What are Court Summons & Postal Requisitions?

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Nick Titchener

Managing Partner

Box Junction

Receiving a postal requisition – or ‘court summons’ as they were previously known – to appear in court for a driving offence can be very unsettling, especially if this is the first time you have been requested to appear in court.

It is therefore important that you understand what a postal requisition is, what your next steps are and what you are required to do by law.

What is a court summons?

A postal requisition is the new name for a court summons letter. A court summons is simply an order from the court requesting that you attend.

Whether you receive a court summons for speeding or a postal requisition for speeding, the effect is the same.

Now – and for the majority of road traffic offence cases – you will receive a postal requisition asking you to attend court.

Not all courts have yet made the transition to the new procedure, so the historic phrase of receiving a summons to appear in court is likely to remain in common usage.

What are the time limits for court summons?

For summary offences  – those that can only be dealt with at the magistrates’ court – the police must ask the court to issue a summons within a prescribed period of time. If they do not do so, a prosecution may be time barred.

The process in the traffic courts

The court summons will ask you to provide an indication of your intended plea.

If you intend to plead guilty by post and are asking the court to deal with your case in your absence, you may wish to include a letter of mitigation. The letter of mitigation will explain the circumstances surrounding the offence and is aimed at achieving a more lenient result.

You will then receive a letter from the court confirming the decision of the court. If you are requested to attend a further hearing, it is likely that the court with be considering driving disqualification. If this is the case, it is vital you seek expert legal advice from a specialist driving offence solicitor.

It is also possible to plead guilty to the offence and attend court in person. You may represent yourself or instruct a legal professional to act on your behalf.

What to do if you face a driving disqualification

Our team of highly experienced traffic court lawyers will guide you through proceedings, using their extensive knowledge and experience to achieve the most favourable outcome for your case. We are here to help you so contact us for advice and assistance.

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