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Hi guys, two quick questions really, just looking for some advise on both please.

 

Firstly I pleaded guilty by post but now it has been adjourned so that I have to attend the second date.

 

 

The letter is a bit confused, it says if you don't attend the court can hear the case in my absence and disqualify me,

the disqualification will take place immediately so don't drive on the date of the hearing.

However... it also says that if not attending an option is they can issue a warrant for my arrest!

 

I plan to attend, although as the court is 250 miles away if given the choice I would prefer to be sentenced in my absence

(even if this means the possibility of a bigger ban).

 

 

So in short, does anyone have any knowledge of people having a warrant for their arrest due to not attending,

or is this just for extreme circumstances?

 

Secondly, the paper license I sent was a few years old and has on it a couple of previous speeding convictions

expired from many years ago,

 

 

can they bring this up at all in any way in court?

Or is it assumed they will be completely unbiased and ignore this altogether?

 

Cheers :)

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Hi guys, two quick questions really, just looking for some advise on both please.

 

Firstly I pleaded guilty by post but now it has been adjourned so that I have to attend the second date. The letter is a bit confused, it basically says if you don't attend the court can hear the case in my absence and disqualify me, the disqualification will take place immediately so don't drive on the date of the hearing. However... it also says that if not attending an option is they can issue a warrant for my arrest!

 

I plan to attend, although as the court is 250 miles away if given the choice I would prefer to be sentenced in my absence (even if this means the possibility of a bigger ban). So in short, does anyone have any knowledge of people having a warrant for their arrest due to not attending, or is this just for extreme circumstances?

 

Secondly, the paper license I sent was a few years old and has on it a couple of previous speeding convictions expired from many years ago, can they bring this up at all in any way in court? Or is it assumed they will be completely unbiased and ignore this altogether?

 

Cheers :)

 

Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I'm getting alarm bells over doing over 100 mph, from memory a ban is likely.

 

To help us advise you, can you scan or type up the letter please, minus any identifying information?

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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My PC isn't working properly at the moment, google the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines, it will give you an idea of what the possible penalty is.

 

Do you have legal cover with your car insurance?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Yes from what I have found at least 6 points or a considerable ban is likely, but I hold my hands up to it and will accept that, just the other details I'm confused about.

 

Annoyingly I can't add the picture, but here it is word for word on the letter:

 

You must attend the court 30 minutes before the time shown. A listing time is not a guaranteed hearing.

 

Reasons

the matter has been adjourned because.

 

1. As the court is considering whether to disqualify you from driving because of the seriousness of the offence or the number of penalty points.

 

 

if you do not come to the next curt hearing, the court will either near the case

and disqualify you from driving or issue a warrant for your arrest to make you attend.

 

 

If the court disqualifies you, the disqualification will stat at once whether or not you are present or received notice by post.

 

 

You are advised NOT TO DRIVE after the time and date of your hearing until you know what happened.

 

-------------

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Hi, thanks for the quick responses.

 

Yes I'm charged with driving in excess of 70mph on a motorway. I'm aware of all the possible penalties, fines, and ban I may receive just hoping someone could clarify the specific questions I noted down.

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The Sentencing Guidelines indicate that a fine of between 75% and 125% of relevant weekly income is standard, with the starting point being 100%. Additionally, a ban of between 7 and 56 days OR 6 points

 

Higher culpability will be established based on factors such as poor road conditions or weather, carrying passengers or a heavy load, or driving recklessly in addition to speeding. Lower culpability may be established if there was a genuine emergency. Magistrates should consider a reduction to the sentence for a guilty plea. Any previous offences which are still live will no doubt also be relevant, but expired ones should be OK

 

I am always reminded of a couple of cases where a ban could, quite reasonably, have been imposed but the driver was able to convince the magistrate that this would not be in the interests of justice. Quite recently a colleague was in a similar position to you, but put letters before the Court expressing on his own part, remorse and shame together with a heartfelt assurance that the behaviour would not be repeated. He also included the fact that he had on his own initiative taken a driving assessment to improve his driving standards. He also included a character reference from his employer stating how disappointed they were in his driving but that he had always been a model employee and his job might be at risk should he receive a ban. In that case the magistrate increased the fine, but did not impose a ban, instead giving the alternative 6 points for the offence.

