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How to appeal a ticket

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Did you get a ticket for something and wondering if you could appeal the fine rather than pay it? If so, I’ve got you covered.

There are a ton of different fines you could get for various offences. For example, there are council-issued fines, tickets issued by the Police and other tickets issued by private companies.

I’ll explain how to deal with each ticket and answer commonly asked questions on how to appeal them below.

Read on to find out more!

Do You Have to Pay?

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

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Parking Ticket

One of the more annoying things in life is getting a parking ticket. Knowing how to deal with these fines can make it a less stressful and expensive experience.

There are two types of parking tickets namely Penalty Charge Notices and Parking Charge notices.

A Penalty Charge Notice is an official fine issued by an authority. Whereas a Parking Charge Notice is an invoice raised by a private car park company.

You’d get these fines for parking contraventions.

A local council, Police or other authority issues a Penalty Charge Notice when you commit a parking offence on a public road or area. The fine could be left on your car. Or it could arrive in the post if the infringement is caught on camera.

Luckily, you can check a Penalty Charge Notice online and decide whether to pay or appeal the fine!

A Parking Charge Notice is raised by the owner or management company of a private parking area. It’s a notice detailing a breach of contract between you and the operator/owner.

In short, a private car park operator has a contractual claim against you and will take you to court if you don’t settle the parking ticket within a deadline.

You shouldn’t ignore things when you get a Penalty Charge Notice or a Parking Charge Notice. Instead, you should appeal the parking tickets making sure you follow the correct procedures for each.

Speeding Ticket

Speeding for any reason is a serious offence that’ll earn you a fine. The minimum fine is set at £100 plus 3 penalty points on your licence. Moreover, the points quickly add up and when they reach 12 or more within 3 years, you risk losing your licence!

When you’re caught on camera speeding, you’ll get:

  • A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)
  • A Section 172 Notice

You’d get both of the above within 14 days of the speeding offence. Importantly, you’re legally obliged to send the Section Notice back fully completed within 28 days.

You also have a legal obligation to inform the Police who was driving the car when you complete the form if it wasn’t you! Failure to do so could land you in serious trouble.

Also worth noting, you’d face court proceedings if you ignore the Notice!

Once the Police receive the completed Section 172, you’d then receive either of the following:

  • A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), or
  • A letter that informs you when to attend court

The process is different when the Police stop you for speeding. The Police could:

  • Give you a verbal warning, or
  • Give or send you a Fixed Penalty Notice in the post, or
  • Order you to attend court. A letter is sent detailing what you need to do if this happens

When you get a Fixed Penalty Notice, you’ve got two options which are:

  • To plead guilty to the speeding offence
  • To plead not guilty to the offence

When you file a guilty plea to a speeding offence, you’d have to pay the £100 fine and you’d receive the 3 penalty points. However, you may be offered the chance to attend a speed awareness course instead!

But you’d only be given that option if:

  • The Police choose to offer you the option because they believe it’s appropriate
  • You haven’t attended a speed awareness course in the last 3 years

Worth noting, a record of the offence remains on your licence for 4 years!

When you plead not guilty to the speeding offence, you’d have to attend court. The downside is that if you’re found guilty of the offence, you could receive a heftier fine and you could get more penalty points on your licence!

The amount you pay for speeding in the UK is based on the seriousness of the offence and how much over the limit you were travelling.

That said, the amount you pay is typically a percentage of your weekly earnings. The maximum is set at £1,000 or £2,500 if you’re caught speeding on a motorway.

You risk being disqualified or you could have your driving licence suspended!

Also worth noting is that new drivers who only passed their tests within 2 years could have their licences revoked if 6+ points are added to their licences!

You could appeal a speeding ticket and some Police forces may consider an informal appeal against the fine. However, it’s a risky decision because speeding is automatically an offence no matter what the circumstances are!

In short, you should only appeal a speeding ticket after you’ve taken legal advice!

Bus Lane Fine

Bus lane rules can be confusing, but sadly, it’s no excuse for being in a lane when you’re not allowed to.

Certain local authorities use cameras to enforce bus lane rules. When you’re caught using a bus lane when it’s not permitted, you’d likely receive a Charge Notice from the council.

It’s worth noting that getting caught in a bus lane is a civil matter and not a criminal offence.

In some areas, it’s the Police that enforce bus lane rules and not the local councils. In this instance, you’d get a Penalty Charge Notice as it’s considered a ‘driving offence’.

If the council issues a Charge Notice, they must send it to you within 28 days of the offence. You then have 28 days to pay the fine but if you pay within 14 days, the amount could be reduced!

As such it’s always worth checking on the government website to see how your local council deals with bus lane fines!

A Charge Notice is sent to the registered keeper’s address because they’re responsible for paying the fine. Even when someone else was driving it’s the registered keeper who is liable!

Your only option is to contact the driver and ask them to pay the Charge Notice!

You’d have to pay the fine if you admit the offence. The amount you pay should be on the Charge Notice the council sends you.

Things escalate when you don’t pay a Charge Notice. First, you’ll get a Notice to Owner reminding you to pay the fine. Second, when you still don’t pay, the council sends you a Charge Certificate and the fine goes up by 50%!

You’ll have no choice but to settle the bus lane fine at this stage of the process!

However, if you ignore a Charge Certificate, the council has the power to register the fine as a debt with the courts. Plus, the authority doesn’t have to get a court hearing to do so!

You’ll likely get a visit from enforcement officers who have the power to seize possessions to recover the amount owed!

Rather than ignore a bus lane fine, it’s worth appealing the charge. Especially if you feel it’s unfair or wrongly issued.

You typically have 28 days from the date you received the Charge Notice to file an appeal. But you must follow the appeal process detailed in the Notice.

You could appeal a bus lane fine for the following reasons:

  • The vehicle did not belong to you when the fine was issued. But you must provide proof which could be a copy of the DVLA registration document
  • The apparent offence never happened because bus lanes rules weren’t in operation when the fine was issued
  • Another person was driving when the offence was committed because the vehicle was stolen or was being driven by someone without your permission

You’d get a Notice of Rejection (NoR) if the council rejects your appeal. But if they accept it, the bus lane fine is cancelled and you won’t have to pay.

If you get a Notice of Rejection, the pack should include details on how to escalate your appeal to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. But you must file your appeal to the tribunal within 28 days of receiving the NoR.

At this stage, you can either escalate your appeal or pay the bus lane fine. However, chances are you’d have to pay the full amount rather than the discounted fine.

Successful Appeal Case Study

Situation

Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

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Are there any other fines I can get?

Yes. You could be fined for several other offences. For example, a Penalty Notice could be issued to anyone who is 18 years old or older when they commit an offence.

Police issue Penalty Notices rather than taking you to court for certain offences which can be expensive and time-consuming.

I’ve listed the offences that could earn you a fine in the table below:

Type of offence Fine amount
Drunk in a public place £60 – £90
Disorderly behaviour £60 – £90
Obstructing police £60 – £90
Littering £60 – £90

It’s worth noting that when you get a PND for littering in a public place, you must agree that the case be handled in this manner. The same is true of any other offence where a Penalty Notice is issued against you.

It’s also worth noting there is no admission of guilt or criminal conviction linked to a payment for a Penalty Charge.

However, if you don’t pay the PND, the fine goes up and the Police will issue a warrant for your arrest! The case would then go to court as normal and if you’re found guilty, a criminal conviction is recorded against you.

If you’re looking for info on something else, then why not head over to our home page?

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Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.

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