Motoring offences all carry the potential for the imposition of a fine and when a fine is imposed, the Magistrates must also impose a “victim surcharge” of £15 as well as assessing whether you should pay a contribution to the prosecution costs.
How is the Driving Fine Calculated?
The overriding approach that a court will take in determining any fine is to look first at the seriousness of the offence and then at your own personal financial circumstances. The idea is that a fine will have the same level of impact on all drivers who have committed the same type of offence, regardless of their differing levels of income.
The Magistrates are provided with guidelines that set out the maximum level of fines for each offence and these can range from £200 to £5000. They then evaluate the seriousness of that particular offence to decide the appropriate starting point for the fine. This leaves a band to work within and is based on a percentage of your weekly income that will increase dependant on how serious this particular offence is. The Magistrates will then consider the aggravating and mitigating features of the case, your own personal mitigation, any reduction appropriate for a guilty plea and of course any unusual outgoings that you may have and taking all these factors into account, fix the amount of the fine.
What’s the Time Limit on the Payment of the Fine?
Usually, the courts are willing to accept a reasonable offer of instalment payments but expect that the fine will be paid within a year. If your financial situation changes, you can come back to the court to discuss a change of instalment levels. If you fail to pay your fine then it can be passed to the bailiffs and ultimately you could face a term of imprisonment for non payment.
If you have been given a driving fine you may be worried about the financial costs, or maybe you feel the fine is unjust? Here at Just Motor Law we’re here to help with such circumstances and have extensive experience of helping those charged with motoring offences. If your alleged offence could also incur points on your license then the situation can be even more worrying, give one of our friendly team a call to discuss exceptional hardship which could help to prevent you totting those points up and retain a clear license.