How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70640
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Hi, i received a fixed penalty notice earlier this year I admitted

Customer Question

Hi, i received a fixed penalty notice earlier this year I admitted liability paid my £60 fine but was unable to hand in my complete drivers license as i live abroad. The fine was refunded and I was given a court summons, which i could not attend as i didnt know about it as i was not in the country to read it. I have now been given 4 points and a £520 fine. I have tried contacting the courts but have had no success. please can you advise
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi ,


 


I would firstly like to reduce my fine to the original amount and also try and get my points reduced to 3 as a pose to 4.


 


I have tried to cooperate but i cant get through to the courts by phone and they dont seem to reply to my emails?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm really sorry but its bad news then.

If you give me 10 mins I will dictate an answer for you.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the information.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

The fundamental problem is that you just don’t plain didn’t do the course or attend court. I do realise that road traffic defendants tend not to be experienced criminals and so wouldn’t know this necessarily but Courts expect people to give priority to the case rather than work commitments.

You didn’t do the course so its no longer available. The reason for that is that they have to lay an information upon a speeding within 6 months so they can only give people so long to complete. I do realise that you had work difficulties but that is no defence.

Similarly, you didn’t attend court. There’s no way around it. Being unavailable for work reasons is no defence.

There’s no way of accepting the original penalty now. Apart from anything else, even fixed penalties have now increased to £100 so £60 is impossible.

The only thing that you could do is go back to court and ask them to set it aside. You don’t really have grounds but sometimes courts will set convictions aside on very weak grounds. The only benefit to that though is that it might reduce the costs order as the sum in question looks as though you were tried and convicted in absence.

You can always appeal to the Crown Court within 21 days of sentence but the only point to that would be if the 4 points was excessive. That would depend on the speed you were doing and the limit. This is a course of action that would rack up costs rather than reduce them probably.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i understand that but i have tried to contact the police even before this went to court and its not due to work commitments I live abroad

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm afraid thats no defence either.

Having other commitments is not a ground to miss a criminal hearing.

A reason to reopen a case would be something like a sick note that actually said you were unfit for court. Or possibly something like a road closure that prevented you from attend physically.

They may actually reopen it anyway. Magistrates are quite inconsistent with that power.

The problem though will still be that the matter has to go to court now because you didn't do the course in time. All you could do is reduce the costs if you were tried and convicted in your absence.