It may be possible, in some driving offence cases, to put forward an argument to reduce penalty points or avoid them completely due to special reasons. Whereas exceptional hardship considers personal circumstances, special reasons do not. They must not form a defence and you will be found guilty of the original charge but may be able to avoid having points issued. There are only a few special reasons that the courts will usually consider and it is down to the expertise of your driving offence solicitor or lawyer to be able to prove the special reason.
Most driving offences carry penalty points as well as a financial fine. The penalty points system enables the DVLA to keep track of the offences caused by a particular person and the system also enables a totting up procedure, whereby any driver that amasses 12 points on their licence over a period of three years or less faces a minimum 6 month disqualification.
Exceptional hardship argues that disqualification would cause hardship over and above beyond what is considered normal for a disqualification. For example, disqualification is expected to bring the hardship of not being able to drive to work but it could successfully be argued that preventing access to a child is exceptional hardship and this may be enough to ensure that you can continue driving even with 12 points on your licence.
Alternatively, in some cases, it may be possible to argue that there was a special reason for committing the driving offence that you are charged with. In these instances, you are not allowed to defend the case using your given reasons. In fact, you accept the charge but argue that special reasons meant that you did not have a choice but to commit the act. If your drink was spiked and this led to you driving while over the limit, this may be considered a special reason and could enable you to avoid a driving ban.
Special reasons can help reduce a disqualification to penalty points or prevent the placement of any penalty points on a licence. Freeman & Co Solicitors can help determine whether you have a case for claiming special reasons, or if you would suffer exceptional hardship following disqualification, and this could negate the need to hand over your licence.
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