Police-led prosecutions- Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why has my case gone to court?

I filled in paperwork asking to attend the Speed Awareness Course/Driver Awareness Course, so why has the case gone to court?

There are a number of reasons as to why your case has now gone to court.

1. The eligibility to attend the course is dependent on whether you have been on one before in the last three years. If you have attended the relevant course within the last three years you are NOT eligible for the course.

2. There is limited time in which to book onto the course using the booking system, and if you book outside the permitted time, you will no longer be able to go on the course.

3. Payment for the course also needs to be made within the permitted time, if this is not done, you will no longer be able to go on the course.

Q. I sent off payment and my licence to pay the Fixed Penalty and it’s been returned?

There could be a number of reasons as to why your case has now gone to court.

1. In order to take advantage of paying the Fixed Penalty, you should have submitted BOTH parts of your licence (if older style then paper is sufficient). If you have lost one or both parts of your licence you will not be able to submit the part that you do have. In order to comply, you must have submitted BOTH parts at the same time.

2. You should have ensured you sent the photocard and counterpart with the same licence issue number which must be the most recent.

3. You should have ensured there were sufficient funds to meet the payment; otherwise the payment will have been rejected.

4. You should have ensured the bank details you provided were legible (a misread digit can mean the payment fails).

Q. I have not been given opportunity to attend a course or pay a Fixed Penalty?

There could be a number of reasons as to why your case has now gone to court.

1. You may have been committing more than one offence and therefore a course or Fixed Penalty cannot be offered to you.

2. The offence is so serious that it must go to court (i.e. Doing over 100mph on the motorway).

3. The driver of the vehicle has been identified after a lengthy process of enquiries. Given the passage of time since the offence was committed, there is now insufficient time to offer alternative disposal so the case must go to court.

Q. Do I have to have penalty points put on my licence?

  1. Once the case comes before the court, the magistrates MUST endorse your driving licence with points or disqualify you from driving.
  2. There are limited circumstances when points are not put on your licence.
  3. The magistrates CANNOT make the amount of fine greater as an alternative to any penalty points.

Q. Fines - How was my fine worked out?

1. As your case has been dealt with by the court, the magistrates are not bound by the amount you would have paid as a fixed penalty.

2. The magistrates have the ability to impose a fine up to the following maximums; (these are subject to change and increase)

Offence

Fine

Speeding

Up to £1,000

Using a mobile phone

Up to £1,000*

Failing to comply with traffic signal (i.e. red light)

Up to £1,000*

Using vehicle without valid insurance

Up to £5,000

Driving otherwise than in accordance with licence

Up to £1,000

Failing to identify a driver involved in an offence

Up to £1,000

* It is more if the vehicle carries more than eight passengers

3. The magistrates work out the amount of fine to impose using a person's relevant weekly income (RWI).

4. The magistrates can order a person to pay a Band A - Band E fine which is worked out as follows;

Band

Percentage

A

50% of RWI

B

100% of RWI

C

150% of RWI

D

200% of RWI

E

300% of RWI

5. The Magistrates Courts Sentencing Guidelines are available online.

6. If the magistrates do not have any information about your income they must assume your relevant weekly income (RWI) to be £400

Prosecution Costs

The Police Led Prosecutors will always ensure their application for prosecution costs are kept to an acceptable minimum. On a first hearing date the application for costs will usually be £100, this reflects the work that is undertaken to prepare each case for court process. There is also an additional charge - the 'Criminal Courts Charge' which is £150.  Any subsequent hearing may attract a higher application for costs. The decision as to whether prosecution costs are awarded is entirely at the discretion of the Magistrates who hear your case.