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Is a Fixed Penalty Notice a Criminal Offence? 2022

is-a-fixed-penalty-notice-a-criminal-offence

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Is a Fixed Penalty Notice a criminal offence? We’ll be answering this question and many more frequently asked questions about Fixed Penalty Notices, right here. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

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

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) are usually issued by the police for a wide range of motorist offences, such as speeding or driving without insurance. You can be served a Fixed Penalty Notice on the roadside or in the post.

They were first introduced in the 1950s as a way to fine people for parking contraventions. However, over the decades they have been served for a growing number of motorist offences and even fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and littering. 

The RAC has listed all the reasons you could be served a Fixed Penalty Notice

The Fixed Penalty Notice is used as an administrative alternative to the case going to the Magistrates’ Court. The offending motorist will have the option of accepting a fine and/or points on their license. Otherwise, they will have to attend the Magistrates’ Court for a hearing. 

Lastly, Fixed Penalty Notices are different from Penalty Charge Notices, which are usually served by councils for minor driving offences or as parking tickets

How much is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

If the motorist accepts guilt, they will have to pay either a £50, £100, £200 or £300 fine depending on the type of motorist offence. For example, driving without insurance carries a heavier fine than failing to give way when supposed to. 

On top of the financial costs of the Fixed Penalty Notice, the motorist may also have to accept points on their license. Some Fixed Penalty Notices don’t add points to the driver’s license. If points are added, the minimum that can be added is two and the most is 11. These points can stay on the driver’s license for up to 11 years. 

A Fixed Penalty Notice that carries a fine only is called a non-endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice. Whereas a Fixed Penalty Notice that does carry points is called an endorsable Fixed Penalty Notice. 

Can you appeal a Fixed Penalty Notice?

There isn’t a formal process to appeal a Fixed Penalty Notice. If you don’t admit guilt, the case will be decided in court. You might be able to convince a judge that you shouldn’t have been served the Fixed Penalty Notice – but this is rare.

In most cases that go to court, the judge orders the motorist to pay an even heavier fine than they otherwise would have paid by accepting guilt. Moreover, they may have to pay further court costs. 

How do you pay a Fixed Penalty Notice?

If you accept the Fixed Penalty Notice, you must make a full payment within 28 days. You can pay via the UK Government website using a debit or credit card. You cannot pay by cash anymore.

You’ll need some details to make the payment, including:

  1. Notice number
  2. Offence code
  3. Date of offence
  4. Your email address
  5. Your telephone number

What happens if you don’t pay a Fixed Penalty Notice?

If you don’t agree with the Fixed Penalty Notice, the matter will go to court. Here, it is likely that you’ll be charged with a greater fine. But it’s not impossible to win in court and get the Fixed Penalty Notice cancelled. 

If you agree that you’re guilty but fail to pay within the 28-day deadline, the court will increase your fine by 50% of its value. So a £100 fine would become a £150 fine. If you don’t respond to the newly increased fine, the courts can issue an arrest warrant against you. 

Is a motoring offence a criminal conviction?

Some motoring offences can result in a criminal conviction if the case goes to court and the judge rules against you. However, you can sometimes avoid receiving a criminal record by taking action to prevent the matter from going to court. 

If you do receive a criminal conviction due to a motoring offence, it will generally become ‘spent’ after five years. This means it will no longer appear on your record after five years. 

But, does a Fixed Penalty Notice lead to a criminal conviction? 

Does a Fixed Penalty Notice give you a criminal record?

A Fixed Penalty Notice doesn’t give you a criminal record. Once you accept the fine and pay, the matter will be over with and won’t appear on your record. 

Does a Fixed Penalty Notice show on an enhanced DBS check?

A Fixed Penalty Notice could possibly show up on an enhanced DBS check. A standard DBS check will not reveal any previous Fixed Penalty Notices because these checks only show criminal convictions, which a Fixed Penalty Notice is not. The enhanced check goes into more detail and may show a Fixed Penalty Notice as well. 

Do I have to disclose a Fixed Penalty Notice?

You will have to disclose previous Fixed Penalty Notices when asked. It’s rather uncommon for potential employers to ask about previous Fixed Penalty Notices, but you might be asked by insurance providers. 

People who get served a Fixed Penalty Notice for speeding might be offered to take a speed awareness course to avoid points on their license. This can be cost-effective because points on your license can increase your insurance premiums. 

How long do the police have to send a Fixed Penalty Notice?

The police have six months from the date of the incident to serve a Fixed Penalty Notice. However, they must issue a Notice of Intended Prosecution within 14 days of the incident. 

Do You Have to Pay?

In many circumstances parking tickets are not enforceable.

It’s a bit sneaky, but last time I had a parking fine, I paid £5 for a trial to chat to an online solicitor.

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

You can try it out now, just remember to cancel the trial once you’ve got your answer.

Is a Fixed Penalty Notice a criminal offence? (Quick recap)

A Fixed Penalty Notice isn’t a criminal offence and therefore won’t give you a criminal record. The penalty also won’t show up on a basic DBS check. But it might appear on an enhanced DBS check because these checks reveal more than just criminal convictions.

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