A Fixed Penalty Notice is given where you have parked your car in a place that constitutes an offence. This is different from just over-staying the time you had in a car park; or parking and not displaying a ticket.
Where you receive a Fixed Penalty Notice, the ticket will be fixed to your windscreen or given to you. You will be told you are believed to have committed a road traffic offence and have 21 days to respond or pay the fine.
If you accept you committed the offence and agree to pay the fine, you will be offered the opportunity to pay a reduced fine, by paying within a certain period. If you don’t pay the fine within the specified period, you have to pay the full amount.
If you don’t pay the fine within the 21 days, you will receive a “Notice to Owner” reminding you to pay. If you still don’t pay within the period allowed, the fine can be increased by 50%. If you still don’t pay, you can be told to attend Court.
Disputing a Notice
If you don’t accept you have committed the offence, you should return the ticket to the address specified. A court date will then be set for your case to be heard. The case will normally be heard by your local Justice of the Peace Court.
Although you cannot get legal aid to be represented for minor motoring offences, you may still qualify for advice and assistance from a solicitor. You can find out more about legal aid here.
Where your defence is you were not driving the car, you should complete the statutory declaration on the form stating this.
Likewise, if your defence is your car was stolen, you should state this, but expect to provide proof showing you reported the car stolen.
Parking offences are not normally “Endorsable”, so should not result in any points being added to your licence. However, if the Fixed Penalty Notice is, it will say on the notice it is “Endorsable”.
Going to Court for a Fixed Penalty Notice
If you dispute a Fixed Penalty Notice and intend to defend it in court, you should seek advice first.
You can obtain advice from your local Citizen Advice Bureau or from a solicitor.
More information can be obtained on going to Court by visting the Scottish Court Website.
How can Fixed Penalties Fines be Enforced?
Fixed Penalty Notice fines can be enforced by a variety of means that are at the Courts disposable.
This can include:
- Clamping of vehicles;
- Freezing of bank accounts;
- Arrestment of earnings and benefits; and
- Ultimately arresting the non-payer as they travel through ports and airports.
A warning was issued in 2016 by the Scottish Courts to non-payers which can be read in full here.