How To: 3 Ways to Keep Your Licence after a Motoring Offence
You might have received the dreaded Notice of Intended Prosecution or Court Summons in the post, you may have been stopped by the police on the road – you may have even been arrested. Whatever way you've been served with a motoring offence, it does not necessarily mean you will lose your licence.
Specialist motoring offences Partner, Julie Robertson, explains the three ways you could keep your licence after committing a motoring offence:"Whenever I advise clients, I make it a priority to get all of the facts in order before suggesting a course of action. Many clients come to me distraught at the thought of losing their licence for their actions – actions that that may have been circumstantial, a momentary lapse in judgement, or in an extraordinary situation.
There are three main avenues I will explore to either reduce the penalty or argue that a case should be thrown out of Court."
1. Exceptional Hardship
To get a reduced penalty under the assumption of exceptional hardship
, it is the job of your solicitor to persuade the court that a loss of licence or penalty points would have an extremely negative impact upon your life – one that would go beyond the normal remit of being disqualified from driving.
This could be for financial reasons due to loss of employment, or where you care for a family member and need your car for this reason. However, loss of employment by itself will not suffice and therefore a solicitor can cover additional issues to bolster an application based purely on loss of livelihood.
If it can be established that a disqualification would be unreasonable on these grounds, the Court should accept those circumstances as being exceptional and enough to warrant a punishment that will not disqualify you.
2. Mitigating Circumstances
Mitigating circumstances cannot be used as your primary defence; protesting too much can see your plea rejected if it amounts to a not guilty plea in actuality. A plea of mitigation should put your case forward to the court so it can be considered prior to your punishment.
- Specific reasons for the offence (such as a medical emergency),
- Hardship in the form loss of employment, or caring for dependants,
- Other family issues that are specific to your case.
If you have a lot of points on your licence (12 or more) the court must impose a disqualification from driving for at least 6 months; but, if your solicitor can prove on the balance of probabilities that exceptional hardship would arise from a ban, the Court can, (but are not obliged to) not disqualified or to disqualify for a much reduced length of time.
3. Special Reasons
In some cases, the Court will allow circumstances that are directly related to the offence (and not the implications of the punishment) to determine the punishment given. You cannot plead not guilty in a Special Reasons instance, and it does not amount to a defence.
Special Reasons follow a guilty plea. It is a trial on sentence and can mean that you avoid an endorsement or disqualification.
Appropriate arguments for Special Reasons include:Distance driven:
only if you have driven a very short distance and the Court must take into account the safety of other road users and pedestrians at the time of the offence.Emergency situations:
where the only option was to drive because of an emergency (usually but not limited to medical emergency)Laced or spiked drinks:
if a drink has been spiked, and the amount of alcohol consumed without your knowledge has placed you over the legal limit
Julie comments:"Whatever the situation you're left in after a motoring offence, it can be daunting to even consider your options. Helping those who feel like they have no one to turn to is a big part of the reason I do what I do; pinpointing the details to get to the core of the issue and helping them get the best possible outcome, even in the most complex cases."
Simpson Millar Could Help You
Motoring offences can be life changing, seriously impacting on your home life, work life, and even your reputation. Not knowing who to turn to when you need help most can be crippling.
Simpson Millar's specialist Motoring Offences solicitors
are on hand to help you in the first instance. We offer completely straightforward, easy to understand advice, and will help get the most favourable outcome from any allegations.We'll help minimise endorsements and in many cases, we have managed to safeguard against disqualifications. All you need to do is contact us on 0808 129 3320 and let us help you, today.