and my driving licence was endorsed in time and 6points on my counterpart.

I am taking legal practice course this year and should disclose any suitability issue to SRA if any.
My question is..
Is this record categorized as motoring offence and counted as criminal conviction? because SRA guidance says 'Motoring offences that result in a criminal conviction must be disclosed. Motoring offences that do not result in a criminal conviction do not need to be disclosed'

Secondly, do I still have to disclose this as material information even though it does not count as criminal conviction?

SRA did not provide any confirmation when asked and indicated it's all up to my own decision and I am very confused on this matter.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

I will look up the suitability requirements and come back to you shortly. I know that my own motoring convictions for speeding were not a problem.

I'll come back to you this evening if I may.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


hi


thank you mail.


 


this is not speeding but driving without insurance. as I said, I admit and paid penalty and got 6 points. and that's it. I never went to court nor summoned from any authority.


 


thank you

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience. I've had an opportunity to look at the Suitability Requirements in detail.

Remarkably the 'Glossary' is of no assistance as to the definition of 'criminal conviction'.

But the Oxford Dictionary states:

A conviction is: "...a formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence..."

As a solicitor who has practised criminal law for over 20 years this definition also accords with my understanding.

A criminal conviction is, therefore, by definition a finding of guilt by a Court. A fixed penalty, which was not dealt with by a court is clearly not a conviction.

The requirement under the suitability test is that "...motoring offences that result in a criminal conviction must be disclosed. Motoring offences that do not result in a criminal conviction do not need to be disclosed..."

Also there is a requirement that you "...must declare all convictions and cautions...even if they are deemed to be spent in accordance with the Act..."

Your offence did not result in a conviction or caution, so this is not something you need to disclose in your application. In short a fixed penalty for a motoring offence is not disclosable.

It doesn't surprise me that the SRA gave little assistance - they want to avoid criticism or accountability if you get something wrong.

Alex

Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
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