If you are charged with serious driving offences, you will receive a summons to attend court. Lesser motoring offences do not always mean standing before a judge or magistrate and tend to receive a fixed penalty instead. However, just what are the timeframes and what can you expect?
A court summons is issued only when the police have established the identity of the driver when the offence took place. In circumstances where a traffic signal has been contravened or the speed limit has been broken, a notice of intended prosecution will be issued face-to-face, at the time the offence happened, or, later, via post to the registered car owner within a usual time period of 14 days.
The police then have a total of six months available to follow up the summons and ensure that it has been fully dealt with at court. However, this six month timeframe applies to the court receiving the summons and not the offender. You could get a summons over the statutory six months.
The summons is designed to let you know what you have been charged with and the court date. It is possible to plea by post but always consult motoring solicitors beforehand, as this may not be the best approach if the driving offences carry a penalty of over 3 points and a possible driving ban.
Always seek legal advice from a qualified motoring lawyer. They can advise you appropriately and tell you whether the case could be successfully defended. A magistrate has significant leeway when it comes to issuing penalties. Speeding traffic offences vary from 3 to 6 points and a driving ban of between 7 days and 6 months. The seriousness of penalty is often determined by how well the case is presented.
At Cunninghams Solicitors, we offer expert advice and representation on all motoring offences.
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