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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 70281
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Traffic Ticket Questions.

Resolved Question:

I have been sent a postal requisition for being recorded by a laser camera at 53 mph in a 30 mph zone. Is it best to attend court or simply plead guilty by post? I'm assuming the courts prefer the latter as it must be cheaper, but would my not appearing be interpreted as not taking this seriously?

I am 48, and until this point I have had a clean driving record since 1981 apart from an SP30 fixed penalty in 1991, and need to be able to drive for my work.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

Do you have any other points?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No other points.
Clean since 1991/2 when I was given a fixed penalty and 3 points for doing 80-something on a motorway. And this is the only other offence I have ever had in 30 years of driving, and hundreds of thousands of miles.

On the face of it, it seems like I should just 'fess up and accept what's coming to me. The part that slightly worries me is that I drive a Porsche - and worry this may 'color' the judgment of magistrates?? Fact is I am a car enthusiast and have driven Porsches (the current one is an 8 year old 911) for 10 years and this is the only time I have been caught for speeding.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

You should certainly plead guilty by post. However, I'm very sorry you're likely to be summonsed to court for the consideration disqualification.

It's nothing to do with the type of car you drive. That would make no difference. Even before magistrates the type of car you drive would not have an impact.

The difficulty is that your speed was so high proportion at the limit that the fixed penalty is no longer appropriate.

I'm afraid you're facing 6 points or 7 to 56 days disqualification. I would expect 6 points as a result of all circumstances in this case. You're at the lower end of the sentencing bracket. Also you have previous good record. However, either way they will want you to attend for consideration disqualification.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, not what I wanted to hear, but appreciate you being straight with me. I'll finish filling in the form.

If I attend, and they were to ban me, is that instantaneous, or does it get applied at some date after the court hearing? i.e. would it prevent me from driving home afterwards ?

From what you say, I should probably expect them to ask me to attend at some point, even if I just do it by post now.
So does it make any sense to travel all the way there the first time? In you experience does 'turning up' make it less or more likely that they will be lenient when deciding on the punishment.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

If you were disqualified at court then he would have immediate effect and you would be unable to drive home. For that reason is propping a good idea to drive to court.

However, I think you would properly get 6 points.

In relation to turning up on the day it very much depends on the impression that you make. Certainly, if you attend court smartly dressed in good time and express remorse magistrates generally will look favorably upon that.

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