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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I received a speeding ticket and was ordered to pay the fine

Customer Question

I received a speeding ticket and was ordered to pay the fine and have 3 points endorsed on my license. I paid the fine online, as per instruction and sent my license for endorsing. Some months later, I received a letter telling me that there was an outstanding conviction against me for the offense. Apparently, my license had not been received and the money reutirned to my account.
I wrote a letter to the magistrates court email address, explaining the situation and attached a copy of it to the court letter , explaining what had happened. My assumption was that they would realize there had been a mixup, I would take the fine and points and move on. However, I have now received a full court summons. What are my options? I have the reference of the original payment made online and the copies of the letters
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure what you are hoping to achieve?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

The reality is that whether they are right or not, you are summonsed to court.

If you are summonsed then your only options are to plead guilty or not.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Im not sure whether you are saying there is an outstanding prosecution or that you have been convicted in absence?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, my question was if you think it will be a simple matter to deal when face to face with a magistrate, given the misunderstanding and evidence of having made payment?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You are summonsed.

The fixed penalty has fallen away now. They will no interest in that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the summons is for a full court hearing, rather than a trial. And as I said, I can show that I did what I was instructed to do (paid the fine, sent my license etc.) Surely, as a result, I can argue that it should never have come to this stage?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It is difficult to tell why the fixed penalty was not used. There could be lots of reasons.

But the plain fact remains that it was not.

if it was an error of the crown's then you could mitigate on that basis but it doesn't change the fact that you are summonsed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No, as I have said, you are summonsed.

They will have no interest in the fixed penalty or it's failure.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that I have been summoned and need to attend. But my suspicion is that my license, which I still have not yet received back, has been lost or similar and, when it did not arrive, they simply refunded the online penalty payment with no follow up. As you said, mitigating circumstances.....what I want to know is if you think this qualifies or they will look at it simply as "you violated the speed limit and have not paid", without considering any context to the situation.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, possibly.

But the fixed penalty has fallen away now.

You are summonsed to court. They will have no interest in what happened with the fixed penalty. The fixed penalty is not a context. It was an offer made which now has no relevance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I see, so any idea on what I'm looking at now - best case / worse case? For background, I was 37 in a 30mph zone
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It will still only be 3 points.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

The level of the fine depends.

If they are satisfied that the fixed penalty would have been appropriate then there are Benches that will just give you a fine of £85 and the surcharge of £15 but that cant be guaranteed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If you are unlucky it could amount to a couple of hundred when costs are added.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yikes...ok, good to know. But its not likely that I'll have my license revoked. I already have three points on it.....
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

When did you pass your test?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Back in 1997
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

no, you won't be revoked. You are not a new driver.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks very much for your help. One final thing - I am quite articulate (I work in PR and communications) and I have all the notes, reference numbers, letters etc. Given the nature of the issue, I am thinking of self representation. I appreciate you are solicitor, but do you feel it would be a fair course of action?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Oh yes, this type of offence doesn't really justify the cost of a solicitor. You will be find if you represent yourself. Defendants usually do.

Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No problem.

All the best.