What Happens When You Get 12 Points?
People can receive penalty points for a number of different driving offences including speeding, failing to identify the driver, careless driving, using a mobile phone while driving, driving with no insurance and many more. If during a three year period you accumulate 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence then the court must order that you are disqualified for a minimum of six months. This is called a “totting up” disqualification. This 3 year period is calculated from the date that the offence is committed. It is possible to avoid such a disqualification where the magistrates are persuaded that the motorist would suffer “exceptional hardship” as a result of such a driving ban.
Preparation For An Exceptional Hardship Argument
Our motto is “ preparation is key!”. Philip Hatvany, our leading motoring offence solicitor, will always spend a lot of time with clients facing a possible penalty point disqualification in order to understand their circumstances and how a driving disqualification of six months or more will affect not only them but also others. This is important because exceptional hardship may be found by the magistrates not just in relation to the client but also in relation to others who may be affected by such a driving ban. For instance, it may be argued at the Magistrates Court that if a driving disqualification is imposed then the client will lose his job and, therefore, his house will be re-possessed as the mortgage payments will not be kept up. This will obviously have a devastating impact on his partner and any children. Often the court is more sympathetic towards what it sees as “innocent parties” (in this case the partner and children) rather than the driver.
Case law suggests that simply arguing that the motorist will lose his job, although obviously being hardship, will not be enough to constitute exceptional hardship. Sometimes, it is the totality of many different ways that the client and others will be affected that will finally give rise to the court finding exceptional hardship rather than just one argument. It is very rare for Mr Hatvany to not be able to identify good exceptional hardship arguments after a discussion with the client. Once these arguments have been identified Mr Hatvany will send the client his understanding of the client’s exceptional case in writing for the client to check over.
Unlike a lot of solicitors, Mr Hatvany will endeavour to back up the exceptional hardship argument with written evidence. He will ask the client to obtain letters from various people who will be able to verify the arguments put forward. For instance, a letter from an elderly relative who could comment on the fact that the number of visits from the client will diminish if he loses his driving licence. Mr Hatvany is a very conscientious solicitor who will always want to inspect these letters before the court hearing to check that they are relevant. During his lengthy career as a motoring law specialist solicitor, Mr Hatvany has found that the magistrates are much more likely to take the exceptional hardship arguments put forward seriously if they are supported in this way.
Mr Hatvany will then spend time going over the court procedure so that the client doesn’t get any surprises during the hearing.
The Exceptional Hardship Court Hearing
Mr Hatvany is a very well travelled driving offence solicitor and regularly attends Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Southampton, Reading, Oxford, Coventry and Birmingham Magistrates Courts. Also he frequents Magistrates Courts in London. If your hearing is at any other court in England and Wales, we can still assist you as we have a small pool of select barristers from across the country who regularly work under Mr Hatvany’s supervision. In such cases Philip Hatvany will still carry out all the preparation.
At the start of the hearing the letters that Mr Hatvany has obtained will be passed up to the magistrates. The client will then often plead guilty to a new offence. If this gives rise to 12 or more penalty points on the client’s driving licence then an exceptional hardship argument may be put forward. The client will then be required to give sworn evidence. Either Mr Hatvany, or one of his solicitors or barristers, will be able to put questions to the client first, putting the client in the best possible light before the court. This is important because the prosecution may ask questions next and are unlikely to be so sympathetic. The magistrates, and indeed the court clerk, may also have questions for the client.
Possible Outcomes For An Exceptional Hardship Hearing
The magistrates may find exceptional hardship in which case they may not disqualify, or they could impose a ban for less than 6 months. If, however, the magistrates do not find exceptional hardship then they have to impose a driving ban for at least 6 months.
If exceptional hardship is found, then the arguments which went towards this finding cannot be used again for 3 years in another exceptional hardship application.
Why You Should Use Speeding Law Solicitors
If you have no solicitor representing you at the court in an exceptional hardship hearing, then most of the hearing will, normally, be taken up with the prosecutor asking you questions, often with the intention of persuading the magistrates to disqualify you. However, if you use Mr Hatvany, or one of his solicitors or barristers, to represent you then they will be able to ask you questions before the prosecutor does. Our strategy is simple and yet very effective, we will endeavour to ask all the relevant questions that there are, using your answers to put you in the most favourable light. We find that normally when our solicitors or barristers are finished the magistrates have already accepted that exceptional hardship is found. Often the magistrates will even stop the hearing at this point to say that this is the case before the prosecutor has had the chance to speak. However, if the magistrates do still wish to hear from the prosecutor, he or she will normally not have many questions to ask as our solicitor or barrister will have asked all the relevant questions already, thereby making it difficult for the prosecutor to think of anything else. At the end of the hearing our solicitor, or barrister, can address the magistrates emphasising the strongest points of your case in a closing speech.
The result of all this is that normally the hearing is dominated by Mr Hatvany, or one of his solicitors or barristers, presenting your case in a way that the magistrates find favourable. It is therefore no surprise that we have the success rate that we do. A lot of this is down to the preparation by our leading motoring law solicitor Philip Hatvany. Ring him now on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110 for a FREE telephone consultation.