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Speeding fines from Court

(10 Posts)
mrstigs Fri 21-Feb-14 17:24:27

Hello everyone. I'm hoping someone has had a similar experience or some advice for me.
My dh got a speeding fine last year (34 mph in a 30 fixed camera). Don't worry I was suitably irritated with him. We couldn't afford the £80 for the speed awareness course so we opted to wait for the fixed penalty. When the letter came for the fine my dh filled it in, we saved up enough for the fine and sent it off. My dh has dyslexia and often struggles with paperwork, but said he'd sorted it and I didn't check. Eventually we got the paperwork back and it turned out he'd misread it and not sent the photo card back and he thought it wasn't required. We got the photo card (had to be posted from my dh's head office as he'd left it in a work vehicle that week by mistake) and sent it back again asap, but we must have missed the date as they posted out a court summons instead.
I filled in his paperwork and wrote an apology for the speeding, and explained the reasons behind the late paperwork like above.
We've had the results from court this week. They have decided to increase the fine from £60 to £90 and add on a £20 victim surcharge, and £85 court costs. So its gone from £60 to £195.
I've obviously gone ballistic at dh for causing all this, both by the initial speeding then the disorganisation with the paperwork, but that doesn't change the fact that we now have this huge bill to pay.
The court had our financial information at the time, they know he is supporting me and our three young children on his wage alone, and we have no money at all spare each week. The only option would be some kind of payday loan and we work so hard to not get into this debt spiral, it's just making me so upset. We have about 2 weeks to find the whole amount and no payment options have been offered.
So my question is, can he ring the court to ask for some kind of repayment plan or if that was a possibility would they have offered this straight away?
(Sorry if this is jumbled, got a migraine.)

mrstigs Sat 22-Feb-14 10:51:33

Hi. Just bumping to see if anyone around today can help.

prh47bridge Sat 22-Feb-14 11:38:06

Write to the court. Explain why you have a problem paying up. Include proof of your circumstances and ask if you can pay by instalments. They don't have to agree to your request but they may do so.

MatureUniStudent Sat 22-Feb-14 20:31:45

No, phone the fines office immediately then discuss/negotiate your terms of repayment. Had you appeared in court so it was not found in your absence, then the Bench could gave set payment terms according to your means.

mrstigs Sun 23-Feb-14 08:40:05

Thank you very much for taking time to reply both of you. thanks
I thought we didn't need to appear, and just filled in the statement of income etc instead. I should have made him take the day off and just lived with the loss of pay. When we got the court forms my dh rang them and explained the paperwork mistake and they said just send it back and they will probably just set the original fine amount again, so this was a real unexpected blow. I'll tell him to ring them tomorrow and see if they can do something. It's either that or I don't see my mortgage getting paid this month. sad
Out of interest, does anyone know what the victim surcharge is all about? He did 4mph over the limit , didn't cause any accident or damage to anything. Who gets the victim surcharge if there is no victim?

GraduallyGoingInsane Sun 23-Feb-14 08:52:56

All courts have to impose a victim surcharge under certain circumstances, even where it seems there has been no victim. It's another bonkers government initiative.

Definitely definitely ring the fines desk. Don't just stop paying, or they will haul you back. Work out what you can afford each week or fortnight, say £10. Make sure it's something you can definitely afford, even if it sounds small. They are used to this. Offer to make the first payment of £10 over the telephone, then ask for a payment card. The courts issue these on a daily basis, they allow you to pay the fine at the local shops, post offices etc. Basically anywhere you can top up a mobile phone. The shop keeper won't know what it's for, it doesn't say 'court' on it or anything, to save embarrassment.

The helpline won't be able to reduce the fine, only the Magistrates can do that, but they will certainly offer a plan for payment.

prh47bridge Sun 23-Feb-14 08:57:34

It goes to the Victim and Witness General Fund which gives grants to a wide range of bodies supporting victims. It has to be paid by anyone sentenced to a conditional discharge, fine, community sentence, suspended sentence or jail regardless of whether or not the offence has an identifiable victim.

mrstigs Sun 23-Feb-14 09:31:36

Ahhh I see. That makes more sense than some little old lady being traumatised by seeing my OH streaking past at 34mph in our old Picasso. grin
Seriously thanks everyone, I feel much more hopeful today. I was laid off the same day the court papers came through and me and the dh are having a rough patch atm and I honestly thought this was going to break us. It just seemed such a huge amount to pay, and just because dh was being nice and sped up to let someone pull out behind and was too dim to remember the camera. angry
I keep telling myself people have worse weeks by far but it wasn't helping. Keep your fingers crossed they let us pay it in instalments then. Be horrible to have it hanging over us for so long but a better alternative to not paying the mortgage or not buying food.

Coconutty Sun 23-Feb-14 09:34:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrstigs Fri 28-Feb-14 21:15:29

Well my dh rang the court, turns out the type of fine he has can't be paid in instalments, because the magistrates gave him a certain date to pay it by. They did extend the date by two weeks, but that was it. So the next step is to ring the mortgage company and explain we can't pay the bill this month I guess. sad
Either the magistrate was having a really bad day that day or we had a fall out in a previous life I don't know, but he certainly hung us good at proper.
Thanks for the advice anyway posters. thanks

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