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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been charged with speeding on the north bound carriagway

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I have been charged with speeding on the north bound carriagway of the M1 when I was actually driving on the southbound carriagway. Should I plead not guilty?
Thank you question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Do you admit speeding regardless of the error?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you.
You can plead not guilty as indeed you were not driving at the location that they allege. If they do not find this and correct it then you would have a defence in court.
The practical reality however is that they probably will find this at some points and then they will just amend the charge. Then you will be in a position where there is no alternative but to plead guilty and is you will have incurred costs. It would be possible to argue that costs should be minimal because you pleaded guilty as soon as the charge was put correctly but it is fair to say that it's still would be greater than if you were had accepted the fixed penalty.
This comes down really to how much risk you want to take. Anything could happen. They may forget to summons you. That does happen sometimes and if it does then that is wonderful. You can't hide though from the risk that this error is one that they will put right.
Sorry if that is bad news but I have to give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am required to attend Leicester Magistrates' court to deal with this matter.

The north/south error only exists in the "statement of facts" whereas the actual charge states southbound, which is correct. I have been offered the opportunity to plead guilty by post, which I would have done immediately if I had not discovered this inconsistency.

Would it be best, ***** ***** opinion, just to plead guilty and accept the fine and points?

Are you prepared to risk costs ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since this is going to court anyway there will be a chararge of £85, already advised. What other costs might be involved? I am prepared to pay a certain amount, if the outcome is positive, otherwise it will probably be easier/cheaper to pay the fine and the court costs. Obviouasly points and a fine will also reflect upon my insurance premium. What, in your opinion would be the most cost effective route to take?

Obviously this hinges on the mistake in the "statement of facts" having any bearing on the matter.

Your assumption that this is a fixed penalty matter is incorrect.

The claimed speed is over 100 mph.

If you have a trial costs will rack up to around £300
If you plead at first instance it will be £85.
Obviously nobody can guarantee a positive outcome. You take the roll of the dice if you have trials.
If you have to plead mid trial because they amend the charge then you might be able to argue that you should have full credit because it was the first time the right charge was put and so you should only be asked to pay £85 but you might not get a sympathetic hearing.
If you go to court, there will be increased prosecution costs and a higher fine if ultimately you are found guilty.
It's likely to cost you several hundred pounds
Realistically, they will amend the charge.
I would plead by post personally. You can always add a note that it was at the wrong location.
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