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MSA101

Hello,

I am posting this for my brother who has received a Single justice procedure notice - Charged with a driving offence.

The situation: he received a speeding fine for 60 in a 40 on a dual carriageway back in October by a mobile speed van and plead guilty and sent off a reply and was offered £100 fine and 3 points which he accepted. He provided a supporting letter with it also

The fine was paid online pretty promptly and the form and licence was sent off in November. This was to West Midlands police.

He has just received a single justice procedure notice, asking him to plead guilty, not guilty or guilty and to go to court. He managed to get someone on the phone briefly today before they closed today but they kept asking for allocated court of which there wasn't one on the form and the call pretty much went nowhere.

This has understandably caused a lot of stress as it was considered dealt with. We just need to know what the right steps are now, as I said he was more than happy to accept the points and fine and played ball all the way through. The licence still hasn't been sent back so I am wondering if it has been lost in the post. It was sent 1st class only.

Please advise on what to do of anything. As i said, guilt was admitted, fine was paid etc. And this has come out of nowhere
The Rookie
First off call the camera team and ask why it’s gone to an SJPN, I would suspect the licence wasn’t received for some reason.

If you want to discuss it in court you have to return the form with the SJPN asking for it to be transferred to the magistrates court.

If the fixed penalty wasn’t taken up for reasons unrelated to the offence then the defendant can ask the court to consider applying the same tariff.
Jlc
As above but what did this ‘supporting letter’ say?
andy_foster
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 17:44) *
I am posting this for my brother ...


Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.
MSA101
QUOTE (Jlc @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 19:56) *
As above but what did this ‘supporting letter’ say?


To be honest from what I remember it was just a begging letter saying he was sorry and has had a clean licence for 10+ years and not to give him too many points.

As i said all paperwork was sent off and there is a statement showing online payment. The only thing I can think is that they didn't receive the licence. it was around Christmas, if it is due to the licence going missing in the post what are the options. Does it need to go to court?

QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 20:11) *
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 17:44) *
I am posting this for my brother ...


Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.


I know I know I hate second hand news as well. But as he wasn't on the forum it just saved opening a new account.
Jlc
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 19:42) *
To be honest from what I remember it was just a begging letter saying he was sorry and has had a clean licence for 10+ years and not to give him too many points.

'Supporting' letters are completely unnecessary and as the penalty was, well, fixed it appears they may have taken this letter as not accepting the penalty and has been referred to court.
Fredd
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 19:42) *
To be honest from what I remember it was just a begging letter saying he was sorry and has had a clean licence for 10+ years and not to give him too many points.

Bad, bad mistake. He was offered a fixed penalty; making any kind of plea to reduce it or consider mitigating circumstances will just result in it going to court, as that's the only way of considering a reduced penalty.
MSA101
QUOTE (Fredd @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 20:48) *
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 19:42) *
To be honest from what I remember it was just a begging letter saying he was sorry and has had a clean licence for 10+ years and not to give him too many points.

Bad, bad mistake. He was offered a fixed penalty; making any kind of plea to reduce it or consider mitigating circumstances will just result in it going to court, as that's the only way of considering a reduced penalty.


Sorry I don't i think I was clear on this point. The supporting letter was sent when the original NIP arrived, asking to confirm the driver. He confirmed it was him, included the letter. In response to this he was sent a fixed penalty letter, which he paid straightaway and sent his licence in.
Jlc
Ok, strange... I presume he didn't have 9 points at the time?
MSA101
No completely clean licence, held it for 10+ years both on a car and motorbike
Jlc
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 20:05) *
No completely clean licence, held it for 10+ years both on a car and motorbike

Duh, just spotted that.

Well it appears it didn't arrive then.
MSA101
So what would be the next step? Sorry to sound like a novice but points etc is not something either of us have dealt with it, that's with almost 30 years driving between us. And we have never had to deal with court in any capacity. Will contact the camera team first and if they say the licence wasn't received, which it appears to be, is there anything they can do about it? Payment was made almost two months ago and I've read in other forums that money is refunded. This hasn't happened yet so I am not sure what to make of it
Jlc
You can contact them to see if they can shed any light. (It's unlikely the matter can avoid court though)

The usual procedure would be to plead guilty and request that a fixed penalty equivalent sentence is considered as the issue (if it was) an administrative issue unrelated to the offence itself.

The wording from the guidelines is: (Page 453)

QUOTE
When sentencing in cases in which a penalty notice was available:
* where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence
itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point
should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be
imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in
these circumstances.


My emphasis.

If they use normal sentencing then it's likely to be 5 points and a fine around 2/3 weekly earnings. (Plus £85 costs and surcharge of 10% of the fine, min £0)
cp8759
QUOTE (MSA101 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 20:25) *
So what would be the next step? Sorry to sound like a novice but points etc is not something either of us have dealt with it, that's with almost 30 years driving between us. And we have never had to deal with court in any capacity. Will contact the camera team first and if they say the licence wasn't received, which it appears to be, is there anything they can do about it? Payment was made almost two months ago and I've read in other forums that money is refunded. This hasn't happened yet so I am not sure what to make of it

In the below please treat "you" as a reference to your brother when appropriate.

Well the first thing to do now is contact the fixed penalty office and confirm whether they have or haven't received the licence. Assuming they haven't and the licence has been lost in the post, applying for a replacement from DVLA and making a claim against Royal Mail for the cost would be the logical next steps (Even for 1st/2ns class mail you can claim although last time I checked it was capped at around £20 or so, providing of course that you have proof of postage).

You should also ask for the matter to be transferred to a normal Magistrates court, you can then attend the hearing and ask the magistrates to impose a fine at the fixed penalty notice level, you can draw their attention to this guidance (https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/explanatory-material/item/out-of-court-disposals/5-penalty-notices-fixed-penalty-notices-and-penalty-notices-for-disorder/):

"where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in these circumstances."
Jlc
QUOTE (cp8759 @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 20:42) *
You should also ask for the matter to be transferred to a normal Magistrates court

The SJ should consider it - seems a better idea than using up valuable court time?
MSA101
So is it better to plead guilty and ask to go to court or Plead guilty without a court hearing and highlight the circumstances? Hoped that it could have been dealt with without a court appearance
Jlc
The Single Justice Procedure is a postal plea process only. You cannot attend but have a 'right' to revert to normal court should you wish. (Or the SJ can do this under certain circumstances- usually if a ban is to be considered)

The SJ should consider the guidelines if prompted.

One angle is that you can’t have a conversation with the SJ to put the case for the guidance to be considered. The sentence could be appealed if necessary.
cp8759
QUOTE (Jlc @ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 - 22:07) *
One angle is that you can’t have a conversation with the SJ to put the case for the guidance to be considered.

That's the only reason why, if it were me, I would go for a personal hearing, but I agree it isn't strictly necessary.
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