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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69785
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a court summons in November 2014

Resolved Question:

Hi, I received a court summons in November 2014 for speeding in the same month. I was caught speeding at 47mph in a 30mph zone. This was a duel carriage way in Milton Keynes, however it does not have pedestrian path near the road (If this makes any difference). It was around 11am in the morning and I had been called back to Milton Keynes from London (Via the train) as my 12 month old had been taken into hospital. The police were actually pulling motorists into the carpark I pulled out of so I was aware what was going on, yet at the next roundabout, I was caught from the other side of the duel carriage way, from behind. In the emotional moment I clearly was confused as to what roundabout I was at as the road from the next roundabout onwards is 60mph. I admitted immediately and submitted my paperwork as I believed this was a genuine mistake, including my mitigating circumstances. I could not make the court date due to work commitments and have just been notified by letter my result. £585.00 fine, Victim surcharge £59.00 and costs £85.00 totalling £729.00 to be paid by Friday. I have also been given 5 points.
This seems very unfair compared to the number of cases I have research from the same courts (Oxford Magistrates) and does not advise me of if I can appeal and what this would mean?
Please help.
Many thanks,
Darren
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What was the speed and what was the limit please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo,

Is this a computer response as this information is above?

Thanks,

Darren

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I had wondered if those were incorrect?
If this is 47 mph in a 30 mph zone then I wonder why you think this might be excessive? Sorry if I'm missing the point.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo,

No you are correct in the speeds and 47mph in a 30mph zone is not acceptable. My points are as follows:

- The area was not a 'high risk' outside a school area. Does this matter?

- The road was a duel carriage way and not an 'A road'. Does this matter?

- The fine appears excessive in comparison to what else I have been able to find from the same court, around the same speed for other people. These fines have ranged from £130 to £320. Does this matter?

- The points seem excessive from my research as per above, however I appreciate you can get 3-6 points for SP30.

I really appreciate you taking the time to look at the information provided.

Thanks,

Darren

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.
On your specific points
1 No. There is no mitigation in saying this is not a high risk area. There would have been aggravation if it had been.
2 No. That is a non issue.
3 No.
4 I'm afraid they are very lenient.
This is 47 mph in a 30 mph zone. That is more than 50% over the limit. The guidelines say either 4-6 points or a ban of between 7 - 28 days. You are roughly in the middle of the sentencing bracket in terms of speed so 5 points is spot on I'm afraid. You are not going to get that reduced on appeal and it could only go to 4 anyway unless you are going to try to persuade the court to depart from the sentencing guidelines with no real basis.
The fines relate to your income. This bracket carries a Band B fine. That is worked out upon the income of the offender. That is why it is never a good idea to compare two sentences. There are lots of reasons people should never do that but this is one of them. The starting point is 100% of your weekly income and the range is 75-125%.
You do have a right of appeal to the Crown Court. The risk is that you will lose and face further costs. In fairness, it is not a high amount. Usually a couple of hundred pounds but you do need to take it into account.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks.

I appreciate your feedback and if it was four points I would not be overly bothered as I agree this is fair.

With regards ***** ***** statement of means, whilst I earn more than the average person, this does not mean I have disposable income at the ready. This is even more applicable as I am getting married in 8 weeks and therefore my finances are not as usual.

Therefore if I have no grounds to reduce the fine, but I am unable to pay the fine in full, what is my next move?

I have called the court asking for a copy of my statement of means I provided, as surely the fine should be calculated based on the disposable income I have highlighted at the end of each month? Or does the court expect you not to pay bills to pay the fine?

Thanks,

Darren

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, I know. Earning more than the average just tends to mean it is gobbled up in tax.
Unfortunately that isn't something that the court considers though. They are assessing your actual income rather than your disposable income.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69785
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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