From October 2020, new Guidelines introduced by the Sentencing Council governing the test to be exercised by courts when considering submissions of ‘exceptional hardship’ by defendants facing the prospect of disqualification from driving, have come into effect.

Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors comments on the new Guidelines.

Kangs Solicitors has been successfully defending clients facing prosecution for motoring offences and assisting them to retain their driving licences for a period in excess of twenty years.

Recognised as one of the leading criminal defence firms in the country, we are ranked in the highest category of law firms by both the leading directories for the legal profession, the Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

Kangs Solicitors has been awarded Criminal Law Firm of the Year’ by the Legal 500 and individual solicitors in the firm are regularly top ranked as ‘star individuals’ for criminal defence work.

Our national team can be contacted for an immediate no obligation consultation as follows:

The Relevant Law | Kangs Motoring Offences Solicitors

Where an offender incurs twelve or more penalty points on a driving licence, Section 35 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 provides that such offender must be disqualified from driving for at least six months.

However, grounds for mitigation, whereby a court may impose a shorter period of disqualification or even choose not to impose any period of disqualification arise where there are special reasons or exceptional hardship may result.  

For more details about exceptional hardship please follow the link:

The New Guidelines | Kangs Motoring Law Solicitors

Circumstances which a court must not take into account in deciding whether or not to reduce or avoid a ‘totting up’ disqualification:

  • any circumstances that are alleged to make the offence (or any of the offences whose penalty points are to be taken into account) not serious,
  • hardship, other than exceptional hardship, or
  • any circumstances which, within the three years immediately preceding the conviction, have been taken into account to reduce or avoid a totting up disqualification.

Circumstances which a court should have regard to in deciding whether or not to reduce or avoid a ‘totting up’ disqualification:

  • it is for the offender to prove that such grounds exist, normally by way of sworn evidence,
  •  thehardshipmust be exceptional, as opposed tomerely inconvenient, and supported by evidence,
  • most disqualifications entail hardship which is part of the deterrent together with the effect of the order not to drive,
  • the court can take into account the fact that the offender has continued to offend after becoming aware of the damaging effects of further penalty points,
  • courts should ensure that alternative means of transport are not viable,
  • loss of employment following disqualification is virtually an inevitable consequence and is not, in itself sufficient to demonstrate exceptional hardship.

How Can We Help You? | Kangs Road Traffic Defence Solicitors

Proving exceptional hardship to a Magistrates’ Court is far from being a foregone conclusion and the New Guidelines place greater emphasis on the option to reduce a disqualification period rather than not impose one at all. 

Accordingly, great care is required when preparing submissions to a court seeking to prove exceptional hardship to an extent that the period of a driving disqualification may be reduced

Our team of solicitors provides our clients facing motoring prosecutions a comprehensive defence service including:          

In most cases we are able to offer a fixed fee service in order to which provide a degree of financial certainty.  

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Driving Offences Defence Solicitors

We welcome enquiries by telephone or email.

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.


Suki Randhawa
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 | 07989 521210 (24/7 Rapid Response)

Helen Holder
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Amandeep Murria
0161 817 5020 | 020 7936 6396