If you receive 12 penalty points or more on your driving licence, you will be disqualified from driving for a period of at least 6 months. This is often referred to as a ‘totting up’ disqualification. The only way that such a disqualification can be avoided is if you can show the Court that you, or another, would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ from being disqualified.
Most people would suffer some form of hardship from being disqualified but general inconvenience is not enough. The test for avoiding a disqualification is that the hardship caused must be beyond what would be reasonably foreseeable.
Loss of employment might not be enough to show exceptional hardship itself but the impact of losing that employment (bankruptcy or defaulting on a mortgage, for example) could be. Other potential arguments include the impact on any children, health implications or the impact a disqualification could have on another person connected to the driver, but each case is considered individually.
An exceptional hardship argument can be a daunting experience and the procedure can vary from Court to Court. It may involve giving evidence on oath or representations being made to the Court. There could be probing questions from the Prosecution and/or the Magistrates. It is likely that the Court would expect evidence to be provided to back up the argument.
Here at Bhatia Best we have a dedicated team of Solicitors with the necessary knowledge and expertise to put forward the best possible Exceptional Hardship argument. We can usually offer a fixed-fee for representation, so you will know what you are paying from the start with no unexpected cost. Legal Aid may even be available, depending on your income. We can arrange an appointment with you prior to your court hearing to identify the strongest points and then provide you with advice in gathering the evidence to support the argument.
Please contact Bhatia Best on 0115 950 3231 to discuss how you might be able to avoid a disqualification through an Exceptional Hardship argument.