Certain motoring offences such as drink driving or causing death by dangerous driving will result in a driving disqualification. But for some offences there may be certain factors that can be used to reduce or avoid a driving ban.
Can I Avoid Disqualification With Maximum Penalty Points?
In most cases, having 12 penalty points on a licence will mean a driving disqualification. The 12 Penalty Points must have been accumulated during a three year period and the likely ban period will be six months. The courts will usually give motorists facing a penalty points ban the chance to plead for their licence. If the defendant can show special circumstances when pleading for their licence a ban might be avoided or reduced.
What Hardship Pleas Will Help Reduce a Sentence?
Courts do have discretionary power over whether or not to enforce a Driving Disqualification. Extreme hardship may be pleaded by the defendant, and if the court accepts this circumstance then a disqualification may be avoided. Extreme hardship generally means that the result of a disqualification will mean extreme hardship for the defendant. This could mean loss of employment if banned, although loss of employment in itself may not be enough to avoid a driving ban.
Can I Plead Mitigating Circumstances?
A defendant who has pled guilty to a motoring offence can plead mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances are used as a defence in the hope that the court will apply leniency with the sentence. The mitigating circumstances will depend on the circumstances that occurred at the time the offence was committed and the type of motoring offence. For example in a drink driving situation it may be possible, if there was proof, that a drink had been spiked or laced without the defendant’s knowledge.
Can I Plead Special Reasons to Reduce the Sentence?
Special reasons is a term often confused with extreme hardship or mitigation but they are separate legal concepts. Special reasons can be seen as an excuse for why the offence occurred. Common special reasons are an emergency situation or being misled into committing the particular offence. If the court accepts the special reason it may then reduce the disqualification length or decide not to impose a ban.
Can A Drink Driving Disqualification Be Reduced?
In certain circumstance a person convicted of a Drink Driving offence may be able to reduce the disqualification length. This may happen if the defendant agrees to take part in a drink drive rehabilitation scheme. Once the offender has been convicted a solicitor can inform the court that the defendant has agreed to take part in the rehabilitation scheme. It will then be up to the court to decide whether or not the offender will be suitable for the scheme.
How Much Time Will Be Reduced With This Scheme?
Drink driving rehabilitation schemes may be able to reduce a disqualification sentence by around 25%. An offender who has been disqualified for a year may have the disqualification period reduced to nine months. Places on these schemes are not guaranteed. The schemes are usually available to anyone over the age of 17 but it will be up to the courts to decide who is suitable for these rehabilitation schemes.
Can I Have A Driving Disqualification Removed?
It may be possible after a period of time to apply to have a disqualification removed. Motorists who have been disqualified for two years or more can apply to the magistrate’s court. The court may decide to review the offender’s character and their conduct since the disqualification was applied. The decision to remove the ban will also be dependant on the reason why the ban was originally placed.
Will a Solicitor Be Necessary to Reduce a Disqualification?
In most cases having a solicitor when facing a court appearance over a motoring offence will be the wise move. Legal professionals will be able to guide the defendant through the entire process. They will also be able to advise on the options available to the defendant and the best defence to use to help reduce a sentence. Anyone who is appearing in court over a motoring offence should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.