Tag Archives: sentencing guidelines

New sentencing guidelines for child cruelty offences

The Sentencing Council has published a new guideline for how those guilty of child cruelty offences should be sentenced.  It covers three offences:

  • cruelty to a child;
  • causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm; and
  • failing to protect a girl from the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Sentencing Council member Mrs Justice Maura McGowan said:

“Child cruelty offences vary greatly. They can range from a one-off lapse of care which puts a child at risk of harm to a campaign of deliberate cruelty which leads to serious injury or even death. This new guideline will help ensure sentences that reflect what the offender has done and the harm to the child. It states for example that cases involving very significant force, or multiple incidents of serious cruelty should always be treated as being in the highest category of culpability. The guideline will also assist sentencers in cases where the offender has also been the victim of abuse from another.”

child cruelty offences

When does the guideline come in to force?

The sentencing guideline for child cruelty offences applies to all cases sentenced on or after 1 January 2019.  This means that cases charged before that date may be affected by the changes if there is to be a sentence after that date.

Does it apply to all offences of causing harm to a child?

No, it doesn’t.

When someone is prosecuted for harming a child, the offence charged will vary according to the circumstances.  It is important to distinguish the offences in this guideline from other offences that may be charged, such as assault, murder and manslaughter.

There are also cases in which a child is harmed and one person is charged with assault and another with allowing the child to suffer serious physical harm.

Publication of the guideline marks the first time that there has been sentencing guidance for the offences of causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm and failing to protect a girl from the risk of FGM.

The sentencing guideline also provides revised guidance for the offence of cruelty to a child.  This replaces the earlier guidance issued in 2008.

Child cruelty offences are complex and can vary greatly.  As a result the guideline has been designed to assist with an effective assessment of each case that comes before the courts to help ensure consistent and proportionate sentencing.

Some offenders may be incompetent parents, while others may deliberately inflict harm on children in their care. Child cruelty offences could include parents or guardians leaving children home alone, neglecting them or putting them at risk through alcohol or drug abuse or subjecting them to sustained and deliberate ill-treatment and violence that leads to serious injury or death.

Offences can also involve a parent or guardian having failed to act to protect their child from ill-treatment by someone else in the household, which can be due to them being victims of violence and intimidation from the same person themselves.

Is there anything new in the approach to sentencing?

In assessing harm to victims, as well as physical and psychological harm, the guidelines for child cruelty offences take into account for the first time the developmental and/or emotional harm that such offences can cause to a victim. This may for example be manifested in developmental milestones that a child has not met.

child cruelty offences

The guidelines also introduce a new aggravating factor of an offender blaming others for an offence. This is because such cases will frequently involve one parent or carer/guardian seeking to blame the other for what happened in order to avoid prosecution.

Another factor that has been added that indicates high culpability is where the “offender [has] professional responsibility for the victim” to indicate that culpability is higher in those rare cases where, for example a teacher or sports coach abuses one of the children in their care.

The guidelines also contain, for the first time, additional guidance for the court in considering whether to impose custody in cases where the offender has parental responsibility and is sole or primary carer for the victim and other children.

In these cases, the court is reminded to consider the impact which a custodial sentence for the offender would have on the victim and whether this is proportionate to the seriousness of the offence. This will be particularly relevant in lower culpability cases where the offender has otherwise been a loving and capable parent or carer.

Cruelty to a child

The offence of cruelty to a child is broad in its form and severity. Cases may be sentenced in the magistrates’ courts or Crown Court and involve ill-treatment and assault, neglect, abandonment, and failure to protect a child.

In the vast majority of cases the offender is usually the parent or guardian of the victim but it could apply to others entrusted with the care of a child. Many of these offences are at the lower end of severity, including low levels of neglect and cases where there is a risk of harm but no harm actually comes to the child.

The new guideline sets out proportionate sentencing levels to cover the wide range of situations that the courts deal with. One offence could involve someone who is an otherwise good parent putting a child at risk through a one-off lapse of care, while another could involve a parent guilty of a campaign of cruelty involving serious violence and sadistic behaviour that leads to a child suffering serious physical or psychological harm.

Causing or allowing a child to die or suffer serious physical harm

The main purpose of the legislation for this offence is that it can be prosecuted in instances where a child has died or suffered serious physical harm as a result of an unlawful act, such as an assault, by a member of the household but there is not enough evidence to prove which of the defendants committed the act.  They may both blame each other.

