The Sentencing Council has issued new sentencing guidelines for Magistrates which came into force on 24th April 2017. Magistrates' Courts deal with the vast majority of criminal cases and the changes to the guidelines reflect the diverse range of offences covering areas such as illegal alcohol sales, school non-attendance and also a number of road traffic offences.

Of particular interest to motorists will be the proposed increase in fines for drivers caught speeding at 'higher speeds'. For the most serious offenders the starting point for any fine will be 150% of their weekly income as opposed to the existing level of 100%.

The increase is in response to a consultation exercise where it was observed that the existing guidelines did not take into account the increased risk of serious injury or death as the speed driven above a speed limit increases.

The changes to the guidelines only affect the financial penalties that the Court will impose, and it remains the case that the most serious speeding offenders may also still face the risk of a disqualification from driving.

If you have been caught speeding or require legal advice regarding any matter involving the Police or the Criminal Courts please contact any of our four offices.

If you need advice in this area, please contact Callum Terry, Solicitor and Head of Motor and Transport or Freephone 0800 304 7740.

About the author

Callum is the head of the Motor and Transport team.  He is a solicitor with over 15 years of experience dealing with road traffic and transport matters.