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Sentencing Guidelines Speeding

The maximum fine for speeding is £1000, unless it takes place on a motorway, in which case it is £2500 and the Court must issue a minimum of 3 penalty points, up to a maximum of 6, and can also disqualify a driver for between 7 and 56 days, or longer in the most extreme cases.

When it comes to sentencing guidelines, speeding punishments handed out by the Court are determined by a framework of factors that set the threshold of penalties that can be given by a magistrate when deciding how to sentence an offender charged with speeding.

Sentencing guidelines set the benchmark of the initial penalty due, then the sanction is subject to increase or decrease depending on any enforcement thresholds, aggravating factors surrounding the severity of the offence and the judgement of the magistrate setting the sentence.

Speeding sentencing guidelines ensure a fair and consistent approach to sentencing is adhered to regardless of the offender’s plea when prosecuted for speeding in Court.

Disagree With Your Sentence Or Want To Appeal?

Driving in excess of the speed limit means that you have committed an offence and if you are issued a court summons, you could face fines, penalty points, a driving ban or even time in prison as set by the Court. When deciding which sentencing action to take, the magistrate must follow specific sentencing guidelines to determine a fair and appropriate course of action based on the severity of the case, any aggravating factors or mitigating circumstances submitted for their review.

If you have been sent a notice of intended prosecution letter relating to a speeding offence and want to plead not guilty, or have already been sentenced but feel the points, fines or punishment you’re facing is unreasonable, then you will have to go to court and will need the services of a motoring defence solicitor.

Caddick Davies Can Help

Outstretched hand offering help

Caddick Davies Solicitors offer speeding offence representation for motorists who find themselves facing speeding charges or want to appeal an existing judgement or conviction.

Our expert team can help you to keep driving endorsements and penalties to a minimum and have successfully defended many cases in motoring courts throughout England and Wales. We work to submit appeals on your behalf and provide a strong defence counsel that can be relied on in Court, to give you the best chance of a positive outcome.

By working to establish the facts of your case, we can determine if you have been punished in line with sentencing guidelines for speeding. If after examining your case, it looks like you have been sentenced too harshly, then we can work to reduce the penalties against you or overturn them completely and claim the compensation that you deserve.

Keeping driving endorsements to a minimum is crucial to protecting your ability to drive legally, which is especially important if your ability to drive is important to your work, livelihood, wellbeing and family. Instructing the services of an experienced motoring defence solicitor when faced with a speeding conviction gives you the best chance of being able to continue to drive, especially if you already have a large number of points on your licence.

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Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice
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Read on to understand more about sending guidelines for speeding, including the thresholds available, what to do if you disagree with the sentence issued to you, and how a solicitor can help.

What Are Sentencing Guidelines?

stack of papers on a desk

Sentencing guidelines provide a range of appropriate sentences that the Magistrate can issue depending on the seriousness and specifics of each offence. There are sentencing guidelines available for all crimes, including speeding, and they provide a framework of factors that the court should take into account when issuing sentencing to offenders.

The framework prompts the magistrate to consider the severity of the offence itself, how blameworthy the defendant is and other key factors so that they can issue a sentence that is proportionally appropriate to the crime and offender.

Why Are They Used?

Due to the number of variables involved in each criminal case, such as the personal circumstances of the defender, the type and severity of the crime, and other factors such as mitigating circumstances, it’s unlikely that two criminal cases are ever completely the same. By law, judges and magistrates must therefore sentence according to sentencing council guidelines, unless it would be unjust to do so.

Judges and Magistrates in England and Wales using the same sentencing guidelines for speeding offences ensures that offenders are assessed against the same criteria and that the Courts take a consistent approach to sentence all speeding crimes, regardless of when or where they occur.

What Are The Sentencing Options For Speeding?

Car entering a new speed zone on road in front of speed camera

If caught speeding, drivers are in breach of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, s.89(1) and the speeding sentencing guidelines set the framework for the punishment that can be handed out by a judge or magistrate in Court.

The guidelines state that the court must issue between 3 and 6 points in all cases of speeding and can choose whether to add in a driving disqualification of between 7 and 56 days. In the most extreme breaches of the speed limit, they will consider a driving ban over 56 days.