 

So - a ban is an option, but the magistrate can exercise a little discretion. Definitely worth fighting for and personally I would be looking at train fares or offering the petrol cost for somebody to take you. Non-appearance is never going to help your case, but making the effort could well keep you on the road. Don't forget that your insurance will be going up in future and a ban may look worse than receiving points, although an SP50 is going to be bad enough as it is.

 

How much do you enjoy driving and how much is it worth to keep your licence are the most relevant points here

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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If you really can't afford to go, then I suggest that you send a letter apologising to the court. Make it clear that your nonappearance in court should not be taken as a lack of respect for the court or a sign that you do not acknowledge the very serious nature of the offence.

 

Tell them that you are profoundly sorry. You realise that it was extremely reckless and you realise that that kind of behaviour on a motorway endangers the lives of others as well as yourself.

 

Tell them that you understand that you will be disqualified and that you have nothing to say and that you accept that tell them that you have enclose your license for that purpose and that you will stop driving on the day of the hearing.

 

Tell the court that if they feel that this letter and your acceptance is insufficient then if they will let you know and set a new hearing date, and you will definitely attend the court. There will be no need to arrest you.

 

Tell them that the only reason that you have not appeared court is that because the journey by public transport – a return journey of 500 miles was beyond your means and with that in mind, you would asked the court that although they will be giving you a ban, they might be prepared to give you a lighter fine than they might otherwise.

 

Send them details of your income and expenditure – full details maybe with some evidence of wage slips and bank statements.

 

I think that that is all you can do. Send the letter and the licence by registered next day special delivery so that there are no mistakes that the court doesn't have it. Make sure that you track it and that you keep printed evidence that it was sent and that it was received at its destination.

 

Make sure that you put the case number at the top of the letter and also maybe a copy of the court order giving you information about the hearing date and requiring you to attend.

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Just to add in relation to your other question - entirely down to the magistrate I would imagine, but a threat of arrest should always be taken serously

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Historically courts have been reluctant to ban people in their absence because of the risk that they will inadvertently commit the serious criminal offence of driving while disqualified before they become aware of the ban. Instead, where the court was considering disqualification, failure to turn up commonly meant an arrest warrant, handcuffs and waiting in a cell for the next available court date.

 

Apparently courts are getting more willing to ban people in their absence, partly because it's cheaper than arresting people, but the threat of arrest is still never something to be taken lightly.

 

If you don't turn up you MUST NOT drive until you know the outcome because as the letter says any ban will take effect immediately, and driving while disqualified is a serious offence which will get you community service and an elongated ban at a minimum, and jail time as a possibility (not especially likely for a first offence, but still not a risk you want to take).

 

That said if your licence is at all important to you I'd recommend that you make every effort to turn up. Contrary to popular belief a ban for doing a bit more than 100mph is not in any way a foregone conclusion if you turn up suited, booted and suitably contrite there's every chance of getting away with points instead. A letter of mitigation which will be read out in monotone by a bored legal adviser won't have quite the same impact.

 

If you do go, again be aware that any ban will take effect immediately so do not drive there unless you have an alternative plan for getting your car home.

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  • 3 months later...

A small technical point here

- ask for the certification or calibration certificate of the instrument that clocked yr ( Alleged ) speed

-if the instrument had not been calibrated recently it may exceed the 3% accuracy required of test instruments

and may sway the charge if it is found inaccurate .

 

 

I would always ask for this as any instrument used in test or legal proceedings must be calibrated or tested frequently Q

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