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News - 10 June 2014

Fines may rise by 300%

 Under new proposals for England and Wales, maximum fines imposed by magistrates are set to rise dramatically, with the top level which includes motorway speeding, could increase from £2,500 to £10,000.

 
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said financial penalties "set at the right level" were an effective punishment for offenders.
 
Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS comments:
“These proposals could also see magistrates having unlimited fining powers for offences where there is currently a maximum of £5,000 or more. However, any new legislation would first have to be debated in Parliament but there is no current timetable for any such discussion.”
 
Most offences that could involve a fine in magistrates' courts are subject to specific maximums, known as levels, which currently range from £200 to £5,000. Some cases, such as environmental offences, can involve even higher fines. Magistrates take into account the seriousness of the offence when setting the fine level.
 
RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "People who break the law should bear the consequences but this seems such a wholesale change to the system so you have to ask what was going so badly wrong before.”
 
Magistrate fines collected at the end of 2012/13 reached a record high of £284m and continued to rise during the last financial year.
 
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 allowed magistrates the power to impose unlimited fines for certain offences. However, the government is only now tabling the appropriate legislation to put that ruling into effect.
 
For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of business related issues, contact us at ABDS.
 
ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900 E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net
 
Brilliant with numbers  
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals
 
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