Author Topic: US citizen not living in England received new Fine after previous paid fine refunded.  (Read 355 times)

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Uscitizen5

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Like the title states, I received a fine for £100 by Merseyside police via speed camera. I paid the fine and thought that was the end of it. About a month ago this fine was refunded to me without explanation. Now I am receiving a new fine of 408£ according to a judgeís ruling. Ultimately, I know if I donít act on it there is nothing that can be done to me as I donít live in England. However, I love the country and do want to visit again. Before moving forward, I want to know what are the consequences of not paying? What happened with the first refunded fine?

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Southpaw82

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You probably didnít provide your driving licence details, at a guess.

Realistically, nothing is likely to happen to you if you come back to the UK but in theory a warrant could be issued for your arrest.

slapdash

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It wasn't actually a fine. That needs a court.

It was, probably, a conditional offer of fixed penalty. Most likely you failed to comply with it properly, usually by not providing license details as requested on the offer.

Consequences of ignoring and not paying?

You could theoretically get detained at port of entry. If a visa is required it could come to light during your application and be refused. Who knows how our processes and procedures will evolve in the future.

Most probably nothing will happen unless you come to the attention of police by some future indiscretion.




Uscitizen5

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How long would a theoretical arrest warrant be valid for? Indefinitely or does it get expunged after some time.

Southpaw82

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It wasn't actually a fine. That needs a court.

Donít you start!

Southpaw82

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How long would a theoretical arrest warrant be valid for? Indefinitely or does it get expunged after some time.

Indefinitely.

Uscitizen5

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How long would a theoretical arrest warrant be valid for? Indefinitely or does it get expunged after some time.

Indefinitely.

Would it be possible to contest this? Considering I was in the USA and unable to provide my license at the time. Either way, I will have to pay. £408 is a small price to pay to ensure I may visit again in the future.

slapdash

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Depending upon what was received (and it appears this may be nothing between a fixed penalty offer and being convicted in your absence) there could be a variety of means of reopening the case dependant upon exactly what has occured.

In practical terms irrecoverable costs may be a barrier.



« Last Edit: May 14, 2024, 10:36:07 am by slapdash »

The Rookie

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Would it be possible to contest this? Considering I was in the USA and unable to provide my license at the time.
No, you either comply or the matter goes to court and you are sentenced, although the right submission in response to the 'summons' (SJPN) would have seen a much lighter sentence. If your response to the SJPN was 'poor' you could ask the court to re-open the case under Section 142 of the magistrates court act to re-sentence in line with guidance for those unable to comply with the fixed penalty offer.
There are motorists who have been scammed and those who are yet to be scammed!

andy_foster

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The requirement (that we can confidently assume that you and many, many others failed to comply with) is, in law at least, to provide your name, date of birth and driving licence number, to the relevant person (fixed penalty clerk) (s. 75(8A) Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988).

There has been no requirement to send your physical licence off to accept a COFP for some time now, so the fact that you were in the US and therefore somehow unable to send it off (presumably the US does not have a postal service?) is irrelevant as that was not a [legal] requirement.

Assuming that you failed to separately provide the required information (or any requirements that the police might decided to unlawfully seek to impose), but that in order to make payment of the fixed penalty to the relevant person (fixed penalty clerk) you provided your name and UK licence number (UK licence number incorporates date of birth), I would argue that you had complied with the legal requirements and that the subsequent proceedings were unlawful.

If the above applies, I would suggest that that would be your route of challenge. If you had not substantively provided your date of birth, then it would appear that you had not complied with the requirements.

There is provision in the Magistrates' Sentencing Guidelines for imposing a penalty equivalent to the fixed penalty in circumstances where a fixed penalty could not be taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence. When raised in the mitigation section, this appears to be regularly ignored by the SJPN process, or alternatively, according to our resident gobshite, if you hadn't made a "poor" submission you would have gotten a lighter sentence.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2024, 11:18:57 am by andy_foster »
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Uscitizen5

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The requirement (that we can confidently assume that you and many, many others failed to comply with) is, in law at least, to provide your name, date of birth and driving licence number, to the relevant person (fixed penalty clerk) (s. 75(8A) Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988).

There has been no requirement to send your physical licence off to accept a COFP for some time now, so the fact that you were in the US and therefore somehow unable to send it off (presumably the US does not have a postal service?) is irrelevant as that was not a [legal] requirement.

Assuming that you failed to separately provide the required information (or any requirements that the police might decided to unlawfully seek to impose), but that in order to make payment of the fixed penalty to the relevant person (fixed penalty clerk) you provided your name and UK licence number (UK licence number incorporates date of birth), I would argue that you had complied with the legal requirements and that the subsequent proceedings were unlawful.

If the above applies, I would suggest that that would be your route of challenge. If you had not substantively provided your date of birth, then it would appear that you had not complied with the requirements.

There is provision in the Magistrates' Sentencing Guidelines for imposing a penalty equivalent to the fixed penalty in circumstances where a fixed penalty could not be taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence. When raised in the mitigation section, this appears to be regularly ignored by the SJPN process, or alternatively, according to our resident gobshite, if you hadn't made a "poor" submission you would have gotten a lighter sentence.

When I paid the original fine I did provide my US license number, my DOB, name, and address. I believed I complied with all the steps at the time. In fact, I never received any subsequent information regarding disclosing my license number in post nor in email. With that being stated, I will call the number provided on the letter to see if this may at minimum be a lighter penalty.

slapdash

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The "typical" COFP offer (do you still have it? Post it redacted of personal info if so) would typically ask you to:-

- Pay the penalty. Most often by some form of online system. Given they have sent it back this clearly happened.

- Provide your licence details by some means. So how was it requested? Especially bearing in mind there is usually a different requirement for providing foreign licence details. How did you do it and what acknowledgement (if any).was received.

(Example, the last one I had, required me to input licence details on a webform, however it required me to send to a postal address a copy of my licence if it was non uk).

The typical process is that you should have received a SJPN had the details not been properly provided. But, in your case what address would they have used ?

Was the vehicle a hire car for example (so your US address would have been provided by the hire co from their records when you rented) or perhaps it was a friends car you had borrowed.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2024, 06:57:51 pm by slapdash »

sparxy

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When I paid the original fine I did provide my US license number, my DOB, name, and address. I believed I complied with all the steps at the time. In fact, I never received any subsequent information regarding disclosing my license number in post nor in email. With that being stated, I will call the number provided on the letter to see if this may at minimum be a lighter penalty.

Did you at any point stipulate this was a US licence? Ignore the fact they should have got that from your address (if you had put that it was in the US).

I wonder if someone has tried entering this as a UK licence number, obviously it's come back as no licence found, and that's why they've rejected it.


OP: When did you hear about the increased fine? Did they tell you of the court date? Was the address you sent them your US address?

If you did not know of the proceedings, there may be another option of a statutory declaration I believe, but wait for others to chip in.

Uscitizen5

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I thank everyone for their replies. At this point I have decided to just pay the fine and get it done with. I went through everyoneís reply and have concluded that there was a step I may have missed; although, I never received any follow up communication following the first conditional fine. Dealing with legal matters being so far away is a headache and in my opinion worth the fine. Next time I will just go 5 under the speed limit at all times. Be back to England soon.

The Rookie

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I never received any follow up communication following the first conditional penalty.
You won't, they don't remind you, after all if you paid the penalty amount they know you received the offer.
There are motorists who have been scammed and those who are yet to be scammed!