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What is the offence?
It is very common for a person to find themselves with 3 points on their licence as a result of going through a speed camera. Speeding is something that can be dealt with by a straight forward fixed penalty notice or there can be a very different outcome of a more lengthy disqualification.
The police can use hand held cameras at the side of the road to catch anyone going too fast or the static cameras will photograph any vehicle travelling above the speed limit.
I have been caught speeding what happens next
There are a number of different scenarios if you have been driving above the speed limit. You could be offered a fixed penalty at the roadside, or receive a verbal or written notice of intended prosecution at the time of the offence. You may receive a notice of intended prosecution by post. The outcome will be:
- Fixed penalty
- Speed awareness course
- Summons to court
Notice of intended prosecution
If the police stop you and they do not offer a fixed penalty they may verbally give you notice that they intend to prosecute. Alternatively if you went through a speed camera you will receive a notice of intended prosecution through the post.
It is important that you respond to the written notice within 28 days. If you do not respond you may be committing an offence of failing to provide driver details (link). There are certain requirements that have to be adhered to for the notice of intended prosecution to be valid.
Once it has been established that you are the driver you will receive further information either offering:
- Fixed penalty
- Speed awareness course
- Summons to court
Fixed penalty notice
Another option sometimes offered for speeding is a fixed penalty notice. You may be offered a fixed penalty notice at the time of the offence at the discretion of the officer. Although speeding is an offence for which you will receive points it is not necessary for you to hand over your licence or send it off. As everything is computerised the fixed penalty can be given at the side of the road. The only situation this may not occur is if the computers are not working or there is an issue relating to identity or documents.
If you accept the fixed penalty notice, you will receive 3 points on your licence and will be required to pay £100 within 28 days.
If you do not pay the fine the case will be referred to the courts. If you do not accept the offence you can request that your case is heard at court. Please be aware that if you are convicted at court the fine is likely to be higher and you will also be ordered to pay costs.
You could also receive the offer of a fixed penalty through the post after responding to the notice of intended prosecution.
Speed awareness Course
All police forces have the discretion to offer a speed awareness course. This is an alternative to a fixed penalty notice or a formal prosecution.
It will be necessary for you to pay for the course but if you attend you will not be prosecuted before the court and will not receive points on your licence.
Summons for court
You may receive a summons for court. You may not have to attend court initially but you will have some documentation to complete to explain to the court whether you are pleading guilty or not guilty. You can also attend court.
To be convicted of speeding it is necessary for one of the following to take place:
- Be informed at the time of the offence that you may be prosecuted
- A notice of intended prosecution must be sent to the registered keeper within 14 days of the offence.
- Receive a court summons within 13 days of the offence.
What is the penalty?
The magistrates use guidelines to assist them in deciding on a sentence. The magistrates can impose anything from 3 points and a financial penalty to a lengthy disqualification.
It is often the case that although you are only receiving 3 points on your licence you may be disqualified as a result of the totting provisions and reaching 12 points on your licence will mean a disqualification.
Alternatively you may be a new driver link and receiving 3 points would take you to 6 points and result in your licence being revoked.
You could be in the position that you are facing a disqualification for the high speed you were travelling. Sometimes if you have sent the documentation to the court you will receive a letter asking you to attend court for the magistrates to consider disqualification.
Do I have a defence?
It may be that you dispute the speed you were travelling and believe the machine to be faulty. It may not have been you in the car at the time. We can represent you in any trial and fully prepare your case obtaining any necessary expert report.
Is there any way I can keep my licence?
If you are facing the loss of your licence please contact us. You could argue special reasons and explain that there were extenuating circumstances relating to the offence that should be taken into account. If this argument is successful you will avoid a disqualification or even an endorsement.
Exceptional hardship can also be used. This is a submission to the court to explain your personal circumstances and how very real hardship would occur if you lost your licence.
These are circumstances that go beyond the normal hardship encountered if you were to lose your licence. This can be the impact on others such as an elderly relative, children, business and its staff or impact on your work.
We're always here to help you
If you are contacted by the police or receive a summons for court we may be able to help you. It is quick and simple to make an appointment, just contact us by email or phone. We can see you in the office or speak to you on the phone.
We are available 24 hours a day providing a professional service with direct access to a solicitor. If you need help to keep your licence please contact us.Get a free quote