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What to Do if Caught Speeding

If you have been caught speeding, Law on the Web has all the information you need to reduce your fine and protect your licence.

Some of the more serious driving offences can result in your licence being revoked, or you could face a heavy fine or prison sentence depending on the severity of the offence.


Exceeding the speed limit is likely to result in a speeding fine of £100 and three points on your licence.

However, commit a more serious speeding offence, such as exceeding the speed limit by 30mph or more, and you are likely to face significantly tougher penalties.

Depending on your offence, you may be able to avoid your penalty points and fine by taking a speed awareness course.

Drink Driving

A driver will be charged with drink driving if they are caught behind the wheel or found in charge of a vehicle with too much alcohol in their system.

Note that drink driving offences cover more than just driving under the influence – you could be charged for a drink driving offence if you are sitting in the car with the keys, or if you refuse to take a breath test when asked to do so, by the police.

Careless Driving

Careless driving can be defined as either driving without due care and attention or driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.

You can be charged with careless driving without causing an accident or injury, but you are likely to face a more serious charge if you do.

The more serious offences, such as causing death by careless driving, can result in a disqualification from driving and a lengthy prison sentence.

Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving is usually defined as the type of driving that any competent driver would recognise as reckless and dangerous.

It can also include driving a vehicle which is in a dangerous condition, even if the person behind the wheel was driving in a safe manner (for example, if the brakes on your car were not working properly when you were driving it).

Mobile Phones

Using a mobile phone can be very distracting while you are driving, which is why it is illegal to make or receive a phone call behind the wheel, unless you are using a hands-free device.

You can be charged with a mobile phone offence if you do anything with your phone while the engine is running, even if the vehicle is stationary.

Road Rage

Road rage is not a specific offence under UK law, so it differs from other road traffic offences in that it is unlikely to result in penalty points or a disqualification from driving.

Punishments for this depend entirely on what the road user does in the throes of their road rage – for example, if they physically assault someone, they could face an assault charge.

Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)

The police must issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution if you are being charged with a driving offence. See our Notice of Intended Prosecution section for more.

Appealing Against a Conviction

You are able to appeal against a conviction in the Magistrates’ Court one of two ways – either by appealing to the Crown Court, or by appealing to the High Court by way of case stated.

The differences between the two options relate to the approach that will be taken to your appeal. Appealing to the Crown Court means a retrial, where your case will be heard again before a Judge and two Magistrates, as though the first trial had not taken place.

On the other hand, if you take your case to the High Court, this involves a hearing which will strive to establish whether the Magistrates Court made an error during your original trial, applying the law incorrectly or acting outside of their jurisdiction.

When can I appeal?

Bear in mind that you cannot appeal against your hearing unless you have good reason to believe that you can prove that the outcome of the trial should have been different.

You cannot appeal against a ruling just because you disagree with it, or think that it is unfair. A failed appeal could see you receive a harsher sentence than that which you were originally given.

Trying to tell the difference between a good potential appeal and a bad one can be difficult without legal advice, so you should seek guidance before you launch your appeal. A road traffic solicitor will be able to advise you as to whether you might have a chance to overturn your decision.

You should lodge your appeal within 21 days of the verdict. It is still possible to appeal after this deadline, but you will need to get permission from the Crown Court.

Preparing your appeal

Your appeal hearing can be more complex than the case at the Magistrates’ Court and there is more at stake, so it is important to be prepared. The proceedings are more formal, and it is likely that you will be going up against specialist Higher Court advocates representing the prosecution.

You should also note that you will be liable to pay the Prosecution’s costs if you lose – which, once you have taken your case to the Crown Court or High Court, would be a very significant sum.

Fixed Penalty Notices

If you commit a minor driving offence, you may be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) instead of being summonsed to court. This spares you the cost and inconvenience of having to go to court.

An FPN consists of a fixed penalty, typically a £100 fine and 3 penalty points. However, they can range from a £50-£300 fine and 3-6 points on your licence, depending on the severity of the offence and whether the FPN is endorsable or non-endorsable.

Issuing an FPN is up to the discretion of the police officer, and they are under no obligation to offer one in lieu of having you summoned to court.

You do have the option of challenging the FPN, but bear in mind that this will require you to go to court. If you are still convicted, you are likely to face a harsher penalty than if you had just accepted the FPN.

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