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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69261
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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, I was charged with driving without MOT last year and received

Customer Question

Hi, I was charged with driving without MOT last year and received an initial penalty charge offer. I didn't pay this at the time party due to lack of funds and partly due to disorganisation. I have since received a postal charge for this offence which has given me a court date. In dealing with a pile of back paperwork yesterday I realise the court date is tomorrow and I do not have time to submit the required forms. I have tried to contact the courts on the the phone number but they seem always busy. I would like advice on course of action, given that I do not contest the charge. I do not want to have a larger fine or indeed a secondary offence of not submitting paperwork etc..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Can you attend court and plead?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If it came to it I suppose so, I am self employed and the court is a 4 hour round trip by car so I would be giving up a day's pay effectively

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The only way to be sure at this stage that they receive your plea is to attend and deliver it in person.
Alternatively, you can try to get through to them and fax the written forms to the Court but you do take the risk that it will not be received, or reach the wrong person etc.
I know these lines are continually engaged but usually you do get through in the end. That is no guarantee of success though. Magistrates courts are not always a power house of efficiency. Messages often don't get through.
Sorry as I know that is probably bad news but it is your only option.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was prepared for bad news that's fine.

If I cannot attend, or my plea is not received and I am found guilty in my absence ( I assume ) what is the likely hood that the fine will be increased or I will be pursued for not submitting a statement of means, or submitting licence for endorsement. Although I believe that driving without MOT does not carry an endorsement, just a that correct ?

A days wages for me could mean a loss of £300.00 or so I need to weigh up the overall cost.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The MOT is just a fine. You will lose credit for a guilty plea.
There will also be costs added because they may try the matter there and then. If they adjourn the matter for a trial then you can always ask the court to accept a plea later on and you won't lose much credit.
Probably the trail costs would be about £200. It is just a paper exercise so no witness would have attended. I used to prosecute at traffic courts all the time and I only ever applied for £85 costs on these circumstances but not everybody is fair so you can't rely on it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry, I am still a little unsure.

If I attend and plead guilty there will be fine plus costs, plus my loss of earnings.

If I don't attend / plea, there will be a fine plus costs, but no loss of earnings.

Is there any disadvantage to the latter course ?

I don't wish to plead anything other than guilty

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The disadvantage is that they may try you in absence and then add court costs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I see, thanks.

But presumably at some point, even if it is adjourned, there will be costs to pay anyway.?

£85.00 was mentioned in the paperwork

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
£85 is the costs for an early guilty plea. If you have a trial then it will rack up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand now, thank you. The court paperwork and terminology is confusing at best.

Thank you for your time.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem.
All the best.

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