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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70694
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have received 2 speeding tickets, a week apart for 2 different

Resolved Question:

I have received 2 speeding tickets, a week apart for 2 different offences both in 30MPH zones, one at 35MPH and the other at 36MPH. At the time, I was severely anxious and depressed, and have subsequently been put on medication to treat this by my GP. Given both offences are only marginally over the limit, and distraction and difficulty to concentrate are known symptoms of depression and anxiety, would I have grounds to claim this as "mitigating circumstances", or would I open myself up to a claim that I was driving without due care and attention?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

When did you receive the tickets please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jo.


"Notice of intended prosecution" received just before Christmas - 6th and 13th December respectively. I have just filled in the forms accepting that I was the driver in both cases.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Sorry if I'm missing the point but what are you hoping to achieve by arguing mitigating circumstances?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What available options are there when you plead mitigating circumstances?


I understand that I can plead guilty but with mitigating circumstances, and as such the magistrate has the discretion not to add penalty points to my licence (or to reduce the fine?).


I am seeking to reduce or eliminate the sanction, specifically since the medical condition was brought about through financial/job stress. Adding 6 penalty points and probably £200 fines will only add to it!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
None at all I'm afraid.

Speeding at this level attracts a fixed penalty so whatever your mitigation, the FPN would be appropriate.

I'm afraid its bad news really. If you accept speeding on both occasions then the fact of your circumstances is no defence which is essentially what you are seeking to raise.

Probably they will offer the speed awareness course for one of them but the other will lead to a fixed penalty fine of £100 plus 3 points.

They could insist upon two fixed penalties which would lead to 6 points and a fine of £200 in total.

Your only option then is to refuse the fixed penalty offer and invite them to summons you. They do forget sometimes but the risk is that they will remember and then you will face costs and a higher fine but you won't get any more points. It depends how much risk you want to take.

I'm very sorry if this is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I do refuse the fixed penalty offer, and they do summons me, what level of fine/costs might I expect?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
What is your monthly income please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It varies - around £3,000, but a terrible 2013, so most of 2014 will be repaying debts from then!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I'm afraid the court will just consider your income and will disregard your debts.

Band C fines start at 150% of your weekly income and range from 125% - 175%.

So if your monthly income is £3k then weekly would be about £750. The fine should, in principle, start at around £1125 and range from 937.50 to about 1312 although you will probably get a reduction on that.

Also, the starting point will be reduced to reflect your guilty plea by one third.

Costs will be £85.

The financial penalties are higher at court but you have the opportunity to avoid points.
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