Exceptional Hardship – Save Your Driving Licence
Accruing 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence will permit a Court to disqualify you from driving for a minimum period of 6 months under what is known as ‘Totting Up’.
There are a multitude of driving offences that carry penalty points. The minimum number of points that can be imposed for contravening a road traffic law is 3 with the maximum being 10.
Many people have existing penalty points on their driving licence but what happens when you reach 12? Well, you will face a totting up disqualification which we as expert motor law solicitors fully appreciate, could have catastrophic consequences.
Expert legal advice
We are frequently contacted by people across the country in respect of this issue and are always happy to provide transparent legal advice with regard to a potential driving ban and your opportunity to advance an Exceptional Hardship Argument so as to try and persuade a court not to disqualify you.
One of the most common scenarios that we deal with that gives rise to a potential driving ban is the dreaded speeding offence.
When we speak to people who have received a fixed penalty notice in respect of a speeding offence, we and you both know that you shouldn’t have broken the speed limit unless you have a genuine reason (Special Reasons). Speed limits are in place on every road in the country and breaking the speed limit in place will almost inevitably result in penalty points and a fine.
Very often, people accept that they have broken the speed limit and are remorseful for doing so. Unfortunately, in most cases, being sorry and remorseful does not avoid the consequences of penalty points.
Average speed check cameras
By way of an example, over the last 18 months, many users of the M6 motorway will have worn away some teeth as a result of the frustration of the presence of the ‘Average Speed Check’ cameras.
Contrary to some people’s beliefs, these cameras are not just there as a deterrent but are active and on a daily basis catch thousands of motorists contravening the temporary speed limit. We have dealt with a number of cases across the country whereby clients have received a Fixed Penalty Notice through the post for contravening the average speed limit. Inevitably, penalty points will follow and some clients have found themselves at risk of a totting up disqualification.
The impact upon you and your family of losing your driving licence could be devastating and we appreciate that one of the main things people consider is whether they can avoid a driving ban.
Pleading exceptional hardship is one such way.
We frequently advise people that expert help and representation is essential in order to persuade a court not to impose a disqualification as each person’s circumstances are unique and differ from the next person.
We speak to people who consider that in order to avoid a driving disqualification, it is as straight forward as going to Court and asking not to be banned as they could lose their job.
If only it were that simple.
If you decide to plead Exceptional Hardship, then your case will be listed at Court for a formal hearing before a District Judge or Lay Bench of Magistrates and your attendance will be required. If you attend alone, then you will face questions in court from the prosecution solicitor, especially if you’re pleading job loss as a reason to keep your licence. The prosecution will ask if you can use public transport instead of your car and if not, why not. They may ask if a relative could drive you around or if you could hire a driver. If this were not possible then they will ask why would not be possible.
Proof is required
The Court will also seek proof from you that your job is at serious risk and it is very likely that you will need written proof in respect of this.
If it can be demonstrated and proven that the impact of a driving ban would not just affect you and you can show how others will be impacted upon, then a Court may be more inclined not to impose a disqualification.
What we often find is that a successful Exceptional Hardship argument is built on good preparation and good presentation. All relevant information relating to you, your personal and professional circumstances and the impact on others should be put before the court in order to give you the best opportunity to save your licence and avoid a ban.
With our advice and assistance, we will take a thorough and detailed statement from you and assist you in gathering other material that will be used to support the arguments that will be put before the court. Our experience of dealing with exceptional hardship arguments will allow us to guide you through this process and extract information that you may not necessarily realise is helpful to your case in order to demonstrate to that court that the loss of your driving licence would amount to Exceptional Hardship.
Our solicitors have attended at various Courts across the country and represented hundreds of clients in respect of Exceptional Hardship arguments and have enjoyed a high degree of success in persuading Courts not to impose a disqualification.
Meticulous & thorough
Unlike some firms, we don’t state that we win every case – but one thing we do in every case that we deal with is prepare it meticulously and as thoroughly as possible.
If you are contacted by the police or receive a summons for Court we may be able to help you. It is quick and simple to make an appointment, just contact us by email or phone. We can arrange to meet you at our office or will speak to you on the phone.
Our motor law solicitor team cover all areas including Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Clwyd. We specialise in all motor offences including drink driving offences, drug driving offences, speeding offences, penalty point, failing to stop offences, using your mobile phone while driving offences.