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Fixed Penalty Notice Offences

We are Specialist Fixed Penalty Notice Solicitors

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists who have been offered a Fixed Penalty Notice for a range of offences, including the most common fixed penalty notices for speeding, driving with no insurance, careless driving and using a mobile phone (whilst driving).

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) can be issued by the police for the following offences:

  • Speeding
  • Driving without due care and attention (careless driving)
  • No insurance
  • Using a mobile phone
  • Failing to identify the driver
  • Parking Offences
  • Defective Brakes
  • Opening Car doors in a manner to cause danger or injury
  • Driving with a dangerous load
  • Defective Tyres
  • Failing to comply with a traffic sign
  • Failing to display excise license
  • Motorcyclist failing to wear helmet
  • Failing to display excise license
  • Construction and Document Offences

Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) are an administrative alternative to prosecution before the Magistrates’ Court. These notices will either be for £50.00, £100, £200 or £300. Depending on the offence, a fixed penalty notice may either be endorseable (imposing penalty points on your licence) or non-endorseable. The most common of these are Speeding (3 points and £100 penalty), Using a mobile phone (3 points and £100 penalty), Driving with no insurance (6 points and £300 fine) and Careless Driving (3 points and £100 fine).

They are issued at the discretion of the police and once you have complied with the terms of the notice you cannot be prosecuted before a Magistrates’ Court for the same offence.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Below you will find information on the law surrounding fixed penalty notices, details of how we can help and answers to commonly asked questions.

Fixed Penalty Notice Law

Fixed Penalty Notices for motoring offences (speeding, using a mobile phone, careless driving, no insurance etc) 

There are two different types of fixed penalty notice which may be issued for motoring offences being:

1) Non-endorseable fixed penalty notices:

These are either for £50 or £100.00 and do not attract any penalty points.

The following non-endorseable fixed penalty notices are available:

• £50.00 fixed penalty notices

Neglect of traffic regulations (e.g. failing to conform to traffic signs – give way, roundabout vehicle priority, box junction road markings)
Negligent use of motor vehicle (e.g. not in proper control, driver not having full view ahead, opening door as to cause injury)
Vehicle registration and excise licence offences (e.g. registration mark not easily readable)
Motorway offences (e.g. stopping vehicle on hard shoulder)
Vehicle or Part in Dangerous of defective condition (e.g. windows not clear and unobstructed, no windscreen wipers)
Neglect of Pedestrian Rights (e.g. driving elsewhere than on the road)
Lighting offences (e.g. lamps not showing steady light, misuse of head/fog lamps)
Noise offences (e.g. causing unnecessary noise, sounding horn at night)
Load offences (e.g. exceeding weight restriction)
Cycle and motorcycle offences (e.g. cycle on foot path, not wearing protective headgear for motorcyclists)

• £100.00 fixed penalty notices

Failure to wear a seat belt whilst driving
Vehicle test offence (use of motor vehicle without test certificate)
Miscalleneous offences (failure to display vehicle licence)

2) Endorseable fixed penalty notices:

These are for either £100.00, £200.00 or £300.00 and also endorse either 3 or 6 penalty points.

The following endorseable fixed penalty notice are available:

• £100 and 3 Penalty Points

Using a mobile phone whilst driving
Speeding offences
Motorway offences (e.g. reversing on a motorway, driving on hard shoulder/central reservation)
Careless driving (e.g. tailgating, middle lane hogging)
Neglect of traffic directions (e.g. not stopping at red traffic light)
Neglect of Pedestrian Rights (e.g. stopping within limits of zebra/pelican/puffin crossing)
Load offences (e.g. danger of injury due to number of passengers or manner in which they are carried)
Motorcycle offences (e.g. carrying more than one passenger)

• £200 and 6 Penalty Points

Failing to give driver information

Driving a vehicle without insurance

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

On the spot Fixed Penalty Notices for endorseable offences (including speeding, using a mobile phone, careless driving, no insurance etc) 

If a motorist is stopped at the roadside by a police constable and the constable has reason to believe that a Fixed Penalty Notice offence has been committed, then he may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice on the spot if he is able to establish that the endorsement of penalty points would not result in the licence holder accumulating 12 or more points (“totting up”) within 3 years. The motorist will then have the choice of either accepting the fixed penalty notice within 28 days (paying the penalty and surrendering his licence) or rejecting the notice resulting in a court hearing.

