Totting Up: Can I plead guilty by letter/post and have the case heard in my absence?FAQ
I face a totting up ban and I have been given the option of pleading guilty by post so the case can be heard in my absence. I would prefer this option, especially as I’m likely to be banned and therefore do not want the expense of taking time off work, travel, hotel bills etc. Are the Magistrates likely to be any more severe in terms of the punishment imposed if I take this option rather than if I attended court in person?
In theory, you can plead guilty by post. However, most Courts will then adjourn the case to provide you with a further opportunity to attend in person so that you can put forward a submission of exceptional hardship and explain why you should not be banned.
If you are resigned to the fact that a totting up ban is inevitable, and you are prepared to accept this, you should make this clear to the Court, stating that you do not wish to put forward an exceptional hardship plea. There is every prospect that they would then resolve the matter in your absence and there is no reason for the punishment to be any more severe. That said, if the case is still adjourned, and you are told that you must attend, failure to do so could result in a Warrant being issued for your arrest.