Court process and procedure

You will be given three options:

  1. pleading guilty by post;
  2. pleading guilty in person; or
  3. pleading not guilty.

If you plead guilty by post, your case will be dealt with in your absence and you will be notified of the outcome. It is important to consider whether you want to plead guilty. The prosecution must prove its case to the Court establishing beyond reasonable doubt that you have for example, been speeding. If there are any evidential difficulties with the prosecution case, Driving Law will spot them and advise you accordingly.

If you do wish to plead guilty, you should also remember that presenting mitigation is your right. Even if you do not appear in Court you should write a letter of mitigation outlining your particular circumstances. Mitigation is information provided to the Court after a guilty plea which seeks to persuade the Court that because of the circumstances you should be given a lesser penalty or sentence. It is not a denial of guilt.

If a mitigation letter is skillfully drafted it can often result in a substantially reduced punishment. Appearing in person may be a more persuasive way of establishing good mitigation with Court.

In some circumstances, particularly where there is a risk of a "totting up" disqualification or a discretionary disqualification, the Court requires drivers to attend personally. The Court cannot disqualify a driver who pleads guilty by post and if the postal option does not appear on your Summons, you should assume that the Court is considering imposing a driving ban.

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