Motorists accused of minor motoring offences will now be able to enter a formal plea online via the government following a successful scheme.
The Government’s ‘Make a plea’ programme, which has recently been trialled at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, will allow drivers to register their response to an allegation of a summary motoring offence 24 hours a day online from next month.
The aim is to save the criminal justice system millions of pounds a year processing motoring offences.
1,200 drivers opted to use the service in the Manchester trial registering their plea online rather than attending court or entering a plea by post.
Defendants can also see their case details online and view the evidence against them before decided whether to enter a guilty or not guilty plea.
Shailesh Vara, the Justice Minister, said that if the service was successful, ‘Make a Plea’ may be expanded to cover other low-level offences involving a standard guilty plea.
Whilst the scheme offers big savings in administrative costs, defendants who plead guilty may also benefit from a 33% reduction on a fine.
More information on the scheme can be found at https://www.makeaplea.justice.gov.uk/