If a motorist is stopped at the roadside and the officer is unable to establish how many points you have on your driving licence, then he may issue the motorist with a notice informing him (or her) that if he surrenders his driving licence at a police station within 7 days and it is shown that the endorsement of penalty points will not result in the accumulation or more than 12 penalty points, then he will be entitled to accept a Fixed Penalty Notice.

If in either case the number of points already endorsed on a motorists licence will mean that the addition of further points will mean he has accumulated 12 or more points (“totted up”) within 3 years, then a Fixed Penalty Notice may not be issued.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Conditional Offer of an endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice (Speeding, using a mobile phone, careless driving, no insurance etc). 

If an offence is detected by way of an automatic device and the case is progressed by way of correspondence, the police may offer a “Conditional Fixed Penalty Notice”, being conditional on the payment of the amount of the Fixed Penalty Notice (£100, £200 or £300) and the surrender of the driving licence within 28 days, showing that the addition of further penalty points will not result in 12 or more penalty points being accumulated within 3 years (“totting up”).

If the Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid or the licence is not surrendered within 28 days, formal prosecution before a Magistrates’ Court may follow.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Effect of rejecting a Fixed Penalty Notice 

An endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice is deemed as rejected if the motorist to whom it is issued does not pay the notice within 28 days or he returns the Fixed Penalty Notice requesting that the matter be referred to the Magistrates’ Court.

If an endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice is rejected, then the matter must be referred to a Magistrates’ Court in order for any penalty to be imposed.

A non-endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice may be rejected by requesting a court hearing and the matter must then be referred to a Magistrates’ Court.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Effect of accepting a Fixed Penalty Notice 

The payment of a Fixed Penalty prevents any further action being taken with respect to the offence.

Equally, once a Fixed Penalty Notice is accepted, a motorist may not request a court hearing.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Specialist Fixed Penalty Solicitor Representation

How we can help 

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists who are offered Fixed Penalty Notices.

If you have received a Fixed Penalty Notice and you do not know whether to accept or reject it, please contact us for advice and for a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Commonly Asked Questions About Fixed Penalty Notices

For what offences can I be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice? 

A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) can be issued by the police for the following offences:

•Speeding
•Driving without due care and attention (careless driving)
•No insurance
•Using a mobile phone
•Failing to identify the driver
•Parking Offences
•Defective Brakes
•Opening Car doors in a manner to cause danger or injury
•Driving with a dangerous load
•Defective Tyres
•Failing to comply with a traffic sign
•Failing to display excise license
•Motorcyclist failing to wear helmet
•Failing to display excise license
•Construction and Document Offences

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

How do I reject a fixed penalty notice for speeding, no insurance, careless driving or using a mobile phone? 

You can reject your fixed penalty notice simply by completing the form on the rear of the notice confirming that you want a court hearing, signing the notice and returning it to the address given.

You should also ensure that if the officer has made a request for you to produce other documents to the police station, that you do this as required, as this is separate to the fixed penalty notice.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

How do I accept a fixed penalty notice for speeding, no insurance, careless driving or using a mobile phone? 

The steps that you should take to accept your fixed penalty notice should be explained to you by the issuing police officer and should be detailed on the fixed penalty notice (or other correspondence) that you receive.

If you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice at the roadside and it is endorseable (for offences such as speeding, no insurance, using a mobile phone and careless driving) and you have surrendered your licence to the officer, then you will simply need to pay the fine within 28 days.

If you are stopped at the roadside and you are unable to surrender your licence, the officer will give you a notice informing you that providing you surrender your licence at a police station within 7 days (and you do not have so many points that the endorsement of further points will mean you accumulate 12 or more penalty points or “totting up”) you will be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice. Provided that you surrender your licence as required within 7 days and pay the penalty within 28 days, you will have accepted the notice.