In such cases before the introduction of this legislation, neither defendant could be found guilty of murder, manslaughter or assault and so nobody would be held accountable. The guideline reflects the aims of the legislation, including for example the aggravating factor of an offender blaming others for the offence.

This offence can also be used in its own right, for example if someone in the household is charged with the murder or manslaughter of a child, another member may be convicted of causing/allowing death, if it can be proved that they foresaw, or should have foreseen, that their co-defendant would commit an unlawful act which risked serious physical harm to the child.

There are very low volumes of offenders sentenced for this offence, due to the fact that where a child has been killed, those responsible are likely to be charged with murder or manslaughter, and where the child was badly injured, a serious assault charge would normally be brought.

Failing to protect a girl from the risk of Female Genital Mutilation

This offence is committed when a parent or carer of a girl under 16 allows FGM to take place unless they can show that they were not aware of such a risk and reasonably could not have been expected to be, or that they took reasonable steps in order to protect the girl.

The issue of FGM has been of growing concern within Parliament and the public and so the Council is keen to provide a clear approach to ensure consistent and appropriate sentencing when offenders are convicted.

The guideline takes into account the psychological impact these offences can have on victims and acknowledges that by their very nature, all offences of FGM carry an inherent level of harm.

The full sentencing guideline for child cruelty offences can be found here.

How our criminal law solicitors can help defend child cruelty offences

We will be able to give you advice as to the strength of the evidence in child cruelty offences, the availability of defences and likely sentence upon conviction.  You will always be helped by seeking this advice at the earliest possible opportunity.

As a result, if you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about an offence of then make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice.

The advantages of such early advice legal advice can be found here.

If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case.

Legal aid may well be available to fund your defence at court.

We have offices across the East Midlands.  You can find your most convenient office here.   Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.

child cruelty offences
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands


Supplying drugs or possessing drugs with intent to supply – the law

supplying drugsAllegations of supplying drugs or possessing them with intent to supply are more serious than simply possessing the drugs.  Such allegations are likely to lead to lengthy custodial sentences.

What drugs are illegal to supply?

It is an offence to supply a controlled drug. This includes the ones that will immediately spring to mind such as heroin, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine. It also includes what are called Class B and C drugs such as steroids, khat and ketamine. Some of these may be lawful to possess but not supply.

What is meant by supply?

 supplying drugsThe word “supply” is to be given its everyday meaning. Buying drugs on behalf of a group of people and handing them out, even for no profit, is still supply.

Handing drugs to someone else for safe-keeping may not be supply (although even that is not clear cut), but if that person holds the drugs intending to return them to the first person, he may be guilty of possession with intent to supply.

The law relating to possession of drugs is some of the most complicated criminal law on the statute book.

How does the prosecution prove an intent to supply?

The easiest way to prove this is by an admission of intent. Other ways include an assessment of the circumstances in which the drugs are held and the circumstances and behaviour of the alleged offender.

The quantity of drugs, possession of cash, drugs paraphernalia, “tick lists” or debtors’ lists, and phone records and messaging recovered from mobile phones will all be considered.

If there is insufficient evidence of an intent to supply the prosecution may accept a plea to simple possession.

What about proving possession?

To have an intent to supply you also have to be in possession of the drug. A person has in his possession anything which is in his physical custody or under his control.  You need to have knowledge of the drugs, but you do not necessarily have to have them in your pocket or vehicle.

What sentences are given out for supplying drugs?

supplying drugsThe maximum sentence for Class A drugs is life, for Class B and C it is 14 years imprisonment.

If an adult defendant has two or more convictions for a Class A drug trafficking offence, a seven-year minimum sentence applies, unless it is unjust to impose such sentence.

The offence is aggravated for adults if the offence is committed on or in the vicinity of school premises at a relevant time.  A relevant time is when the premises are in use by persons aged under 18 or within one hour of the start or end of such time.

The offence is also aggravated if a courier under the age of 18 is used in the commission of the offence.

The sentencing court will use the specific sentencing guidelines for drug offences. Those involved in the supply of Class A drugs are more likely to receive custodial sentences. The Court will consider factors such as quantities, the role played, whether it is street dealing or a commercial enterprise, financial gain and, as always, credit is given for a guilty plea.

