When we get calls about motoring offences, one of the first things people want to know is what penalty they can receive for the offence they have allegedly committed. When it comes to sentencing, the courts have a specific set of guidelines that they are supposed to follow. It is possible for the Court to deviate from these guidelines, however for the most part the fine, points, or disqualification will fall within a bracket of the Magistrates’ Sentencing Guidelines.
These guidelines, as of April 2017, are due to be revised. When you think “revision” it’s usually with a negative connotation. However, with the revisions proposed for April of this year, offending motorists should rejoice! We are expecting to see a change for the higher bracket of speed offenders. Furthermore we will see the inclusion of numerous factors which will indicate lower culpability for offenders of various offences such as drunk driving, drunk in charge, fail to provide, and more.
The main notable additions to factors indicating lower culpability offences are:
- No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
- Good character and/or exemplary conduct
- Genuine fear of retribution
- Age and/or lack of maturity where it affects the responsibility of the offender
- Mental disorder or learning disability
- Sole or primary carer for dependent relatives