What is an exceptional hardship argument?

‘’Totting up’’ disqualifications are when you accumulate 12 or more penalty points on your licence within a three-year period. When this happens, by law you will be summoned to appear before a Magistrates Court and face a minimum period of six months disqualification.

Drivers who find themselves in this position can make an application to the court to not disqualify on the grounds of ‘’exceptional hardship’’.

Exceptional hardship is an argument put forward to persuade the Court why a driver should not be disqualified from driving after reaching 12 penalty points. Magistrates’ Court guidelines are to impose a ban of six months’ or more under the totting-up procedure. However, before considering whether a driver should be disqualified, the Court will offer the defendant the opportunity to raise an exceptional hardship argument.

In order to do this, the defendant must be able to prove that the hardship is beyond that of just depriving them of their licence.  Courts are usually more sympathetic to ‘exceptional hardship’ cases when people other than the guilty party will be affected by the disqualification. For example, the driver could not fulfil responsibilities for caring for a family member. As far as the Courts are concerned, there is no statutory definition of exceptional hardship. Some Magistrates have widely different interpretations of what amounts to this term and some require more persuasion than others.

Loss of job would not be a good enough reason on its own not to impose a driving ban, but what the loss of job would mean could be. The Court will be just as concerned with the impact on others as a result of a driving ban as the impact on you as an individual. If the disqualification resulted in the driver losing his job, which would then result in him being unable to pay the mortgage, his family would lose their home through no fault of their own. This is more likely to be classed as ‘exceptional hardship’.

If you are facing a ban under the totting-up procedure and wish to contest this, it is for you to establish the severity and degree of hardship. It is also up to the Court to assess the severity of the implications and arrive at a decision as to whether this amounts to ‘hardship beyond that normally suffered’. Through enlisting the services of a highly experienced and professional motoring offence specialist, you stand a far greater chance of putting across a strong argument for escaping a driving ban.

Why contact Brian Koffman & Co.

Courts are often sceptical of applications for exceptional hardship and will be extremely thorough in their approach to investigating any request not to disqualify. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance that any application is meticulously prepared and presented, along with appropriate supporting evidence. We specialise in applications for exceptional hardship and have an impressive record of successfully arguing these cases.

Losing your licence may lead to a loss of employment, livelihood and home. It could result in redundancies if you are an employer and your business suffers due to a ban. It may also leave you unable to care for a loved one or family member. If there are reasonable grounds why you should escape a driving ban, we will highlight them and argue your case.

Contact us today

If you have reached 12 points within the last 3 years and face losing your licence under the totting-up procedure and wish to argue exceptional hardship, please contact Brian Koffman & Co on 0161 832 3852 for a free consultation or submit an enquiry.