Chesterfield Motoring Solicitor Kevin Tomlinson was recently instructed in a case where his client was at real risk of a driving disqualification. Kevin made a successful exceptional hardship argument on his behalf so a driving ban was avoided.
What is an Exceptional hardship argument?
A driver can, however, avoid this disqualification if it can be shown that exceptional hardship would result from a disqualification. If successful, a driver will be able to keep their license even though they have reached 12 penalty points.
The concept of “exceptional hardship” is not exhaustively defined by the law. It does, however, have to be more than an inconvenience caused as a natural result of a driving ban.
Issues that could amount to exceptional hardship may include:
- Loss of a job resulting in loss of accommodation
- An inability to get to any work due to geographical and public transport restrictions
- Loss of employment of third parties due to a businesses having to close
A driver will usually have to give evidence to the court on oath to support the exceptional hardship argument.
Travel to Norwich Magistrates’ Court
Our client faced three separate sets of proceedings before three different courts. It was important that Kevin ensure that all three cases were before a single court as his client wished to make an exceptional hardship argument to avoid disqualification.
This is because a successful argument cannot be put more than once in a three year period. As a result, had the exceptional hardship argument succeeded in one set of proceedings, it could not have been argued in the other cases.
In any event, this client’s case was particularly complicated. Kevin had to apply to set aside certain convictions and overturn a driving disqualification imposed in absence before all cases were finally listed before Norwich Magistrates’ Court.
Our client chose to instruct Kevin to travel to Norwich as he knew that he would put forward skillful legal argument on his behalf.
Our client left with 19 penalty points
Due to the nature of our client’s employment which took him all over the Country, he would have an argument to say that to disqualify him him cause exceptional hardship over and above that which will normally follow a driving ban.
Kevin advanced the exceptional hardship argument on behalf of his client. Even though by now his client had 19 penalty points on his licence, this was the only way he could avoid a disqualification from driving.
Evidence on oath to support exceptional hardship argument
His client gave evidence to the court about the difficulties he would face if he lost his licence. Perhaps significantly, he was also able to give evidence of the impact of losing his job on his partner and the risk of them losing their accommodation.
Fortunately for his client, Kevin made a successful exceptional hardship argument on his behalf. The court then chose to exercise its discretion not to impose a driving disqualification. This meant that our client could continue driving. There were, however, financial penalties and costs to pay as a result of these offences.
Kevin’s experience meant that he was unable to unpick the tangle of convictions to ensure that his client had an opportunity to avoid a driving ban. His persuasive advocacy skills were then able to secure the result his client needed.
Representation by way of an affordable fixed fee
It is unlikely that legal aid will be available for a case like this. Here, Kevin agreed a fixed fee with his client that included the expense of travel to Norwich.
In the event, this fee was a small price to pay in order that our client kept his driving license.
Contact a Chesterfield Motoring Law Solicitor
If you face a driving ban then you will require affordable advice and representation from an expert road traffic law solicitor. Chesterfield road traffic law solicitor Kevin Tomlinson can be contacted at our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000.
You can also use the contact form below.