Innocent motorists to face court costs

  anchor 11:38 26 Oct 2009
Locked

"New regulations set to come into force later this month will see motorists forced to cough up court costs - even if they're found not guilty or acquitted of motoring offences".

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How low can this government stoop!.

  crosstrainer 11:47 26 Oct 2009

Anything to try and recoup the drastic losses of the fat cat bankers, who will continue to get huge bonuses despite being responsible for the recession.

  Clapton is God 12:00 26 Oct 2009

So, now's the time to dig out your motor insurance policy and check that you have Legal Expenses cover.

  bjh 12:37 26 Oct 2009

I do - but mine specifically excludes appealing against motoring offences, and i thought most did!

  OTT_Buzzard 15:31 26 Oct 2009

"It's another case of the minority making trouble for the majority. Fancy lawyers have been making a good living coming up with obscure points of law to get clients who can well afford their fees off small speeding or parking fines."

That maybe so, but it's the country and legal system that we live in.

If the government wants to stop it then they need to make more effort on clarifying the law both to drivers and the people who enforce the law (police, CPS, local councils), that way the cases could be avoided in the first place.

  GJC60 16:38 26 Oct 2009

This is just another ploy to claw back costs. What it really means is that police/traffic wardens can make as many mistakes as they want but you still end up paying if innocent.

If you read the article its not just lawyers groups fighting this, they are just 3 of 7 groups

1. Association of Motor Offence Lawyers (AMOL);
2. Health and Safety Lawyers Association;
3. The Criminal Bar Association;
4. The Association of British Drivers;
5. Drivers' Alliance (responsible for the largest ever petition against road pricing who obtained 1.8 million signatures over a 3 month period); and
6. The London Criminal Solicitors' Association;
7. The Taxpayers' Alliance; and
8. The AA

This is just the thin edge of the wedge

  Chegs ®™ 16:57 26 Oct 2009

So it seems were going to be left with two choices...

1)pay the fixed penalty

2)pay for the defence of the fixed penalty

The 1st choice costs less than the 2nd but either way the government coffers get a boost.

I wonder what Jack Straw might've mumbled on QuestionTime were this mentioned.

  Kevscar1 19:09 26 Oct 2009

I,ll defend myself then if I lose launch an appeal on the grounds of an unfair trial because I couldn't afford to pay a lawyer

  morddwyd 19:47 26 Oct 2009

Surely the matter of costs is the responsibility of the bench?

Costs are not automatic, but have to be asked for, albeit usually almost certain to be granted.

I suspect any government will find it constitutionally difficult to interfere with the judiciary in this regard.

It is fundamental to our legal system that while they can make recommendations they cannot order the judiciary to take a particular course of action, except in major changes of law which would be subject to detailed parliamentary scrutiny, such as the abolition of the death penalty.

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