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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was caught speeding on the motorway, the police witness statement

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I was caught speeding on the motorway, the police witness statement says that his hand held device showed +101mph.
I intend to plead guilty and attend court without a solicitor, is this advisable?
I have an offset mortgage, do I need to declare the monies in the offset account in the savings section of the statement of means?
Finally, I have written the below for the mitigating circumstances, would this be acceptable?
"At the time of the offence, I was driving on the straight 3 lane section of the A1, there were very few cars on the road and I foolishly allowed my speed to slowly increase.
I have no points on my driving licence and this was a one off occurrence which I am ashamed and embarrassed about.
I work as a Quantity Surveyor and drive approximately 1500 miles a month in my employment, I have attached my employment terms which shows that I require my licence for work. If I was to have my licence revoked for an extended period of time, I would not be able to carry on working for my current company, nor at any other as a Quantity Surveyor. I have worked for Clugston Construction for nearly 9 years, 7 years as a qualified Quantity Surveyor following receipt of my degree and hope that to lose my job would be deemed an overly harsh punishment."

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

Do you have any previous convictions please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not in the last 5 years, I have twice received 3 points for exceeding 30mph, they were approximately 6 and 8 years ago


Can I just check this was a 70 mph zone? It wasn't reduced?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes it was a 70mph speed limit


I need about 10 mins to type out an answer if thats OK?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks yes that's fine

Thank you.

In terms of whether to attend without a solicitor, there are pros and cons on both sides. It is always better to have representation but representation does rack up the cost.

In any event, you will find a barrister under public access much cheaper than a solicitor. A junior tenant will probably do this for between £300 plus VAT to £400.

You should declare everything upon the means form but explain that the money is tied up.

In terms of your mitigation, the 1st point is great. It makes the point that there was limited traffic on the road and it expresses remorse.

The 2nd point is good as well as it draws attention to your hitherto good driving record.

The 3rd point is where your difficulty lies.

The likely outcome of this matter is that you will be given 6 points and a fine of between 75% to 125% of your weekly income, costs of £85 and the surcharge of about 10% of the fine.

The sentencing guidelines do allow courts to disqualify for between 7 to 56 days for speeds of this kind but there is no realistic chance of that happening here. Even taking into account that magistrates are generally a very unpredictable tribunal and do sometimes go off on a frolic of their own it still wouldn't be likely to happen here and if they did ban you then you could appeal to the Crown Court who would almost certainly replace any ban with points.

In your 3rd point you are raising exceptional hardship issues which do not apply to instant bans. They apply instead to people who are banned as a totter. It doesn't do any harm to include it as it is something that they can consider when setting your fine but it doesn't go to the issue of the ban either.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would you suggest that I delete the last paragraph altogether or leave in and not send my employment contract?

I'm concerned that it says +101mph rather than giving an accurate speed as to how they would assess whether to consider a ban.

I have £30k in the offset account as I received inheritance and I am keeping it as a deposit for a house, will this be taken into account when assessing the fine or do they calculate this on your income?

No, just be aware of the point that you are making. It goes to the reduction of the fine to reflect the fact that any ban would fall particularly heavily upon you.

They won't ban you. You are right at the bottom of the sentencing bracket and there are no other aggravating features.

You should really declare your entire estate to them although I am realistic about whether or not people actually do.
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