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Letter of Mitigation £125 + VAT

All Magistrates' Court offences where a personal attendance is not required

A bespoke letter prepared specifically for your case. If you intend to plead guilty to an offence, the easiest way to do so is by post. Not only does it avoid a personal attendance, it is also the cheapest way to dispose of a case. To obtain the best outcome, rather than simply returning the form with a tick next to "Guilty", you should submit a detailed plea of mitigation as this can greatly reduce the penalty imposed. The effect of a letter of mitigation is heavily dependent upon the content and style. It makes sense to present the best letter possible as there is a world of difference between a hastily prepared hand–written reply to the Summons and a correctly drafted letter which covers all the relevant facts and presents a compelling mitigation argument. Motor Lawyers will write a professional, personalised letter on your behalf which will significantly increase your prospects of a reduced penalty.

Motor Lawyers will telephone you to discuss your case in detail. You should allow an hour for that conversation so that we can establish the facts, ascertain all relevant issues and clarify everything that is pertinent to the case and your mitigation. Once we are satisfied that all possible mitigation has been ascertained and considered, will we prepare a letter specifically for you. Our experience will often allow us to use to your benefit issues that you had either not even thought of or dismissed as irrelevant. The letter will be supplied to you as a Word/Adobe document for you to sign and send to the Court.

If you intend to plead guilty by post, the cost of this service should pay for itself, as a properly prepared letter will have far greater impact on the Justices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I plead guilty by post?

For the majority of Magistrates Court cases, the Defendant will be given the opportunity to plead guilty and present mitigation by letter. This is clearly an attractive option if you do not want to attend the hearing and can also result in a financial saving by avoiding a day off work.

If you are offered the opportunity to plead guilty by post, we suggest that you use this option. However, we do not recommend that you simply tick the guilty box and send the paperwork back with your licence. Instead, prepare detailed mitigation to persuade the Court to impose a low penalty that takes into account your circumstances

If you need assistance, Motor Lawyers can prepare a bespoke letter of mitigation for you.

Will the Court think it disrespectful if I send a letter rather than attend in person?

No. In the vast majority of cases, the Court would prefer to deal with matters in the absence of the Defendant. The Courts are under a great deal of pressure to clear cases quickly and with up to 50 cases listed at the same time, if each Defendant attends in person, there is no prospect of clearing the list. It is easier and more efficient for the Court to resolve cases without seeing the Defendant.

What is a letter of mitigation and what purpose does it serve?

Whilst the Court does not require a personal attendance, the Magistrates still need to know the Defendant's version of events, mitigation etc. The easiest way to obtain that is via a letter of mitigation. Although the Court will provide a standard form to complete, it is actually more sensible to prepare a proper letter, covering the issues and questions in full, but expanding upon the relevant mitigation. It is essential that any written mitigation supplied addresses the relevant issues clearly and succinctly. If the letter is too long, it will not be read in full and the Court may have difficulty extracting from it the relevant information in the time available. Likewise, if the letter is too short, the Defendant is not using the opportunity available to their maximum advantage.

What is included in your letter of mitigation service?

We will review your papers in advance of a telephone discussion, then discuss the case with you and go through all issues regarding the offence, potential penalties and obtain all information for the letter. We will also advise you in relation to the Statement of Means and any other documentation that needs to be returned to the Court. We will write a compelling, professional but personalised letter of mitigation for you to approve and send to the Court. The letter will be drafted to secure the lowest possible punishment, to include a discount for an early guilty plea.

We will also advise you on any further action that you need to take, for example, updating your insurance company and any other implications that may arise.

When should I instruct Motor Lawyers?

The best time to instruct Motor Lawyers is as soon as you receive the Summons or Postal Requisition from the Court. We can then prepare a letter of mitigation for you immediately. Even if you know a Summons is going to be issued, there is no point instructing us until you actually have the paperwork as we will need the Court documents to assist.

How much time should I set aside for my telephone appointment?

We suggest that an hour be allowed in order to ensure that every issue that you wish to raise or are concerned about is dealt with.

What is the turnaround for a letter of mitigation?

We normally aim to speak to clients within 24 hours of instruction and a letter should be provided to you within 24 to 48 hours of the appointment. In certain circumstances, that can be reduced but the earlier instructions are received, the easier it is to provide a convenient appointment and accommodate any other issues etc.

Can I amend the letter once I have received it?

If you feel that the letter requires amendment, please return to us and we will discuss the issues with you and if necessary, revise the document.

Does the option to plead guilty by letter mean I do not face a ban?

There is no guarantee that a ban may not be considered, but the Court will not ban without offering a further opportunity for you to attend in person. If you face disqualification by way of an instant ban, for example because the speed alleged is substantially in excess of the limit, the Court is unlikely to deal with the matter in your absence. If there is a real risk of disqualification, the Court can reject the letter and demand a personal attendance. If, however, it is clear to us that a letter will not be accepted, we will recommend a Court hearing service to you as this will be your cheaper option if a personal attendance is inevitable.

When is a letter not acceptable?

In some cases, the Court will not give the Defendant the option to plead guilty by letter. For example:

  • The offence is too serious to be resolved in the Defendant's absence; or
  • The minimum punishment is a mandatory disqualification, or
  • The Defendant already has sufficient points on his licence to prompt a totting up ban when points for the current offence are endorsed; or
  • There are "special reasons" or you have pleaded Not Guilty.