The amount a driver will be fined depends on what the speed limit was and how far over it they were driving. The fine issued will usually be a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you were driving on a motorway).

The magistrate will work through the sentencing framework outlined below to arrive at their final verdict regarding how many points to issue, the size of the fine or if any driving ban is required, and it all starts with an assessment of how far over the speed limit the driver was caught driving.

How Are Sentences Determined?

To determine the punishment that will be given to an offender for speeding, the court will take two initial steps, regardless of the driver’s plea or previous convictions.

Firstly, they determine the sentencing range and level of points or disqualification that apply to their judgement based on the speed that the driver was caught driving at, and what the speed limit was at the time of the offence.

This is outlined using the table below.

Speed Limit (mph) Recorded Speed

(mph)

20  41 & above  31- 40 21 – 30
30 51 & above 41 – 50 31 – 40 
40 66 & above 56 – 65 41 – 55
50 76 & above 66 – 75 51 – 65
60 91 & above 81- 90 66 – 80
70 101 & above 91 – 100  81 – 90
Sentencing Range  Band C fine Band B fine Band A fine
Points/Disqualification Disqualify 7 – 56 days OR 6 points  Disqualify 7-28 days OR 4-6 points 3 points 

How Do Aggravating Factors Affect Sentencing?

After the court has determined the seriousness of the speeding offence using the table shown above, the Magistrate has the option to scale the range of specified punishment up or down based on a variety of statutory and other aggravating factors relating to the case in hand.

Statutory aggravating factors to assess include:

  • Previous convictions, including the nature of the offence, if it holds any relevance to the current offence, and how long ago the previous conviction occurred.
  • If the current speeding offence was committed whilst on bail

Other aggravating factors that will then be considered include but are not limited to;

  • If the offence was committed on licence or post sentence supervision
  • If poor road or weather conditions were involved
  • Whether the driver was driving an LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
  • If the driver was towing caravan/trailer
  • Whether there were passengers or a heavy load involved
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • If there is evidence of an unacceptable standard of driving over and above the speed
  • Where the offence took place for example, by a school or built-up area l
  • The conditions nearby such as a high level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity

When the Court has assessed the sentencing available based on how far over the speed limit the driver was caught driving, and if any statutory or other aggravating factors are in play, they then assess if any factors can reduce the seriousness of the crime, and therefore reduce the sentence delivered.

Examples of factors that may reduce the sentence imposed include:

  • If the driver has no previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • If the driver has shown themselves to have good character and/or exemplary conduct
  • If there was a genuine emergency established that caused the offence to take place
  • Personal mitigation pleas submitted

The last steps to reach the final sentence are to take into account any factors that may reduce the sentence further again, such as the offender assisting the prosecution team, submitting a guilty plea, judging if the total sentence is proportionate if the offender is already serving an existing sentence, and if any compensation or ancillary orders are due.

Once all of this is accounted for the Magistrate can issue their sentence but must provide their reasons for and explain the effect of the sentence imposed.

Speeding Fines

Fines issued for speeding are calculated as a percentage of an offender’s weekly earnings and capped based on how far above the speed limit they were driving.

In 2017, higher penalties were introduced for the most serious speeding offences for offenders who drive at speeds excessively above legal limits but the maximum fines allowed by law remain the same and fines cannot exceed these.

Higher fines now apply to anyone caught driving at 41 mph or more in a 20mph speed limit, 51 mph or more in a 30 mph limit, and over 101 mph on a motorway but the maximum fine for speeding is £1000, unless it takes place on a motorway, in which case it is £2500

Starting point Range 
Band A fine 50% of weekly income 25-75% of weekly income 
Band B fine 100% of weekly income 75- 125% of weekly income 
Band C fine  150% of weekly income 125 – 175% of weekly income 

What Outcome Will I Get?

Speed camera close up

If you have been pulled over by the police or caught by a speeding camera but were not speeding too excessively, i.e the level of speeding falls into band A above, and you do not already have active endorsements on your driving licence, then you will usually be offered a fixed penalty fine and 3 points on your licence or the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course.

If the level of your speeding is more excessive, i.e within band B or C outlined above, or you already have existing driving convictions against your name, then you are more likely to receive a notice of intended prosecution and have to go to Court to contest the speeding offence or appeal the sentence issued to you. If your case is handled in court, the sentence issued to you will be determined by the Magistrate in line with the sentencing guidelines outlined in this article.

