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A Guide to Cancellations of Fixed Charge Notice

Introduction

Anyone receiving a Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) from An Garda Síochána can apply to have it cancelled. This guide explains the grounds on which such an application can be made and how to make the application.

Normally, a person who fails to pay a FCN will be prosecuted. However, following a review the FCN may be cancelled and no prosecution will then take place.

FCNs can be cancelled by An Garda Síochána when the evidence would not sustain a prosecution and / or due to exceptional circumstances a prosecution would not be appropriate, fair or proportionate.

Decisions on cancellations are governed by the Garda policy and procedures set out in this guide.

If you have any further queries in relation to decisions on cancellations and/or on making an application to have a FCN reviewed, please contact The Fixed Charge Processing Office, Parnell Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, E41 WV84, by email npo@garda.ie or telephone: (1890 30 40 60).

Cancellation Policy  

Definition of a Cancellation

Cancellation is defined as the decision of a Cancelling Authority, after carrying out a review, to discontinue proceedings and to withdraw a notice for a fixed charge offence. 

Cancelling Authority

The authority to cancel for fixed charge offences is with the Fixed Charge Processing Office, Parnell St., Thurles, Co. Tipperary, E41 WV84. 

Cancellation Request Categories.  

Cancellation requests fall into two categories.  Category A covers mainly procedural issues.  Category B relate to cancellations based on exceptional circumstances e.g. .

Category A

Cancellation requests falling within this category include –

  1. Where there is a detection issue / material error in relation to the alleged offence as outlined on the FCN e.g. incorrect speed limit.
  2. Seat Belt Exemption – Where the recipient is exempt from the wearing of a seat belt e.g. is the holder of a Medical Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Safety Belt/Child Restraint System Wearing
  3. Where the recipient of the FCN has a statutory exemption in relation to the offence alleged on the FCN.
  4. In relation to an FCN for non-display of motor tax or insurance disc, motor tax had been taken out or applied for, or in the case of the non display of an insurance disc motor insurance was in place, at the time of the alleged offence.
  5. Where the FCN was issued to the registered owner for an offence allegedly committed while the vehicle was stolen
  6. Where there is an issue with the vehicle registered owner details e.g. vehicle had been sold or scrapped
  7. If the recipient of the FCN is, on the date of the alleged offence, under 18 years of age, he / she is admitted to a diversion programme as provided for in Part 4 of the Children Act 2001.

Category B

Apart from the statutory exemptions laid down, there is no legal provision whereby a concession is extended to any particular individual.  However, applications for cancellation will be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Notwithstanding the consequences for the applicant, the Cancelling Authority must be objective in considering applications for cancellation based on exceptional circumstances.  In deciding on such applications, the Cancelling Authority will take into consideration the following:-

  • The prevailing need to have road traffic legislation enforced, ensuring errant motorists are held accountable for their actions.
  • A wrong decision to  cancel a FCNtends to undermine the confidence of the public in the fixed charge and criminal justice systems.
  • The exceptional circumstances on which the application is based.
  • Whether the person previously had a FCN cancelled due to exceptional circumstances. The likelihood of the person reoffending.
  • The evidence supporting the application.
  • Where the circumstances required the Cancelling Authority to consult with the detecting member, the member’s view on the application. 

The following are examples where a cancellation request based on exceptional circumstances will be considered or refused:

In the case of a fixed charge notice issued for speeding –

- An application from a person who was responding to a gas leak or fallen power line will be considered, while an application from a person dealing with routine maintenance work will be refused.

- An application will be considered from a person who was bringing someone to hospital due to a medical emergency where it is believed the life of the person is at risk, while an application from a person travelling to a medical appointment will be refused.

- An application from a Doctor responding to an emergency where the information indicates that the life of a person is at risk will be considered, while an application from a Doctor who was travelling to a routine call will be refused.

- An application from a person transporting someone who at short notice is required to attend a hospital for urgent treatment will be considered, while an application from a person transporting a person to a hospital for routine medical treatment will be refused.

- An application from a person responding to the notification of the imminent death of a family member will be considered, while an application from a person travelling to a funeral will be refused.

In the case of a fixed charge notice issued for non-display of a current tax disc –

- An application will be considered if the vehicle was taxed at the time but the tax disc was accidentally removed from the vehicle or lost prior to the issue of the FCN, while an application will be refused if the vehicle wasn’t taxed and the applicant cannot provide evidence that an application for motor tax had been made prior to the issuing of the FCN.

Cancellation Procedure

If you believe you have grounds to appeal a FCN you should complete a FCN Cancellation Request Form immediately and forward it to the FCPO with any required supporting documentation.  For further information on supporting documentation required please see FCN Cancellation Request Form Guidance Notes An application for cancellation of a FCN should be submitted as early as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for a decision to be made on the cancellation request.  

Please note the 28 day and 56 day period for payment of the fixed charge is not suspended while a cancellation request is being considered.

Having considered the application the Cancelling Authority will ensure you are notified in writing of the decision as soon as possible.

New penalties for texting while driving came into force on the 1/5/14

Updated Penalty Points info - 8/12/14