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Advice on Dealing with Speeding Offences
If you think you have been caught exceeding the speed limit, you may fear there is no way of mounting a defence against your charges. At JMW, our motoring solicitors understand just how serious the repercussions of being issued with speeding fines can be. If an offence results in a ban, it could also lead to job loss and a drastic change of circumstances.
That’s why it is advisable to seek legal advice from solicitors with years of experience in successfully handling cases relating to speeding tickets and fines. Our lawyers will do their utmost to keep your penalty to a minimum or fight to have the charges dropped altogether. To get in touch with our specialist motoring solicitors, call today on 0800 804 8159 or complete our online enquiry form.
If the prosecution is successful in proving its case, exceeding the speed limit is generally subject to fines of a maximum of £1,000, unless the offence took place on a motorway, in which case the maximum penalty is £2,500.
In addition, at least three penalty points will be added to your licence if you are found of guilty of speeding.
If the offence is particularly serious, or you have built up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years, a disqualification could follow. For more information on this type of penalty and how you can defend it, take a look at our Defence Against Totting Up Disqualifications page.
The prosecution needs to show that a driver (or the defendant) exceeded a speed limit. If it can prove this, the prosecution will be successful in securing a speeding conviction. However, even if it appears that the prosecution has complied with all of their duties, a defence can still be raised. It may be that a complex point in expert evidence is raised or that an attendant at the scene in question will provide a defence to what appears a watertight case.
The driver’s defence is compiled by taking careful instruction and closely scrutinising the prosecution’s evidence, something we at JMW do in every case we take on. We also give careful consideration to the paperwork issued in the case. This is to ensure that the prosecuting authorities have complied with the requirements to give a proper Notice of
Intended Prosecution (NIP) within the prescribed period of the alleged offence.
If a speed camera captured your alleged speeding offence, we can offer advice to help you challenge and defend the accusations. For more information on speed camera offences, click here.
The majority of speeding offences bring with them a fixed penalty notice or speeding summons, which both result in a fine and penalty points being issued in line with the severity of the offence.
However, when defending clients against speed camera charges, we carefully analyse all of the available evidence and make use of a number of legal arguments that can help to overturn these punishments.
These arguments include:
- Has the correct procedure been followed by those operating the camera?
- Has the use of the equipment been approved by the secretary of state?
- Was the speed camera calibrated correctly?
- Was the reading a false one?
By looking closely into these arguments, our experts may be able to achieve a positive result for you in court.
What speeding fine will I get?
The minimum fixed penalty fine is three penalty points and £100. If the driving offence involves a court summons, the maximum fine increases to £1,000. If the speeding offence took place on a motorway, this can incur a fine of £2,500. Up to six penalty points can be issued for a speeding offence.
What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?
A Fixed Penalty Notice is issued in the event of a minor speeding offence and is designed to eliminate the need for a court appearance. It must be paid within 28 days and your licence submitted.
Can I contest a Fixed Penalty Notice?
Yes. In some cases, you may want to acknowledge you were speeding, but contest the actual speed alleged. You may receive a reduced punishment if your case is successfully defended. If you wish to contest a Fixed Penalty Notice, contact a solicitor who can advise you further.
What are penalty points and how do they work?
Penalty points are issued following a speeding offence and are placed on your driving record where they will stay for three years from the date of the offence. If you accumulate 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period, then you could be disqualified from driving.
Is there a way to avoid penalty points?
If you haven’t exceeded the speed limit by an excessive amount (which is determined by individual police forces), or it is your first speeding offence, then you may be invited to attend a speed awareness course instead of getting penalty points on your licence. The course is at the Police Forces discretion and cannot be applied for and, and can only be attended once every three years.
Are penalty points the same for new drivers?
New drivers face stricter penalty point regulations than those with experience of more than two years. If you accumulate six points within two years of passing your driving test, then your licence will be revoked by the DVLA. If you wish to get your driving licence back, you must re-apply for a provisional licence and pass the written and practical driving tests again.
What happens if I'm prosecuted for speeding?
In most speeding offence cases, the severity of punishment will depend on the amount you were exceeding the speed limit. For example, the police are more likely to prosecute if the speed you were driving at exceeds the limit by more than 45%.
In the event of a prosecution, you will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution. This will outline the details of your motoring offence and you will then be required to respond with your details if you were the driver. After which, you will receive details of your court hearing.
Am I allowed a 10% leeway of the speed limit?
As soon as you exceed the speed limit then you’re liable for a speeding fine as soon as you exceed the limit. This is the case whether you’re doing 31 mph in a 30 limit or 71 mph on a motorway.
There is guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) that recommends giving drivers a so-called ‘10% plus 2’ leeway, designed to give police officers ‘discretion'; however, this is only a recommendation and not the law. The best advice is to not speed full stop.
What is the time limit for sending a Notice of Intended Prosecution for a speeding offence?
Under section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, a notice of prosecution must be given to the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days of the offence. The 14-day period begins the day after the offence. The notice of prosecution can be given verbally at the scene if you are stopped by the police, or it can be in writing if you are caught on camera. If the 14-day rule has not been respected then you could have a complete defence and may not be convicted.
The only time where this requirement does not apply is if:
- A fixed penalty has been given
- An accident occurred due to the presence of your vehicle on the road
I have received a summons for a driving offence is there any way to avoid a driving ban if I already have nine points?
It can be possible to avoid a driving ban by pleading what is known as “exceptional hardship”. In this instance, you must be able to show the court that, if disqualified, you would suffer exceptional hardship beyond the mere inconvenience of not driving. Your reasons will need to be “out of the ordinary” and you will need to show supportive evidence.
If you are concerned that you may receive a driving disqualification then you should instruct a solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
My van was caught on a speed camera in Birmingham, but I have never been to Birmingham. What can I do?
In this instance, it may be that your vehicle has been cloned, meaning that a stolen vehicle is using your registration number. You will have to prove to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that your van has been cloned.
To do so, we can ask the prosecution to disclose the evidence, which is usually a photograph or video of low quality, gather evidence and make written submissions on your behalf in an effort to have the case dropped. However, this is entirely at their discretion.
I've been caught speeding on a road that reduces from 40 mph to 30 mph. The camera that caught me is just after the 30 mph sign, however, the sign was obscured. Can I still be convicted?
In some circumstances, speeding allegations can be defended by arguing that the speed limit was not clearly marked and visible. A solicitor can help to gather the necessary evidence to write to the prosecution and persuade them to drop the case at their discretion.
How do I find out how many points I have on my driving record?
If you’re unsure how many points you have attached to your driving licence, you can find out by visiting gov.uk. You will need your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and the postcode on your driving licence.
If your endorsement details are shown incorrectly on your driving licence, you should contact the court that convicted you.
The specialist solicitors here at JMW are well-rehearsed at advising you on how to deal with the relevant documentation and building a strong speed camera defence. We can help to either keep the likely punishment to a minimum or have the proceedings dismissed.