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Not wearing seat belt fine


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I was stupid recently and got a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt whilst driving. Got pulled over and got a ticket. 

 

At the time i was going through mental health crisis, was extremely suicidal (part of the reason i wasnt wearing the belt) and was in a really bad way, almost psychosis.

 

 I really cant afford to pay the fine,

i am on disability benefits (due to mental health issues)

but have just been able to get an old counsellor to see me privately after me getting some free sessions with her through a hospice,

 

she is giving me a massively reduced rate to help me get the help she knows i desperately need. 

 

If i pay the police fine, i cant do the counselling. 

 

Does anyone think i would have a genuine case to get the fine thrown out or reduced if i allowed it to go to court under some mental health issues.

Or am i likely to lose and get a massively increased fine? 

 

I know its my own fault for getting the fine,

im just desperate to do the counselling and as i say i cant afford both :-(

(im borrowing the money for counselling as it is) 

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i would be extremely careful here.BG 

my neighbour almost got banned a couple years back by stating he has mental health issues that cause him to be forgetful

 

you are more likely to have your licence removed as your mental state could endanger you or others when behind the wheel if you start saying like above....

.

 

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Accept the fine.  Advise that you are currently on disability benefits and cannot afford to pay the fine in one go.  They may allow you a number of months to pay it.

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You cannot pay a fixed penalty (which is what you have been offered) by instalments. There is simply no facility to do so. Your only alternative is to take the matter to court.

 

As warned above, be very careful about mentioning mental health issues which may have affected your driving. The DVLA (if they get involved) will rightly ask that if you have problems which caused you to forget one of what should be the automatic procedures involved with driving (fastening your seat belt) what other influences might the condition have on your driving? I would not go down that road at all. 

 

If you take the matter to court it will almost certainly cost you more.

 

Apart from the fine you will have to pay costs (usually £85) and a "Victim Surcharge" (minimum £34). You might (but it's a very big "might") encounter a Bench which accepts that the only reason you brought the matter to court was to secure a payment plan and they might (another very big "might") see fit to impose a fine at the Fixed Penalty level with no costs. But I doubt it very much. It simply makes no sense to go to court when you intend to plead guilty, having been offered a fixed penalty.

 

Far better to try to borrow the money from somewhere.

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The advice from Police is to phone 101 and you will get through to their local office.  Hopefully you will then be put in touch with someone to discuss payment methods, which may have to be via Magistrates court, as Man in the Middle says the Police will not administer a payment arrangement.  There must be a way to arrangement payment, where you do not have the facility to do so and no friend/relative can assist you.

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26 minutes ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

Hopefully you will then be put in touch with someone to discuss payment methods, which may have to be via Magistrates court,

 

I don't believe any such facility exists but even if it did it would certainly not be via the Magistrates' Court. The problem is that the offer of a Fixed Penalty is conditional. It is conditional on the person subject to it paying the full sum within 28 days. There are other conditions where an offence involves a driving licence endorsement but they do not apply here. The problem for the police is if they agree to a payment arrangement and it is not kept their only recourse is court action and there is a strict six month time limit for them to initiate that action.

 

The idea of Fixed Penalties is that they cost the police far less to deal with than taking the matters to court. Offenders are encouraged to accept them by making them considerably less expensive than the penalties a court would impose. It makes no sense to do that and then introduce all manner of expensive administrative complications to allow them to be paid by instalments. 

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