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Message started by BGS on Jul 19th, 2007 at 7:40pm

Title: Fixed Penalty Fine
Post by BGS on Jul 19th, 2007 at 7:40pm
Hi There

My friend was recently charged with Assault, of which he has stated he was innocent of the charge & that it was infact committed by A N Other.

However he received a letter from the PF's office, offering him a Fixed Penalty Fine of 50 and that would be the end of the matter, i.e. no conviction or court case, which sounds like a good option, even although he is innocent, but it would help bring matters to an end.

I was wondering if there are any hidden pitfalls, like refusal for a taxi/pub license etc, or can any alleged victims try & sue on a personal level at a later date?

Thanks in advance of any help.

BGS

Title: Re: Fixed Penalty Fine
Post by zurich_allan on Jul 19th, 2007 at 8:09pm
In simple terms, you're right that there would be no conviction placed on criminal record, and as such there should be no backlash from either the criminal law or local authorities.

In reality - there could be two realistic reasons for the fixed penalty noctice being issued:

1. The assault was very minor in nature and as such not worth taking up the court's time.

or

2. There is not any real evidence that would likely result in a conviction were your friend to contest the matter but the court has decided to proceed in any case. (The only way you could ever find that out would be if you could see the notes sent back to the police from the PF, which you never will).

With regards the victim(s) in question (they are not alleged - they are victims - I am assuming that an assault did take place regardless whom the perpetrator was - it is your friend who is 'alleged'), if your friend contested the penalty notice successfuly it is unlikely that any civil action taken by the victim would be successful (but bear in mind the lower standard of proof in civil cases). If however he accepted the penalty notice (and thus responsibility for the crime in question) then a civil action for an appropriate amount would more than likely succeed due to his accepting liability in the criminal court.

Regardless of this information however, any respectable lawyer should advise your friend to plead in the way that if he is innocent he plead innocent, if he is guilty he plead guilty. Your friend should not accept a penalty for something he did not do for the sake of convenience.

Hope that is of at least some help.

Title: Re: Fixed Penalty Fine
Post by BGS on Jul 19th, 2007 at 8:45pm
Thanks for you swift reply, Superb!

It does seem like the reason for the Fixed Penalty was a bit of both of your options, 1 & 2.

It was a minor incident, and yes there was no real evidence to corroborate my friend did such an Assault in the first place.

It would be in my friends interest to contact his lawyer for advice on how to proceed.

Thanks once again, much appreciated!

BGS

Title: Re: Fixed Penalty Fine
Post by humanrights on Dec 14th, 2007 at 12:33pm

BGS wrote on Jul 19th, 2007 at 7:40pm:
Hi There

My friend was recently charged with Assault, of which he has stated he was innocent of the charge & that it was infact committed by A N Other.

However he received a letter from the PF's office, offering him a Fixed Penalty Fine of 50 and that would be the end of the matter, i.e. no conviction or court case, which sounds like a good option, even although he is innocent, but it would help bring matters to an end.


"It would be an end of the matter" to the police and notch up another innocent person on their sheet, but I doubt it would be an end for your friend. It may affect their job prospects, it will affect your own sense of integrity, it may even result in your friend being wrong accused of another crime in the future, because if they prove themselves to be an easy target once then who do you think they'll try and pint the charge on next time?

Title: Re: Fixed Penalty Fine
Post by zurich_allan on Dec 14th, 2007 at 1:13pm

humanrights wrote on Dec 14th, 2007 at 12:33pm:

BGS wrote on Jul 19th, 2007 at 7:40pm:
Hi There

My friend was recently charged with Assault, of which he has stated he was innocent of the charge & that it was infact committed by A N Other.

However he received a letter from the PF's office, offering him a Fixed Penalty Fine of 50 and that would be the end of the matter, i.e. no conviction or court case, which sounds like a good option, even although he is innocent, but it would help bring matters to an end.


"It would be an end of the matter" to the police and notch up another innocent person on their sheet, but I doubt it would be an end for your friend. It may affect their job prospects, it will affect your own sense of integrity, it may even result in your friend being wrong accused of another crime in the future, because if they prove themselves to be an easy target once then who do you think they'll try and pint the charge on next time?


I'm sorry,  but this post is ridiculous. All it does is smack of bitterness for some reason. Do you really think that the police have a 'scoresheet' to 'notch' up who can pick up the most convictions on innocent people? Or do you really think because somebody was given a fixed penalty for a likely very minor assault that the police are going to begin targeting them? That whole post was just a silly inflamatory statement and I would suggest that if BGS happens to read their thread again that they disregard it.

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