New sentencing guidelines for magistrates

New sentencing guidelines for magistrates have come into force with one of the offences covered being speeding.
 
The guidelines see introduction of a new higher penalty for those offenders who drive at speeds excessively above legal limits. The Sentencing Council has increased the penalty for the top band of seriousness to ensure that there is clear increase in fine level as the seriousness of offending increases. 
 
That means fines for those offenders will have a starting point of 150% of weekly income rather than the existing level of 100% of weekly income. It would apply to drivers who, for example, drive at 41mph or more where there is a 20mph limit, 51mph or more where there is a 30mph limit or at more than 101mph on a motorway. Sentence levels for less serious offences are not changing.
 
Under the new regime there are a total of three starting points for fines: Band A offences - 50% of weekly disposable income; Band B offences - 100% of weekly disposable income; Band C offences - 150% of weekly disposable income. 
 
The Band for the offence determines the starting point for any fine and is linked to a driver’s disposable weekly income. The Court will adjust any fine upwards or downwards according to any aggravating features and the mitigating features of the case. The maximum fines for speeding remain the same: £1,000, unless it takes place on a motorway, in which case it is £2,500. In addition drivers will receive between three and six penalty points unless a period of disqualification is ordered. The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points with fixed penalties unaffected. Further details on the new sentencing guidelines are available at: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/item/speeding-revised-2017/