If your offence was detected by an automatic device such as a speed or traffic light camera, then you will likely be offered a “conditional Fixed penalty”. In order to accept this you will be required to surrender your licence (send it off by post) and to pay the penalty within 28 days. Provided that you do not already have points on your licence that the addition of further penalty points will mean that you will accumulate 12 or more points within three years, then you will be considered to have accepted the penalty.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

I haven't got my driving licence to surrender - can I still accept a fixed penalty notice? 

If you receive a notice at the roadside or a conditional offer of a fixed penalty notice for an endorseable offence, then you will be required to produce your driving licence in order to accept a Fixed Penalty Notice.

If you do not have a driving licence to surrender then you will not be able to accept the Fixed Penalty Notice and your case will be referred to a Magistrates’ Court.

In some cases it may be that you are able to apply to the DVLA for a duplicate driving licence in time to accept the Fixed Penalty Notice and it is always worthwhile asking the police to extend the time allowed to produce it.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

I have been offered a Fixed Penalty Notice but think it is unfair and want a chance to explain what happened - what can I do? 

The fixed penalty notice procedure does not allow opportunity to explain the surrounding circumstances to an offence and in some cases this may be a disadvantage. For instance, if you have been issued with a fixed penalty notice for driving without insurance and this has not happened through any fault of your own, you may wish to reject your fixed penalty notice and to request a hearing at court to argue “special reasons” as to why your licence should not be endorsed with penalty points.

If you are issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence (e.g. using a mobile phone, speeding or driving with no insurance) and you do not accept that you have committed the offence or believe that there are circumstances in connection with the offence that should be considered, you should seek legal advice before accepting the notice. Please feel free to contact for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

If I reject a Fixed Penalty Notice can my fine or points be higher? 

The answer to this is YES, sometimes it can be beneficial to accept a fixed penalty notice and not go to court. For instance, if you were to be caught driving at 97mph within a 70mph speed limit and the police officer were to offer you a fixed penalty notice this would be for £100 and 3 penalty points, however if you were convicted and sentenced at court for this same offence, the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines would recommend a fine equivalent to 1 weeks income and either endorsement of your licence with 4 to 6 penalty points or disqualification for 7 – to 28 days. All of this in addition to court costs (usually £65-£85) and a victim impact surcharge (£20 or 10% of your fine).

Whether or not it is beneficial to accept your fixed penalty notice will depend on the circumstances of your case and if you are unsure of what you should do, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

I am a new driver - what will happen if I accept a fixed penalty notice which takes me to 6 or more penalty points? 

You are classed as a “new driver” and subject to the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, if you accumulate 6 or more points on your licence within the first 2 years of driving.

This includes points acquired by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice. If you accept a Fixed Penalty Notice and the number of points given means that in doing so you have accumulated 6 penalty points within your first 2 years of driving, then you will receive separate communication from the DVLA notifying you that your licence is being revoked (for more information please see our “New Drivers” page).

If you are a new driver and you are offered a Fixed Penalty Notice, you should seek advice before accepting any offer. Please feel free to contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Case Study

Mr Miller (name changed for confidentiality) was issued with a fixed penalty notice for an offence of driving without a valid policy of third party insurance. This notice required him to pay £200 and for his license to be endorsed with 6 penalty points. The police officer had informed Mr Miller that he must go to the police station, surrender his license and pay the penalty.

After being issued with the fixed penalty notice, Mr Miller contacted us and explained that there are two cars within the family home and that his wife arranged the insurance. A week prior to the offence he had been told by his wife that she had renewed his car insurance and he therefore drove his car with a very honest and reasonable belief that he was insured.

We advised Mr Miller to reject the fixed penalty notice and to request a court hearing. We explained to him how to do this.

Mr Miller subsequently received a summons to attend before Leamington Spa Magistrates Court, whereupon we made application to the court that his license should not be endorsed with penalty points and he should not be fined as the facts of his case amounted to a “special reason”.

The court was sympathetic with his position and did not impose any penalty points or any fine.

Mr Miller was very happy with the outcome, as instead of being stuck with 6 unjustified points, a £60 penalty and higher insurance premiums, he walked away from court with no fine and no points.

 

Mr Miller, Sales Manager, London