Driving offences – how to avoid a ban
If you get caught committing most driving offences, the chances are you won’t end up getting a straight ban. The usual punishment is several penalty points on your license. However, these start adding up and if you reach twelve points on your license you run the risk of a ban from driving. This is known at “totting up” and aims to punish persistent offenders who commit multiple traffic offences.
If you reach this unfortunate position, you will receive a summons to Magistrates Court. The hearing takes place under the assumption that they will give you a driving ban totalling 6 months. This could even be increased. However this sanction is usually reserved if you have had previous disqualifications. Either way, it’s a disaster if you really depend on your car for work.
There is ray of hope for anyone in this unfortunate situation. In court you have the opportunity to argue the case that driving is essential to prevent you from experiencing exceptional hardship. A sales rep who could lose his or her job due to disqualification for example or someone who would suffer on health grounds. You still retain the penalty points, but are given dispensation to carry on driving. This argument cannot be used again for three years. Should you find yourself in court again for motoring offences within this period, the best option is to seek legal advice.
Appearing in court for traffic offences can be intimidating, but don’t be put off pleading your case. The court will be happy to listen to your side of the story. Remember, if you are going to attempt to make this case, it has to convincing. The clue is in the title – exceptional hardship. Don’t lose sight of the word exceptional. It has to be something out of the ordinary. The court will consider the impact on partners and dependants. Think about using a lawyer. It might cost you extra, but the chance of success is much higher. After all, can you afford to be without your car for six months?
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