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Son stopped/prosecuted, for 2 car defects **fine had been reduced to £355.00**

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My son was stopped and prosecuted, for two defects on his car.

He was informed that he did not need to attend court, and if he choose not too, his offences would be dealt with, in his absence.

 

One offence was a defective tyre, and the other was jagged, plastic body work.

 

The paper work has come from the court, and i think that the fines are excessive.

 

£440 for each offence, £85 for costs, and £45 for something else.

 

Do these seem excessive, and if so can he appeal?

Paul

Edited by dx100uk
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Sounds about normal. Theyre meant to be a deterrent. If he didnt turn up to defend himself or send in a written defence , then the max will apply.


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The £45 'for something else' will be the Victim Support surcharge, 10% of the fine. It was brought in several years ago to fund the charity that helps victims of crime.

 

There will also be up to 3 points added to his licence for each offence.


My time as a Police Officer and subsequently time working within the Motor Trade gives me certain insights into the problems that consumers may encounter.

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The normal fine for each offence is a band B fine, whihc means 100% of his weekly post-tax income. This would be reduced by a third if he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity (by post if he wasn't attending court).

 

So did he complete and return the paperwork that came with the original summons/SJPN? In particular

 

(1) Did he indicate that he was pleading guilty? If not, he wouldn't have got the one third discount

(2) Did he fill in the statement of means with details of his income? If not, his income would be assumed to be £440/week - the notional national average.

 

Prosecution costs of £85 and victim surcharge of 10% of the fine (rounded to the nearest fiver) are standard in the circumstances.

 

It sounds like he didn't complete the paperwork. Rather than appealing and risking additional costs, his first course of action might be to contact the court and ask if the fines can be reconsidered if he submits a statement of means now. That's assuming his income is lower than £440/week - if it's higher he might be best to pay and keep schtum!

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Yes, the calculations above seem right if the court had no information about his plea or his means. Just a slight correction to Glick's answer - he will only receive one lot of three points.

 

He needs to calculate whether he would be better off asking for the matter to be revisited or remaining silent. He would actually have to have an income of more than £660pw before remaining silent would be the best option. If he gets the court to revisit the matter he can enter a guilty plea and get a one-third discount. So any income below £660 will see fines of less than £440. He should contact the court and ask them to re-open the case under Section 142 of the Magistrates' Court Act. This says:

 

Power of magistrates’ court to re-open cases to rectify mistakes etc.

 

(1)A magistrates’ court may vary or rescind a sentence or other order imposed or made by it when dealing with an offender if it appears to the court to be in the interests of justice to do so; and it is hereby declared that this power extends to replacing a sentence or order which for any reason appears to be invalid by another which the court has power to impose or make.

If he did not respond to the Single Justice Notice the court may not be receptive to reopening, though they may be sympathetic. He may have to plead ignorance and suggest that he thought it would be assumed he would plead guilty since he was advised he did not have to attend. If he did respond he should suggest that the paperwork was lost in the post.

 

The decision whether or not to reopen rests with the Magistrates not with any admin staff so he must stand his ground if he meets any obstruction. He is entitled to put his request to reopen before the court.

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He is self employed, but doesn't have much work at the moment, in fact i have just had to lend him some money.

Paul.

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He is self employed, but doesn't have much work at the moment, in fact i have just had to lend him some money.

Paul.

 

Definitely worth asking for the matter to be re-opened then. He should get onto it on Monday.

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Thank you for replying, we have sent a signed for letter, asking for another look at the case. How would we know the difference, between an admin reply, or a magistrate's reply.

Paul.

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Theyll let you know on the letter.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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It is not in an administrator's gift to grant or decline your son's request. The decision to re-open the case or not is one for the Bench. The problem is that some court staff sometimes take it upon themselves to make decisions which they are not entitled to make. I heard just recently of a defendant having such a request declined (by court admin staff) "because you had pleaded guilty". There is no substance in such a decision and in any case it was not an administrator's to make.

 

The request cannot be heard in his absence (he will have to attend court to make it before the Magistrates) and therefore it cannot be declined without him being there (unless he fails to turn up). All the court staff should do is make an appointment for him. If he encounters difficulty he should contact the Clerk to the Justices for the area concerned. Details will be available on HMCTS website.

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Many thanks for all the advice, my son has been asked to contact the court, so it may be good news.

Paul.

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We sent off a letter, to ask about whether the court, would look again at my son's case. 

 

We received a short reply, asking us to fill in a means tested form, which we did, and returned it to the court, with a recent bank, and credit card statement.

 

We received a reply, and the statements returned. We understood from the reply, that we would have to wait for the next hearing on the 14th of March.

 

After a few days, a summons arrived, dated the 8th of March, saying that the fine had not been paid, and that a hearing on the 26th of March would deal with it.

 

I rang the court, and they said it was a generic letter, and not to worry. They confirmed that they had received our paperwork, and would be presented to the court.

 

They asked if we wanted to attend or not, and said it would not affect the outcome. My son said that he would plead guilty to the original offence, and they made a note of that.

 

I have drafted a letter to send to the court, outlining most of what was said over the phone, as I didn't want to rely on just a phone call.

 

Does this sound right, or is my son, now being tried for not paying the fine, or the original offence?

Paul.

 

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I would pitch up on the 26th anyway and put the case to the bench in person. Nothing to lose and it will clear up any doubts. If you rely on paperwork again and it is a hearing for the non payment then the bailiffs may well be visiting and that will  more than double the amount they are after

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My son had a letter from the court today, saying that his fine had been reduced to £355.00, and he can pay over 10 months.

So a good result for him, and affordable.

I would like to say thank you, to everybody for their advice on this matter, it was much appreciated.

Paul.

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well done bet you are relieved.

topic title updated

 

dx

 


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