It is a common misconception that, under the totting up procedures, once a driver has accumulated twelve penalty points upon their licence, they will be automatically disqualified from driving for a period of six months.
This belief is not correct and Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors outlines discretionary powers available to Magistrates whereby an immediate disqualification may be avoided.
Obligatory Disqualifications| Kangs Motoring Law Solicitors
In some cases a disqualification will be obligatory, such as drink driving, and no mitigation will be accepted by the courts.
Plea Of Exceptional Hardship | Kangs Motoring Defence Team
Offences not requiring an immediate disqualification may enable Magistrates to exercise their discretion not to impose an immediate disqualification, depending upon all of the circumstances and the nature of the mitigation submitted to them, exceptional hardship being one of the most common pleas.
However, again, it is a misconception that by simply attending Court and advising the Magistrates that the defendant may lose their job if they are unable to drive that a disqualification will automatically be avoided.
This is not the case.
The fact that a licence has been endorsed on a number of occasions, to the extent that twelve penalty points have accumulated means that the Court should impose a penalty that is going to punish rather than just causing the defendant a mere inconvenience.
Simply proving that disqualification will cause hardship will be insufficient for the Magistrates to use their discretion not to impose a disqualification; there has to be genuine exceptional hardship.
Exceptional hardship is personal to each Defendant and there is no specific definition of the term, with each case turning on its own facts and circumstances.
In assessing exceptional hardship, Magistrates will look at the circumstances of the current offence, the defendant’s driving history in addition to the consequences of a disqualification.
Magistrates may also consider the potential effect of a disqualification on family members, employees and any others who may be relevant.
Court Procedure | Kangs Motoring Offence Trial Solicitors
In order to present to the court details of the alleged exceptional hardship, it is normally necessary to attend Court and plead guilty to the current offence being charged.
Where eight penalty points already appear on a licence, a fixed penalty notice should not be offered and attendance at Court is required to enable the Magistrates to consider disqualification.
Some courts will require evidence to be given on oath in relation to the effects a disqualification would have, whereas other courts allow a Solicitor to deal with the matter.
Having considered all the representations placed before them, Magistrates can use their discretion not to disqualify even though the defendant’s licence is still endorsed with penalty points.
An exceptional hardship application cannot be repeated within three years.
How Can Kangs Solicitors Help You? | Kangs Driving Offence Solicitors
If you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the solicitors in our Motoring Law Department who have many years of experience and are well acquainted with dealing with all aspects of motoring law.
Should you require further assistance in respect of any motoring offence then our Team can be contacted as follows;