There are many categories of driving offence, each of which carries their own potential fines and penalties. Depending on what you have been accused of you may have penalty points added to your licence, a financial fine may be imposed, and you may even face a jail sentence or other penalty. However, just because you have been accused of committing an offence does not necessarily mean that you are guilty and, as with any other offence, you do have the opportunity to defend yourself should you choose to accept this.
The most common type of driving offence is that of speeding. Unless you were driving excessively quickly or you stand to lose your licence due to the totting up rule, you may be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice. The police view this as being a quick and simple means of dealing with offences where the courts need not be involved. As such, you may be presented with a Fixed Penalty Notice if you are stopped by the side of the road or you may receive one in the post if you were caught by a speed camera or other form of detection equipment used by the police.
The Fixed Penalty Notice
A Fixed Penalty Notice will usually be presented for a driving offence where photographic evidence can be used to prove a case against a motorist. Such offences including speeding or driving through a traffic light when it is on red. This is only a small selection, however, and there are many other offences that may be accompanied by a fixed notice.
Traditionally, the FPN is thought of as being 3 points and a £60 fine although this is only one option. The fine and points that you are offered will depend on the type and severity of the driving offence committed. This is the usual level for speeding offences but, if you are caught driving without insurance, this is considered a more serious offence and you will normally be presented with a £200 fine and 6 point penalty notice.
Contesting A Driving Offence
However, you do not need to accept the fixed penalty that is offered to you. There is a period of 28 days from the FPN being sent in which you must accept the offer if you wish to avoid going to court. If you do not accept the offer within this period then your case will automatically be referred to a local court where your case may be heard in your absence although you will be given plenty of time to respond and you will be provided with details of the hearing so that you can attend if you wish to do so.
Contacting A Solicitor
You do not have to accept a Fixed Penalty Notice and you will have 28 days in which to make your mind up. If you do intend to take the case to court then there is the chance that you could end up with a steeper punishment than the one offered in the fixed notice. You can use the 28 day period to contact a solicitor and make enquiries about the offence and the circumstances to ascertain whether the proposed punishment is a fair one or not.
Your Driving Offence
There are many different categories of driving offence and depending on the severity and type of the offence you may be presented with a fixed penalty notice. You do not need to accept this fixed penalty notice but doing so may present you with a quick and trouble free method of resolving the issues. Alternatively, you can contact a specialist solicitor who will be able to advise you on the best course of action and determine the most likely outcome.