Fixed Penalty Notices Explained

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

A fixed penalty notice is an alternative to prosecution in front of a magistrate court.  However if you wish to challenge the fixed penalty Notice you will have to do so in court. If you accept guilt then you need to pay the fine or collect the points on your drivers licence. Do not ignore a fixed penalty notice… it will not go away….. if you do nothing you will eventually be summons to court.  In many cases if you pay within in a fixed amount of time then you will find that the actual penalty fine is reduced.

How will I receive a fixed penalty notice?

You can receive a fixed penalty notice in one of two ways.

  1. Directly from the Police, for instance if they have pulled you over for not wearing your seat belt.
  2. In the post where you have been caught by a speed camera.

The History of the fixed penalty notice.

In the 1950’s the fixed penalty fine was brought in to deal with minor parking offences, used by the police and traffic wardens.
A wider range of minor traffic offences were covered by the penalties in the 1988 Road Traffic Act.
The road traffic act 1991 saw an increase of use for the fixed penalty notice, many of the fixed penalty notices have been taken over by local authorities freeing up the police. In more recent years the fixed penalty notices can be used for non motoring offense’s such as anti social behaviour.

How much is the fine for a fixed penalty notice?

This very much depends on the offence carried out and its severity, but the fines can range from £50 – £500, remember if you receive a notice deal with it immediately. In most cases you will have a reduced amount to pay within 14 days. If you are appealing against the charge make sure you log dates and take copies of letters etc, all evidence is vital when taking these to court. If you go to court and lose your case you may have to pay the full fine amount. So if you can show letters etc that you have started the appeal stage withing the allotted time for a reduction, you may be able to get away with paying the lesser amount.

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