Drugs offences attract some of the lengthiest prison sentences handed out in our courts.

The full sentencing guidelines for drug supply and other offences can be found here.

Instruct criminal solicitors experienced in defending allegations of supplying drugs.

As you can see such offending is treated seriously by the courts so it will be important that you seek early advice from a criminal law solicitor.

We assess the evidence on your behalf, advise you as to plea and can give you an indication of likely sentence if convicted. There are a number of possible defences available that we will consider.

As a result, if you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about an offence of supplying drugs then make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice.

The advantages of such early advice legal advice can be found here.

If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case.  Legal aid may well be available to fund your defence at court.

You can read more about drug supply cases that we have dealt with:

This case involved a sentencing for supplying drugs into prison.

In this case a guilty plea resulted in a suspended sentence.

Here we successfully argued for a discharge for allowing premises to be used for cultivation of cannabis.

In this case one of our Higher Courts Advocates successfully challenged prosecution expert evidence at trial.

We have offices across the East Midlands.  You can find your most convenient office here.   Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.

racially aggravated
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands


New Sentencing Guidelines for Manslaughter Offences

The Sentencing Council, responsible for setting sentencing guidelines in England and Wales, has today issued a new sentencing guidelines for manslaughter offences.

Which offences are covered by the new sentencing guidelines for manslaughter offences?

The guideline covers:

  • Unlawful act manslaughter – a common law offence
  • Gross negligence manslaughter – a common law offence
  • Manslaughter by reason of loss of control – a statutory partial defence to murder (sections 54 and 55 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009)
  • Manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility – a statutory partial defence to murder (section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957)

The offence of corporate manslaughter is covered by the Council’s health and safety sentencing guidelines.

new sentencing guidelines for manslaughter offences

When does the guideline take effect?

The sentencing guideline for manslaughter offences applies to all offenders sentenced on or after 1 November 2018.  This means that if you are charged before the guideline comes in to force, you may still fall to be sentenced in accordance with it if you plead guilty or are convicted.

What are the different types of manslaughter?

Unlawful Act manslaughter

This is the most commonly prosecuted form of manslaughter and includes deaths that result from assaults where there was no intention to kill or cause very serious harm.  The circumstances can vary greatly.

For example, it could involve a situation where two friends briefly argue and one pushes the other causing him to fall and hit his head with fatal results.

Alternatively, it could involve someone going out looking for a fight and attacking someone forcefully but not intending to kill.

It could also include unintended deaths that result from other crimes, such as arson or robbery.

105 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Gross negligence manslaughter

This occurs when the offender is in breach of a duty of care towards the victim which causes the death of the victim and amounts to a criminal act or omission.

The circumstances can again vary greatly. In a domestic setting it could include parents or carers who fail to protect a child from an obvious danger. In a work setting, it could cover employers who completely disregard the safety of employees.

Just 10 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Manslaughter by reason of loss of control

This arises if the actions of an offender, who would otherwise be guilty of murder, resulted from a loss of self control.  An example might be where there was a fear of serious violence.

12 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility

Someone guilty of this offence would have been suffering from a recognised mental condition that affected their responsibility at the time of the offence, without which they would have been convicted of murder.

26 offenders were sentenced for this offence in 2016.

Why has this guideline been issued?

The new sentencing guidelines for manslaughter offences will  ensure there is comprehensive guidance where previously such guidance was very limited.

Until now, there has been a guideline only for corporate manslaughter, which comes under the Council’s health and safety offences guideline.  The only other guideline  was issued by the Council’s predecessor body for manslaughter by reason of provocation.  This is now out of date following legislative changes to the partial defences to murder.

The full guideline can be found here:

Manslaughter Definitive Guideline

Will sentence length increase?

The Sentencing Council predicts only a minimal impact, suggesting that only around ten extra prison places will be needed per year as a result of the guideline.  It cautions, however, that ‘it is difficult to ascertain how sentence levels may change under the new guideline.’

Experience tells us that there is a certain degree of sentence length ‘creep’ following the implementation of new guidelines. Our advocates are trained in the use of all sentencing guidelines and equipped to ensure that judges apply them correctly.

