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Magistrate Court Appearance

(10 Posts)
cowboylover Sun 14-Feb-16 18:55:41

I will be going to Magistrates Court later this month, so nervous and worries about everything to be honest.

I was excess speeding with a previous clean driving licence and no other court or legal issues in the past.

What can I expect on the day?
What should I wear?
My time is 9am, will I be there all day?


droitwichmummy Sun 14-Feb-16 19:01:11

Unless you were going twice the speed limit there is no need for you to go. Just fill in the form pleading guilty and add anything you want to say and send it in with details of your income. If you go it won't make any difference and you may be there all day

cowboylover Sun 14-Feb-16 19:12:34

I have to go so writing the plea is not an option. Thanks though.

FinallyHere Sun 14-Feb-16 19:30:23

I'm 'had had to go (twice, forty years apart). SP70 both times but over the threshold to be dealt with by fixed penalty. Glad to pass on what i have learned.

1. You must expect to be banned, so make sure you have transport in place, friend with car, taxi numbers etc.

2. You might as well expect to be there all day. 9am is likely to be the time they start in court, not likely to be an individual appointment. They tend go hear cases starting with the most serious first, with an exception for cases which require police as witnesses or social services , they tend to be done first to free up the people who are 'public servants' to get back to work. They might fit in a few quick cases in between, so you need to stay in place just incase.

3. Make a friend of the receptionist, who can tell you hours of lunch etc when you can pop out for 45 mins or whatever break they take. And how you are called etc.

4. Dress comfortably, but neat and clean rather than too casual or fashionable. A suit if that is what you wear everyday, but not if you look/feel uncomfortable wearing it.

5. Have a notebook and pen handy, write down anything anyone tells you, including lunch breaks or anything. It could be important and, if you are anything like me, practical stuff just went out of my head.

6. Expect to be there for the duration. Find somewhere to sit in earshot of whoever calls out 'next' ( receptionist can advise how this happens) and expect to be there for the duration. I found my kindle very useful, lots of choice of things to try and keep my interest. Don't remember anything i ad and certainly was in no state to do nay work or whatever.

7. There will be somewhere to wait, probably not in private. Remember everyone can hear you so find somewhere else to speak in the phone, especially if you want to vent. You might entertain yourself working out who is there in response to summons and who is legal advisor , social services. You will very likely be wring so if you speak to anyone, its wise to not make any judgements clear.

All the best....let us know how you get on.

FinallyHere Sun 14-Feb-16 19:59:55

Oh, sorry, forgot to mention what line you are taking. I' ve only ever pleaded guilty and apologised to the court for taking up their time with this matter. Agree the facts and then keep calm waiting for the verdict.

cowboylover Mon 15-Feb-16 12:29:33

Thank you for you help Finally I really appreciate it!

I am pleading guilty, I was rushing to get to the hospital (I'm sure they probably hear excuses all the time but I genuinely was) and my finances are not straight forward so I hope they can be understanding to the circumstances, I will let you know.

FinallyHere Mon 15-Feb-16 14:04:55

Ah, pleading guilty always more straightforward. I really wouldn't bother with any excuses. You don't want to give the idea that you were distracted and driving without due care and attention.

Fill in the financial statement and you are likely to get time to pay. All the best.

LeanneBattersby Tue 16-Feb-16 21:20:17

There will be a chance for you to tell them you were rushing to the hospital, and I would tell them that, but make it clear you realise it is not an excuse, just an explanation.

Be very, very contrite. The magistrates are likely to be kinder if they think you're genuinely sorry.

They won't make you pay more than you can afford each month. You will have to fill out a brief means form to let them know your income and expenditure.

I doubt you'll be banned for speeding (unless you were going really fast).

Court doesn't actually start till 10am but do get there at 9 because if you're ready to go, and it's a guilty plea, you might get squeezed in first.

Take food, just in case.

Turn your phone off before you go into court. If it rings, you will get BOLLOCKED by the magistrates grin

Good luck. It will most likely be very straightforward.

cowboylover Tue 23-Feb-16 20:45:56

Thanks for the advice, it all helped today and it went well.

The staff where all helpful and the magistrates understanding. I went in feeling more nervous than I can ever remember but I was prepared with notes in bullet points of what I wanted to say so they really helped.

And didn't get banned so a great result for me!

FinallyHere Tue 23-Feb-16 21:10:35

Well, that really is a great outcome. Well done.

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