It could, for example, lead to loss of income from work, significant increases in insurance premiums, and meaningful social changes for both you and your family.
The starting point for the vast majority of motoring offences, if proved, is the imposition of penalty points on your licence. Penalty points are endorsed on licences for a wide range of motoring offences and can range from 2-11 points per offence.
If you receive 12 or more points during any three years (commonly known as totting-up), your driving offence case will be brought before a court. The starting point for someone in this situation for the first time is a six-month driving ban, and this can be higher depending on the circumstances. Our specialist road traffic lawyers are however familiar with advancing mitigation on our client’s behalf that seeks to avoid disqualification, even for a ‘totter.’
Have you been sent a notice of intended prosecution, a conditional offer of a fixed penalty, or a summons, for a driving offence that attracts penalty points? If the answer is yes, and you are concerned that this might lead to you becoming a ‘totter’, then contact our driving offences team.
How Freemans Solicitors Can Help
One of our specialist driving offences lawyers can examine your case in detail. They can then advise you whether there are any arguments to deploy in your case to seek to avoid disqualification. We will ask you about the background detail of your case and advise you whether a ‘special reasons’ argument can be advanced. If the court accepts such an argument, this will usually lead to no penalty points being imposed for that offence. Alternatively, if available to you, our specialist road traffic lawyers are experienced in advancing mitigating circumstances, including ‘exceptional hardship arguments‘. If successful, while the points would still go on your licence, you would either keep your licence or limit the length of any potential disqualification.
If you already have points endorsed on your licence and you have been told that you will be prosecuted you for a further motoring offence, then you should contact a specialist motoring lawyer immediately. Freemans Solicitors driving lawyers can provide you with a thorough analysis of your options. They can guide you as to the best way to proceed from the point at which you obtain initial notification of intended prosecution.
The calculation of driving penalty points will tally the points in the three years before the conviction. If a driver is convicted of more than one offence which occurred on the same occasion, then the driver’s licence will normally only be endorsed with the highest number of points applicable for one of the offences. To avoid any confusion and to give yourself the best chance possible of limiting the number of points endorsed on your licence and potentially avoiding a driving disqualification, contact our specialist motoring offences lawyers immediately.
The court will take into account circumstances that may alleviate the disqualification period. Mitigating circumstances may be circumstances which relate to the offender or the offence and may include the offender’s record and good works in the past.
If a driver accepts a Conditional Offer of Fixed Driving Penalty, this will usually result in your licence being endorsed with 3 points and having to pay a fine of around £100. You would not also be required to attend court. As it is possible to amass points through this process, these will be added to penalty points that a court could later take into consideration when assessing if you are a ‘totter.’
If you become aware that there are points on your driving licence that you know nothing about, you should take action immediately. It may be because someone assumed your identity or the police or the court made a mistake about the identity of the driver previously. You will need to dispute this and seek to get it rectified. If you have penalty points on your driving licence that you were not aware of, then you should seek expert motoring law advice immediately.
If the further penalty points mean you are a totter the starting point is disqualification for the minimum period at least. However, the court can still impose a shorter period of disqualification, or no disqualification at all. They would need to be satisfied that mitigating circumstances exist to do so. Our specialist motoring lawyers will be able to advise you, whether you have such mitigating features, including, what is commonly called an ‘exceptional hardship argument. “Exceptional Hardship” is often advanced concerning the ability to work. In those circumstances, the court might consider whether a license to drive is necessary for the person to travel to work or if their job requires driving others. Factors such as health, age, working hours, availability of public transport and the distance that needs to be travelled will also be considered in this case. If the loss of a license will cause a loss of job or reduced wages then the court may consider any “exceptional hardship” that may be caused by loss of license on the offender’s family or their employees if they have them.
If you have previously advanced any mitigating circumstances, including exceptional hardship as a ‘totter,’ in the three years preceding the date of conviction for the current driving offence, you are not allowed to repeat them and rely upon them again for the same reason.
The minimum period of disqualification for consideration for a totter is six months disqualification. If however, you have been disqualified from driving for 56 days or more, within the preceding three years, the period increases to one year. If there are two or more such disqualifications imposed in the previous three years, the minimum period becomes two years.