Contact a criminal law specialist

As the new sentencing guidelines for manslaughter offences show, manslaughter will always be treated seriously by the courts.  The issues that arise in the defence of such cases will be complex.

As a result, if you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about an offence of manslaughter then make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice.

The advantages of such early advice legal advice can be found here.

If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case.  Legal aid may well be available to fund your defence at court.

We have offices across the East Midlands.  You can find your most convenient office here.   Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.


Disclosing private sexual images or ‘revenge porn’

“Revenge porn”, more formally known as the offence of disclosing private sexual images, is the criminal act of posting online intimate sexual pictures/video of a person without their consent.

It carries a potential prison sentence of up to 2 years.  We await the outcome of the consultation into a sentencing guideline for this offence.

Revenge porn used to cause maximum distress

In the meantime, however, it is clear that the most serious type of revenge porn will be conduct that is intended to maximise distress.  revenge porn disclosing private sexual imagesThis might be where images are sent to  victim’s family who are very religious, or to a victim’s young siblings.  Offending that involves setting up fake internet profiles purporting to be the victim and inviting abuse or sexualised contact from strangers will also be treated very seriously.

At the other end of the sentencing range will be impulsive posting of revenge porn or where the offending is by those affected by a mental disorder or learning disability.

revenge porn disclosing private sexual imagesAside from the manner of the offending, a court will also consider level of harm caused in any particular case.  Where very serious distress has been caused, or a victim is particularly vulnerable, or there had been a very real practical impact on a victim then these factors will all increase the seriousness of the offence and therefore the sentence.

Such cases will include instances of images being posted a victim’s business website, or circulated to business contacts.

Case Study

The offender and the victim had briefly been in a relationship which ended acrimoniously. He sent the victim an email which contained a naked picture of her and said he would post it on social media to
‘teach her a lesson’.

She discovered that he had created a false account in her name and used the naked photograph as the profile picture. He had also posted three other intimate photographs of her. The false account had been used to contact 12 of the victim’s friends. She contacted the social media company and they agreed to close the account but this took two days.

A few weeks later B set up another false account in the same way and then he used a different social media platform to send the photograph to some of the victim’s work colleagues.  The victim and her friends contacted the social media companies and eventually had the photographs removed. In total the naked picture of her was live on social media sites for 18 days.

The victim reported that the incidents had left her feeling extremely embarrassed and anxious.

The offender made admissions in police interview and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.   On the proposed guideline he could expect a sentence of 20 weeks immediate imprisonment.

revenge porn disclosing private sexual images

Another reason to think twice about revenge porn

If the prospect of a prison sentence is insufficient deterrent, a recent case shows that there is another good reason to think twice before exacting this type of revenge on a former lover.

Celebrity vlogger Chrissy Chambers took the matter one step further in launching an action in the High Court designed to secure no further infringement of her rights as well as substantial financial damages.

revenge porn disclosing private sexual imagesHer ex-partner allowed six sexual videos to be uploaded to the adult site redtube.com.  Ms Chambers was identified by name in three of those videos.  The videos were filmed in her home, but without her consent, and showed sexual activity between her and her then partner.

She argued in court that this conduct had caused her ‘serious distress’ resulting in post-traumatic distress disorder.

In the 19 months that the videos were online a large number of people had viewed them, including some people who wrote to her expressing their displeasure at the belief that she was ‘intentionally involved in pornography’.  These viewers were affected to such a degree that they did not wish to continue watching her YouTube channel.

High Court Financial Settlement

revenge porn disclosing private sexual imagesIn a settlement agreed by the High Court on 18th January 2018, her partner accepted that the posting of the videos was in breach of confidence, misuse of private information and a breach of her Article 8 rights (the right to privacy).  To provide future protection, copyright in the videos was transferred to her.

While this is not the first action of its kind (singer Tulisa Contostavlos brought a similar case in 2012), it is notable that Ms Chambers has actively sought publicity about this case, when she could have chosen anonymity.

The legal action was funded by way of a crowd-funding campaign, itself designed to raise public awareness of this issue.

By doing so, she has put this issue into the public domain, and it may well act as a deterrent to those thinking of doing something similar in future.  It is also a reminder to victims that there could be an easy route to substantial damages, provided of course that the person committing this unlawful act has the means to pay them.

