The Sentencing Council has launched a Public Consultation to assist the review of the manner in which an already disqualified driver is sentenced following a further offence and whether or not more guidance should be given to those who, after conviction, seek to retain their licence upon the basis that its loss would lead to ‘exceptional hardship’.
Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors considers the position.
Exceptional Hardship | Kangs Driving Ban Solicitors
New guidelines will set out considerations for a court when deciding whether there are grounds to reduce or avoid a disqualification due to ‘exceptional hardship’.
The test is not inconvenience or hardship, but ‘exceptional hardship’, the court must have evidence, which may include the offender’s own sworn evidence and take into account:
- some hardship is likely to occur in many, if not most, orders of disqualification;
- a court should be cautious before accepting assertions of exceptional hardship, without evidence, that alternative means of transport are not available;
- loss of employment will not necessarily amount to exceptional hardship but will depend upon all relevant circumstances including the consequences of loss to others. The more severe the hardship, the more likely that exceptional circumstances will be found.
Existing Disqualification | Kangs Driving Offences Defence Team
- Any disqualification should take into account the period of the existing disqualification remaining when the new offence was committed;
- There should be a ‘totalling up’ so that any offender cannot benefit from not having served the period of the original disqualification when a new disqualification is imposed.
- There is no provision currently for consecutive disqualifications. Therefore, if an offence is committed whilst, for example, four months of the original disqualification is outstanding and the court wishes to impose a further twelve months disqualification it will be necessary to pronounce a disqualification of sixteen months to ensure that both periods of disqualification are effective.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Motoring Offences Defence Solicitors
If you are faced with this prospect, it is important that you are represented to ensure that your position is presented thoroughly and expertly to the court.
Kangs Solicitors provides a national service from our offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester.
Please do not hesitate to contact our specialised team through any of the following if we can assist you: