'Totting' Disqualification & Exceptional Hardship

Driving Licence Totting Exceptional Hardship

Reaching the dreaded 12 penalty points

Where a conviction for a new offence carrying penalty points means that there will be 12 or more points on the drivers licence, a disqualification will normally be imposed and the period of that disqualification will be for a minimum period of 6 months. This increases to 12 months if there has been a previous disqualification of 56 days or more in the relevant 3 year period or two years if this were to be the third such disqualification. There is however a possibility of rescuing your situation where a disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.

Exceptional Hardship

For most of us, losing our licence is going to cause us hardship to some degree. Certainly it will impact our lives and those of others. In persuading a court that the effects of losing your licence are such that the court should consider that it would be unjust to disqualify you, the hardship must be shown to be 'exceptional'.  

What makes a hardship exceptional?

There has been a great deal of case law, some of it very unhelpful. To persuade a court that the consequences for you are going to go beyond common or garden hardship involves thought and work. The best approach to these arguments is to focus on the impact of the loss on other people who may be effected. For instance, not only you but others would lose their livelihoods or perhaps an elderly relative would suffer from your inability to offer care to them. There is no definitive list of such arguments and the decision as to whether the hardships in your case are indeed exceptional is a matter for the magistrates on an individual case basis.

The Hearing

There is some local variation with regard to the way the evidence is presented in these hearings. Normally, it will involve the defendant giving evidence on oath (or solemn affirmation). Other witnesses may be called to support your argument. With changes made to the way traffic courts are run in some regions, there is the possibility that a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer will not be present in the court room to cross examine the evidence. Instead a representative of the police may be on a video link. In a recent case that I argued the evidence was completely unchallenged. 

Preparation of the Argument and Advocacy

For many people,  losing their licence will cost them £1000's as well as the other impacts on their life. I would therefore suggest that getting the argument right and presented by a professional is a worthwhile investment. We offer this service for a fixed fee of £450. There may be an additional travel charge for courts beyond 40 miles beyond our offices. Check our cost page for further information.

01843 799121