Contact us for specialist legal advice about disclosing private sexual images

It may be that you acted without thinking, or it may be that you are not responsible for the offending.  Either way, we will be able to provide you with advice and representation whether your case is a guilty plea or will be prepared for trial.

Please contact one of our experts in criminal law at your nearest office.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.



Government signals tough sentencing changes

Government Signals Tough Sentencing Changes

new offences proposed by government
Nottingham crime solicitor Graham Heathcote

Over the last few days, the government has announced proposals to introduce new offences and increase sentencing for a range of other offences.

One of our criminal law solicitors, Graham Heathcote, explained the proposals on Radio Nottingham on October 16.  You can listen to his interview hear about the proposed changes to the road traffic offences and sentences.


Here is his written summary of the proposals.

Knife crime

new offences proposed by governmentKnife crime increased by 20% in the last year. Possession of a knife during the same period has increased by 23%. This has prompted the government to look again at this legislation.

New laws will make it an offence to deliver a knife sold online to a private residential address.  In the future it is proposed that all online purchases will have to be delivered to a collection address.  This will allow verification of the age of the purchaser when they collect the item.

Offensive Weapons

The possession of an offensive weapon in a public place is already a criminal offence.  Changes in the law will see an additional 19 items, including flick knives and push daggers, banned in private places such as residences as well.

Some limited defences will be allowed by the Government.  These will rely on cultural, artistic or religious use of the items.  There will also be common sense exemptions such as museum displays.

A new definition of ‘flick knife’ is also proposed.  This is intended to broaden the number of weapons that fall into this classification category.

School Premises

It is already an aggravated offence to possess knives and offensive weapons on school premises.

The definition of ‘school premises’ does not currently cover higher and further education establishments.  These might be sixth form colleges or universities. The intention is to change the definition to ensure that such institutions also fall within the legislation.

Threats with blades

new offences proposed by governmentThe government intends to amend the existing offence of threatening with an article with blade or point or an offensive weapon.  This is currently set out in section 139AA of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

The law as it stands requires the prosecution to prove that a defendant was threatening another with the weapon “in such a way that there is an immediate risk of serious physical harm to that other person”.

The plans will strengthen this offence.  An attempt will be made to ensure that if anyone threatens another person with a knife the offence is committed when the victim reasonably fears they would be likely to suffer serious physical harm. This test will be based on how a reasonable person would respond to such a threat.  It will not depend on whether the victim was objectively at risk of immediate serious physical harm.

Acid and Corrosive Substances

The perception is that violent attacks using acid and other substances is on the rise.  As a result the government argues that a new offence is justified.

new offences proposed by governmentThe Government proposes to create a new offence of possessing a corrosive substance in a public place. This offence will be modelled on the current offence that can be found in section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.  This offence is possessing a bladed article in a public place.

It is envisaged that similar defences to the knife possession offence would also apply to the proposed corrosive substance possession offence.  These would include where a person could prove they had a good reason or lawful authority for having the item in a public place.

Additionally, the government proposes to introduce a new offence preventing the sale of the most harmful corrosive substances to those under 18. The intention is to mirror the existing knife legislation.  It is in response to the significant proportion of known offenders who are under 18.  The introduction of this offence would make it harder for those under 18 to obtain products containing the most harmful corrosive substances.  These liquids are of particular concern and are being used as weapons to inflict life-changing injuries.


The government has identified two particular types of firearms that of concern

  • large calibre (0.50) rifles; and
  • rapid firing rifles

Both types of firearms are currently available for civilian use under general licensing arrangements.  There are concerns, however, about their potential for serious misuse and loss of life were they to fall into the wrong hands. The proposal is that these two types of firearms should be subject to the stricter controls under the existing provisions of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968.  These prohibit a number of types of firearms from civilian use.

Driving Offences

new offences proposed by government

It is proposed that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving, or causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, be increased to a maximum of life imprisonment.

Should this change is implemented it will lead to new sentencing guidelines being issued which will likely increase the typical sentence in all such cases.

Very few cases, however, would ever merit a sentence of life imprisonment.

There is also a proposal to create a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.

This is likely to be one of the most controversial proposals as there is a stark contrast between the lower level of culpability involved in such offending and the unintended harm that can arise.


The government appears to want to send out a tough message about certain types of criminal behaviour. It must be remembered however that sentencing is a fact-specific exercise where the personal mitigation of the defendant must also be considered.

