02 Jan

What is Exceptional Hardship?

Any driver who accumulates 12 or more penalty points in a three year period will receive a mandatory disqualification of 6 months.  Such drivers as they have ‘totted up’ 12 points are often referred to by legal professionals and courts as ‘totters’.

However, the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides for an exception to this.  If a ‘totter’ successfully makes a plea before the court that they will suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if they are disqualified, magistrates/judges have discretion not to disqualify a driver at all or to disqualify them for a shorter period than the mandatory 6 months.

The law stipulates that ‘exceptional hardship’ must only be found in ‘exceptional’ cases and must be more that the hardship that most drivers will obviously suffer if disqualified.   Many drivers may risk losing their job if disqualified but this is often not enough.  Magistrates and Judges will usually only find exceptional hardship if a loss of licence will affect others such as other colleagues or other family members if they are disqualified. 

Any driver wishing to make a plea in mitigation of exceptional hardship will need to give evidence of their hardship on oath and evidence will be need to be provided of the hardship.

Lucinda Dore Legal Services can assist any driver who wishes to argue exceptional hardship.  We can put the court on notice of your intention of making such a plea, prepare your case of you, provide advocacy at the court hearing and if necessary obtain any witness statements required to assist your case.

If you are at risk of ‘totting up’ 12 or more penalty points and wish to argue exceptional hardship  before the court, contact our road traffic defence specialist solicitor Lucinda Dore on 01273030339 or lucinda@ldlegalservices.co.uk

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