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Means Enquiry Hearings

Leslie Franks May Be Able to Help with Your Means Testing

If you’ve been invited to the court for a means test or “means hearing” then get in contact with us prior. We can help represent your case and potentially reduce or remit your fine completely. If fine remittal is not possible, we can ensure via a means test that your fine is reduced substantially.

What does a means test look like?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All images shown are subject to Crown Copyright.  Image Credits:  UK Crown Copyright. Images have been redacted to protect individual information, these images are for demonstration purposes only.

Why do I need to do a means test?

A means test provides the court with information about your financial circumstances. This is important as it helps the court to decide on what level of fine to impose based upon your financial circumstances. Without a means test the court may make assumptions about your income, which can quite often lead to significantly higher fines than what would have been issued prior. These fines are often completely disproportionate to the original offence and can snowball.

With a means test, the court no longer has to make assumptions on your finances and can therefore impose a more reasonable fine.

What happens if I refuse to do a means test?

You have a statutory obligation to provide this information when requested by the court. Failure to provide this information is considered an offence which may lead to greater penalties and/or imprisonment.

What happens if I provide the wrong information?

It is imperative that you provide the correct information. Providing wrong or false information is also a criminal offence which can lead to greater penalties and/or imprisonment.

What is a means enquiry hearing?

A means enquiry hearing is a request from the Court for you to attend Court and provide the information required for a means test.

What does a means test hearing look like?

Why do I need to undergo a means test?

A means test provides the Court with information about your financial circumstances. This is important as it helps the Court to decide on what level of fine to impose based upon your financial circumstances. The amount of the fine will be calculated according to the specific offence, the evidence presented, and on your ability to pay.

Without a means test, the Court may make incorrect assumptions about your income, which could lead to a higher fine than what would have been issued with a test. It’s not uncommon for fines to be disproportionate to the original offence and can snowball.

With a means test, the Court no longer has to make assumptions on your finances and can, therefore, impose a more reasonable fine.

 

What is an MC100 form or ‘Statement of Means’?

The Courts use a form called an MC100 or Statement of Means which is a questionnaire designed to clarify a Defendant’s income and outgoings.

 

How do the Courts use the information?

The Courts use the information in an MC100 to set the fine and also to enforce it. So for example, if a fine is not paid, the Court can find information about your employment in the form and use it to secure an Attachment of Earnings Order.

 

What happens if I refuse to do a means test?

You have a statutory obligation to provide this information when requested by the Court. Failure to provide this information is considered an offence which may lead to higher penalties or even imprisonment.

 

What happens if I refuse to complete the MC100?

Where the Defendant fails to provide information, the Court can levy a fine based on an assumed weekly income of £440 (national average income in the UK). But if information is presented that invalidates  assumptions about income, the Court can decide on a fine that it believes to be appropriate. 

Refusing to complete the MC100/Statement of Means can also result in a further fine being imposed.

 

What happens if I provide the wrong information?

You must provide the correct information. Giving wrong or false information is also a criminal offence which can lead to higher penalties and/or imprisonment.

 

Should I seek legal advice if I’ve received an MC100?

It is always sensible to seek advice on any Court document, and a review of the Statement of Means would typically be incorporated as part of any legal assistance.

 

I have misplaced my Statement of Means Form, where can I obtain a duplicate?

The Court will provide you with a further copy. Alternatively, you can download a copy here.

 

We may be able to help with your means-testing

If you’ve been invited to the Court for a means test or “means hearing” then get in contact with us prior. We may be able to represent your case and potentially reduce or remit your fine completely. If fine remittal is not possible, we can work to ensure via a means test that your fine is reduced substantially.

 

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