In cases where a guilty plea is inevitable, or a finding of guilt has been made, it is our job to present to a court the best possible mitigation to ensure the lowest sentence possible.

If you face any criminal proceedings please contact one of our expert solicitors at your nearest office.  All of our office numbers new offences proposed by governmentoperate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that you receive emergency advice when you most need it.

Alternatively, use the contact form below.





New Guideline for Speeding Penalties in Force from 24 April 2017

road traffic law speeding disqualificationThe new sentencing guidelines as they apply to speeding offences have been receiving some publicity.  The reports have highlighted the increase in the level of fine that can be imposed for the most serious examples of speeding that appear before the Magistrates’ Court.

The penalties involve maximum fines of £1,000  or £2,500 if the offence is committed on the motorway.

Nottingham motoring law solicitor Graham Heathcote spoke to BBC Radio Nottingham on 24 April 2017.  You can listen to the interview here:

You can begin to work out the starting point for your particular case by looking at where you fall within the bands.

Band A

This covers low level speeding.  It will result in three points and a fine of up to 50% of your weekly income.  It applies if you are driving up to 30mph in a 20mph zone; up to 40mph in a 30mph zone; 55mph in a 40mph zone; 65 in a 50; 80 in a 60, and; up to 90mph in a 70mph zone.

Band B

This will attract a driving ban of 7 – 28 days will or four to six penalty points.  This punishment will be imposed with a fine of up to 100% of your weekly income.

It covers more serious speeding – 31mph to 40mph in a 20mph zone; 41mph to 50mph in a 30 zone; 56mph to 65mph in a 40; 66 to 75 in a 50; 81-90 in a 60, and; 91mph to 100mph in a 70mph.

Band C

This sentencing range is reserved for the most serious speeding offences. The court will consider a driving ban of between 7 and 56 days or impose six penalty points.  This could be coupled with a fine up to 150% of weekly income.

This covers speeds of over 41mph in a 20mph zone; 51mph in a 30mph zone; 66mph in a 40mph zone; 76mph in a 50mph; 91mph in a 60mph, and; 100mph in a 70mph zone.

speeding penalty points driving ban
Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines for Speeding

A change in emphasis for mid-range speeding offences?

The guideline for Band B offences appears to be a change of emphasis in relation to the starting point.  It is unlikely to be an error in drafting that suggests that the Magistrates’ should first consider a driving ban and then look at penalty points as an alternative.

We will have to wait and see whether the courts’ interpretation of the guidelines results in more motorists receiving short discretionary disqualifications.  We know that the effect of such a driving ban may well be disproportionate to the time that it is in force.

The net effect of these guidelines might effect many more motorists.  Those who break the limit by miscalculation rather than recklessness, now face a real risk of ending up off the road. The consequences can go beyond the simple ban, including a massive hike in future insurance premiums.

Aggravating Factors

The table above show the starting point for speeding offences before the court.  The fine and whether there is a disqualification or points will defend on the aggravating and mitigating factors in any case.

The guideline features a non-exhaustive list of factors that may increase serious and therefore the financial penalty as well as increase the chances of receiving a disqualification. These include:

  • Previous convictions
  • Offence committed whilst on bail
  • Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
  • Towing caravan/trailer
  • Carrying passengers or heavy load
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above speed
  • Location e.g. near school
  • High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity


Some aspects of the case might reduce seriousness and therefore the penalty imposed such as:

  • No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • Good character and/or exemplary conduct
  • Genuine emergency established

Net effect, many more motorists, who break the limit by miscalculation rather than recklessness, now face a real risk of ending up off the road. The consequences can go beyond the simple ban, including a massive hike in future insurance premiums.

Ring now, 0115 9599550, and get us on your side.

Contract a Motoring Law Specialist

speeding road traffic law penalty points driving ban
Nottingham motoring law solicitor Graham Heathcote

We appreciate that your driving licence will be important to you.  You may receive a notification that the police are considering a prosecution. You might be told that you have a court date.

Here at VHS Fletchers we have an experienced team of motoring lawyers, with extensive experience in what can be a complex area of the law, providing technically sound, clear advice and with a proven track record of saving motorists’ driving licences.

Please contact Graham Heathcote on 0115 9599550 or contact him using the form below for advice and an estimate of our fees.