Ultimately, whether or not you’re prosecuted and have to go to court is down to the police officer’s discretion, your driving history and the severity of the speeding offence committed. When handled in Court, the punishment issued to you will be based on the sentencing guidelines outlined above and at the mercy of the magistrate’s judgement on the day.

If you need to go to court concerning a speeding offence, the team at Caddick Davis can advise you on the options available to you and help you to achieve the most favourable outcome possible.

_____________________________________________________________________

Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice
______________________________________________________________________

How Can Caddick Davies Help?

As a highly experienced team of specialist motor defence lawyers, we offer advice and representation for individuals facing speeding offences across the UK. We can support you by providing a defence counsel you can rely on in Court to minimise the sentence issued to you or support you after a driving conviction has been made by appealing the decision and working to overturn the sentence issued to you.

If you have been convicted or sentenced to a motoring offence and you wish to appeal, please contact us for advice and no-obligation consultation on how we can help you.

We will assess each case presented to us individually and without judgement to identify any factual or technical defence that can be used to overturn the charge in Court or minimise the fines and/or penalty points that you are facing.

As specialist speeding offence solicitors, we can use our unrivalled knowledge of police enforcement technology, the road traffic act and sentencing options to provide the best possible representation to drivers who wish to challenge any allegation of speeding made against them or to submit applications of exceptional hardship or mitigation to reduce the sentencing imposed against them.

How We Can Defend You

When defending you in court, we have a range of defence options available to us to reduce the sentence that you are facing for speeding. These include:

  • Appeals on technical grounds such as missing information or incorrect details issued on the Notice of Intended Prosecution, absence of, or obscured road signs in the area you were caught speeding
  • You can prove that you weren’t the person driving or believe that you weren’t speeding and can prove it
  • Submit arguments of special circumstances that led to you speeding
  • Submitting claims of exceptional hardship should a driving ban be on the cards

Even if you accept that you were speeding, a specialist speeding offence solicitor can use extensive knowledge of road traffic law and sentencing to minimise the penalty imposed. This might include arguing for a speed awareness course over prosecution, pursuing courts not to disqualify you or minimising penalty points.

In all cases, the specialist team of lawyers at Caddick Davies will:

  • review all the evidence of your case to establish the facts
  • build a strong defence by gathering evidence and presenting your case
  • provide a defence counsel that you can rely on in court
  • provide legal advice and consultation throughout your case

Summary

We hope this article has given you an overview of sentencing guidelines for speeding, including how speeding sentences are calculated in court and what options you have if you don’t agree with the outcome of your case and wish to appeal your conviction or the sentence issued.

To recap:

  • When it comes to sentencing guidelines, speeding punishments handed out by the Court are determined by a framework of factors that set the threshold of penalties that can be given by a magistrate when deciding how to sentence an offender charged with speeding.
  • The maximum fine for speeding is £1000, unless it takes place on a motorway, in which case it is £2500 and the Court must issue a minimum of 3 penalty points, up to a maximum of 6, and can also disqualify a driver for between 7 and 56 days, or longer in the most extreme cases.
  • If you have been convicted or sentenced to a motoring offence and you wish to appeal, an experienced motoring defence solicitor can provide advice and support you in minimising sentences imposed or overturning your convictions in the case of a successful appeal.

From the simplest to the most complex of cases, we are here to help and can represent you to provide a reliable defence when facing motoring offence charges. We will start every enquiry with an informal discussion to get a clear understanding of your circumstances and are here to answer any questions that you may have in confidence.

Our leading team of motoring offence solicitors at Caddick Davies have a reputation for success when it comes to defending motorists charged with driving offences. We work with clients all over the UK and are rated in the top 20 law firms on TrustPilot.

Motoring Lawyer at Caddick Davies Solicitors
Caddick Davies is recognised as one of England and Wales’ leading motoring law firms, offering specialist Speeding Solicitors, Drink Driving Solicitors & Dangerous Driving Solicitors.We provide advice and representation on all motoring offences including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving, drink driving, as well as a range of services related to medical revocation of a driving licence.
Neil Davies

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