Don’t Forget to Send Your Driver Details When Accepting a Fixed Penalty
Rarely does a week go by without a call from someone who has paid a £100 fixed penalty and then received a Single Justice Procedural Notice for Speeding.
They have no idea why the case appears to have escalated so that it is in the court system. I have explained the most common reason below.
Why Have I Received Single Justice Papers When I Have Already Paid a Fixed Penalty?
If you are eligible for a fixed penalty, you will be asked to do two things:
- Pay the £100 penalty
- Provide your driving licence details
It is the second step that most people overlook.
If you do not provide your driving licence details, you have not complied with the offer of a fixed penalty.
It does not matter if you have already provided your licence details when you received the Notice of Intended Prosecution or request for driver details. You must provide them again when you are offered the fixed penalty.
Providing your details is a legal requirement if you want to accept a fixed penalty. These details are sent to a different department than when you replied to the first notice. They will not be able to process the fixed penalty if you do not give your details.
You will not be sent a reminder if you forget. If licence details are missing, the matter will almost always be sent to the court for processing. This will result in a Single Justice Notice being issued.
What should I do if I receive a Single Justice Notice?
Don’t panic, but you do need to enter a plea within 21 days.
The first thing to do is to check you have not already been given points for the offence. Check online to view your licence record. If no points are showing for that offence, it is very likely the offence has not been dealt with.
Next, you should check your bank statement to see if there has been a refund of the £100 you paid. If you see a refund, it is almost certainly because you have not sent in your details so the fixed penalty could not be processed. The police won’t notify you of the refund.
What should I put on the Single Justice Notice?
If you accept the offence, you will be pleading guilty. If you aren’t sure, you should take legal advice before entering a plea.
If applicable, it is worth including an explanation to the court about how you believed you had accepted a fixed penalty. Some courts are sympathetic and will give you a penalty similar to a fixed penalty. However, the courts use sentencing guidelines to determine how many points should be imposed and the level of fine. Therefore, there are no guarantees you will receive 3 points and a £100 fine.
If you did not receive the offer of a fixed penalty, you could not have accepted it. Therefore, you should make the court aware of this. The Sentencing Guidelines say you should not be put in a worse position if it wasn’t your fault.
If you need help, we can enter the plea for you. Please refer to our fees page for more information.
Will I have a criminal record?
You will have a motoring conviction which is technically a criminal offence. Fixed penalties are also motoring convictions, even though you do not have to go to court.
However, you will not have a criminal record.
We cannot answer questions about the impact motoring offences will have on DBS checks for employment purposes, immigration or other areas. You would need to speak to the relevant authority or an employment lawyer for advice on the impact of an offence.
Based on our experience, a single low level speeding conviction has very little impact for most people, regardless of whether it is a police issued fixed penalty or is dealt with at court.
See below for an example of the instructions on a fixed penalty offer.
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