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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71034
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was recorded driving at a speed of 73 on the M2 when there

Customer Question

I was recorded driving at a speed of 73 on the M2 when there was a variable limit due to roadworks of 50 in place. I paid the fine of £100 straightaway but due to the Counterpart of my licence having been lost and a duplicate requiring to be processed, I exceeded the time to respond with that and so the matter will not now be decided by fixed penalty but I must attend trial and face the possibility of a heavier sentence. I have pleaded guilty to the offence; any mitigation is not therefore related to the circumstances of the offence, but to the reasons for submitting the required paperwork out of time, which was due to the counterpart having been lost in a house move and my having to present the duplicate counterpart to a new employer in order to be allocated a company vehicle around the time of the deadline for submission of the counterpart. It was in the end only a matter of a few days late, and the fine had been previously paid promptly and has now been refunded. Can my plea in mitigation focus on the the reasons for late submission and requesting leniency in respect of the now potentially much heavier sentence?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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

Just to clarify, why did you not send your licence off please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because the counterpart had been lost in a house move and the law requires that both card and counterpart should be submitted.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi - still there?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.


Did you send the card off?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I am slightly surprised that they wanted to issue a fixed penalty anyway if this is 73 mph in a 50 mph zone. That is outside of the sentencing guidelines but they can do things like that when it suits them. You might have found that they would have revoked the offer anyway so it wouldn't have made any difference.

In terms of mitigation, you can always explain that you tried to accept the fixed penalty but could not for this reason. It is not actually particularly good mitigation but it doesn't aggravate the position.

You do need to focus upon other issues though.

This is a high speed. Its not the worst but it is a high speed. You are at risk of 4-6 points or a ban of between 7 - 28 days. There is no realistic prospect of anything more than 4-5 points and a fine.

Usually with speeding offences you mitigate on the basis, if true, that the distance driven at speed was short, the weather was clement, the visibility was good and there was limited traffic and what was there moved at a similar speed. Obviously you can only make those points if they are true. Also, remorse and hitherto good record is always helpful.

if you plead by post then costs will only be £85 and the surcharge will be roughly 10% of the fine which will be 75-125% of your weekly income.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. I have pleaded guilty by post but will attend to give the mitigation in person as I hope this will allow me to put things across better. Are there a additional cost implications of doing that ?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Its always a risk though.

A person who attends in person smartly dressed and behaves respectfully towards the court does generally receive more favourable treatment to a person who pleas in absence.

A person who is abusive would be better off staying at home. I realise that nobody sets out intending to be abusive but some Magistrates would drive a saint to violence!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok - understood and thanks
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.