Points On Your Driving Licence

Driving points totting up?

For most motoring offences you will receive penalty points and a fine. The court also has a discretion to impose an immediate driving ban, known as a discretionary disqualification.
A discretionary disqualification can be imposed even if you have a clean licence because it is determined by the seriousness of the offence.

This means that the court can impose an immediate driving ban even if you have less than 12 points on your driving licence. The length of ban is set by the court in accordance with its sentencing guidelines and can be anything from 7 days to several months!

Totting-up disqualification

Once you reach 12 points then the court will impose an immediate driving ban for a minimum of 6 months. This is known as a ‘totting-up’ disqualification. It is therefore possible to face a 6 month ban with only one previous conviction. For example, if you previously received 6 points for a motoring offence and you have been caught again for a motoring offence where you can receive 6 or more points it is vital that you consider defending the case. It is only by avoiding a conviction can you avoid any further points, and thereby avoid a ban.

If you do accumulate 12 points then the only way of avoiding a driving ban is to put mitigation to the court and try to convince the Magistrates not to disqualify you from driving. The only reason that can be used to try and avoid a ‘totting-up’ ban is known as ‘exceptional hardship’. It is very important that proper evidence of ‘exceptional hardship’ is presented to the court. Simply standing in court and stating that you will lose your job probably will not be enough. If we can prove that ‘exceptional hardship’ would occur then the court has a discretion not to ban you at all or to ban you for less that 6 months.

We normally spend a great deal of time with a client prior to any mitigation hearing, especially where we are arguing ‘exceptional hardship’. We would normally gather evidence of all hardship issues. Some of the important points to consider include:

  1. Reasons why you need your licence for work
  2. Can you provide evidence for needing your licence, such as a contract of employment?
  3. Would you lose your job if you lost your licence?
  4. Can the need for your licence or the loss of job be confirmed by a letter from your employer?
  5. Would your employer attend court to give evidence – to confirm the above?
  6. Would your employer’s business struggle without you?
  7. Are you a key employee?
  8. Do other employees depend on you?
  9. What time do you start and finish work?
  10. How many miles do you travel to/from work?
  11. Are you self-employed?
  12. If self-employed, can you evidence the length your business has been running?
  13. Do you have accounts?
  14. Do you employ other people?
  15. Would other people lose their jobs if you lost your driving licence?
  16. Would your business fail if you were banned from driving?
  17. Do you sub-contract to others?
  18. Do you have business loans?
  19. Do you have financial commitments for business premises?
  20. Do you own or lease your vehicle?
  21. Does your company own or lease other vehicles?
  22. Are you contracted to keep and pay for vehicles for a set time?
  23. What utility costs do you have – gas, electric, etc.
  24. What rates do you pay for business premises?
  25. If your business ceases to trade, are you still responsible for paying business rates?
  26. If you lost your job, would you be able to find another job easily?
  27. Are your job skills dependant on driving?
  28. Are you married or in a relationship? Do you have children?
  29. Does your spouse work?
  30. Could you survive only on your partner’s income?
  31. Are you the main earner in your household?
  32. Does your partner drive?
  33. Are you able to get lifts to / from work?
  34. Are you able to get a driver – someone to drive you around at work?
  35. If you have children, do you have commitments requiring you to drive them places?
  36. Do you do the ‘school run’ or take children to nursery?
  37. Would it be difficult for you to use public transport?
  38. Number of years driving?
  39. Were any previous driving convictions / penalties for different type of offence?
  40. How long has elapsed since your last motoring conviction?
  41. Can you provide details of your income and expenditure?
  42. Can you provide evidence of personal expenditure – mortgage costs, loans, utility costs, etc?
  43. Do you or your family suffer health problems?
  44. Do you need to drive to attend hospital appointments, etc?

It can also be helpful if you provide a separate letter (from you) apologising to the court for your ‘lack of concentration’ or ‘oversight’ leading to the motoring incident (sorry, but a bit of grovelling helps)! We will be help you with this letter so do not worry.

Defending cases with exceptional hardship

It is advisable to have a solicitor represent you at court. This is because you will have to give evidence under oath when explaining to the court the ‘exceptional hardship’ that would arise. It can be very intimidating to have to stand up in court and give evidence, especially if the solicitor for the CPS is opposing your argument and trying to convince the court to ban you!

Marcus Johnstone has represented clients at numerous courts throughout the Country in order to argue ‘exceptional hardship’. He has an exceptional record and wins the vast majority of cases. Preparation is crucial and Marcus spends a considerable time collating all the correct evidence prior to the hearing, as well as talking through the hearing with clients. He also undertakes a ‘role-play’ exercise with clients prior to the hearing – so clients know exactly what to expect and how to answer questions.

Please contact our road traffic lawyers for an informal discussion of your own case. Initial advice is free of charge. If Marcus takes on your case he may be able to represent you on a low fixed fee, so you know exactly what the cost will be. Marcus will be able to represent you in any Magistrates’ Court throughout England and Wales

For an informal discussion of your case please telephone Marcus on 07808 553 555. If you would prefer not to telephone, please complete the online assessment form.