Over Speeding

The speed limit is most likely to result in a speeding fine of £100 as well as a fixed penalty notice. Though the fine for this can differ, for instance, by going over the speed limit by 30mph or more, you may face considerably tougher penalties. Depending on your offence, you may be able to avoid your penalty points and fine by completing a speed awareness course.

Drunk Driving

A driver will be accused with drunk driving if they are behind the wheel of a vehicle with a level of alcohol in their system that is above the legal limit. Note that drink driving offences concern more than just driving under the influence – you could be accused for a drink driving offence if you are sitting in the car with the keys, or if you decline to take a breath test when asked to do so, by the police.

Careless Driving

Careless Driving can be described as either driving without due care and awareness or driving without sensible consideration for other road users. You can be charged with careless driving without producing an accident or injury, but you are likely to face a more serious charge if you do. The more serious the offence, such as causing death by careless driving, the more serious the penalty which includes being banned from driving and also imprisonment.

Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving is commonly defined as the kind of driving that any capable driver would be familiar with as reckless and dangerous. This also includes driving a vehicle that is in a dangerous condition, even if the person at the wheel was driving in a safely.

Mobile Phones

Using a mobile phone can be very distracting whilst driving, which is why it is illegal to use phone whilst driving (however, it is permitted to use a hands-free device). You can be charged with a mobile phone offence if you do anything with your phone while the engine is running, even if the vehicle is motionless.

Road Rage

Road rage is not a exact offence under UK Law, so it differs from other road traffic offences in that it is unlikely to result in penalty points or a ineligibility from driving. However, this will depend on the extent of the road rage – if road rage caused a road user to cause injury to another, they could face criminal charges.

Notice of Intended Prosecution

If the police think that they have caught you committing a road traffic offence, they must give you a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP).
Under Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, you must be informed via an NIP that you may be put on trial for any of the following offences:

  • Dangerous driving
  • Careless and inconsiderate driving
  • Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous place
  • Dangerous cycling
  • Careless and inconsiderate cycling
  • Failing to conform with the indica on of a police officer when directing traffic
  • Failing to comply with a traffic sign
  • Exceeding temporary speed restrictions imposed by Section 14 of the Road Traffic Regulations on Act 1984
  • Exceeding speed restrictions on a special road
  • Exceeding temporary speed limit imposed by order
  • Speeding offences generally can be conversed orally to you at the sight of the so-called crime, or it can be posted or served to you.

You may be verbally informed at the sight of the alleged crime, or it can be posted or served to you in person;
If it is given to you after the incident, it must be done so within 14 days.
If you do not obtain it within 14 days, this will usually stop the police from prosecuting you for the alleged offe nce. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if the police could not have realistically given you the NIP within the 14-day period, or if the NIP did not arrive to you on time due to the police not obtaining your current address, they may still be able to prosecute you.
When you receive the NIP you will be expected to identify who was driving the vehicle before signing and returning it within twenty-eight days. It is imperative that you do correctly identify the driver, even if not you do not recognize who was driving the car at the time for example, if you sold the car but it is still registered to you.
The police do not need to prove that a crime was executed to send out an NIP, and previous objections to the NIP have recognized that signing and returning the NIP does not enable the driver to unjustly lay the blame on him or herself. You should also bear in mind that failing to return the NIP is likely to be construed as failing to supply driver information which is an offence that can result in six penalty points and a penalty of up to £1,000. This penalty may be even more severe than if you were originally guilty of the initial offence.

Appealing Against a Conviction

You can appeal against a conviction in the Magistrates’ Court in one of two ways; either by appealing to the Crown Court, or by appealing to the High Court by way of case stated, and your choice of either court will be highly relevant to your appeal. Appealing to the Crown Court means that there will be a trial where your case will be held before a Judge. On the other hand, if you take your case to the High Court, this will result in a hearing that will determine whether or not the Magistrates Court made an error during your original trial; either by applying the law incorrectly or by acting outside of their jurisdiction.

How to prepare for your appeal?

When you can appeal

You cannot appeal against your hearing unless you have good reason to believe that the outcome of your trial should have been different. You cannot appeal against a ruling just because you disagree with it or think that it is unjust. A failed appeal could result in an even harsher sentence than that which was originally given.
Knowing when to appeal can be different. Seeking legal advice before commencing an appeal is highly recommended and a talented Motor Offence solicitor will be able to advise you on the strength of your grounds for appeal.
It is vital to file your appeal within twenty-one days of the verdict. It is still viable to appeal once this deadline has passed, however, special permission will need to be obtained for a successful appeal to take place.

It is necessary that you arrange appropriately for your appeal hearing as it can be more difficult
than the Magistrates Court and there is more at stake. The proceedings are more official and it
is likely that you will be going up against specialist Higher Court advocates representing the prosecution.
You should also make a note of that you would be legally responsible to pay the Prosecu o n’s costs if you lose your case which, once you have engaged your case to the Crown Court or High Court would be a very significant sum.

Fixed Penalty Notices

If you are held liable for a minor driving offence, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) as an alternative of being summoned to court. An FPN consists of a fixed penalty of a £100 fine and three penalty points on your driving licence but will spare you the cost of having to go to court. Penalties range from a £50-£300 fine and 3-6 points on your licence, depending on the severity of the offe nce and whether the FPN is endorsable or non-endorsable. The issuing of an FPN is under the discretion of the police offic er, they are under no obligation to offe r one in lieu of having you summoned to court. You do have the choice of demanding the FPN, but keep in mind that this will require you to move to court. If you are still convicted, you are likely to face a harsher penalty than if you had just accepted the FPN.