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When You Can't Legally Drive And What You Can Do About It
If you are found to be driving without a licence then the penalty is 3 to 6 penalty points imposed on your driving licence, and up to a £1,000 fine. In extreme cases, the magistrates can choose not to impose penalty points, in which case they will have to disqualify for as long as they see fit. One of the most common ways this offence arises is when a provisional licence holder is being given informal driving lessons, by a family member or friend, and the regulations for someone learning to drive are not complied with. For instance, the family member or friend turns out to be 21 years old or younger, or hasn’t had a driving licence for 3 years, or the car doesn’t have L-plates on the front and back.
A far more serious offence is driving whilst disqualified. This is different from simply driving without a licence because the culprit is driving when the court has expressly ordered them not to. The court may have imposed the original driving ban for a variety of reasons. Some offences such as drink driving, drug driving or dangerous driving, carry a mandatory driving ban. Other times the court will have imposed a driving ban because the driver has accumulated 12 penalty points or more on their driving licence. In these cases the court has to ban the driver for at least 6 months unless exceptional hardship is successfully argued. At Speeding Law Solicitors, our specialist motoring law solicitor, Philip Hatvany, has an impressive record of over 95% for saving people’s driving licences who find themselves in this position.
If you are found guilty of the offence of driving whilst disqualified the magistrates must put 6 penalty points on your driving licence or disqualify you for a further time. They may also seriously consider sending you to prison for up to 6 months. This is often the case where the disqualified driving took place only a short time after the original ban was imposed. In such cases the court often feels that this is a flagrant disregard for the law and the court’s earlier decision to disqualify.
If you have no driving licence and you want to be able to drive soon, the answer is simple, you need to pass your driving test as soon as possible. However, if you cannot drive because you are disqualified by the court, then getting your driving licence back soon can be more problematic. If you don’t want to simply wait till the driving ban is over then you can apply for your driving licence back early, but disqualification removal is not easy. Firstly you must already have been disqualified for 2 years or more. Secondly, you must have served at least half of your driving disqualification period already, or at least 5 years of it if the original disqualification was for 10 years or more. If you meet this criteria then you need to apply to the original Magistrates Court or Crown Court that ordered the driving disqualification in the first place. Also, a notice must be sent to the Chief Constable. There may also be a fee to pay. You will then be required to attend a court hearing and give sworn evidence. In deciding whether to lift the driving disqualification the court will consider all relevant information, including your behaviour since the ban was originally imposed, and why you now need to drive.
If you face an allegation of driving with no licence, driving whilst disqualified, or indeed any motoring offence, or if you want to apply to get your driving licence back early after being banned, contact us. Philip Hatvany, our specialist motoring law solicitor, is an expert in relation to these matters. He can be contacted now for a FREE consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 9098110.