If you’re faced with the prospect of potentially losing your driving licence various thoughts will probably be currently running through your mind. “will I lose my job?” and “how am I supposed to get my children to school?” are two of the most common worries when facing a driving ban. Exceptional Hardship however, is the legal argument which can save your driving licence by taking your circumstances into account.
What is Exceptional Hardship?
Exceptional Hardship is a legal argument put forward in an attempt to avoid a disqualification in its entirety or reduce the minimum period of disqualification. It is likely that evidence will need to be called to support this argument and documentary evidence may need to be provided. The argument assesses whether you will suffer undue hardship as a consequence of the disqualification that would ordinarily arise as punishment for the offence. It differs from the Special Reasons argument in the sense that it depends on your personal circumstances and how badly a driving ban would affect you, whereas Special Reasons takes into account the circumstances of the offence.
When can you argue Exceptional Hardship?
If you have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty after trial and are facing a disqualification under the Totting-Up provisions you can argue Exceptional Hardship. You will be subject to Totting-Up provisions when you are about to receive a minimum of 12 points on your licence due to your conviction. This argument cannot be used in offences which carry a straight driving ban regardless of points on your licence, such as drink driving. Similarly the argument cannot be used if you have used the same argument within the last three years.
What circumstances would qualify for Exceptional Hardship?
The only circumstances that can be taken into account are your personal circumstances. The Court will not take into account the circumstances of the offence. As the title suggests to be successful you have to suffer exceptional hardship as a consequence of the pending disqualification. The hardship has to be over and above what the average person would suffer, for example the loss of your job alone will rarely be accepted as Exceptional Hardship. Circumstances which have been found to be exceptional are things such as you losing your home and losing your business, though each case will be decided on its own unique set of circumstances.
If your driving ban were to cause hardship to others then this is more readily classified as Exceptional Hardship for your case because others are classed as third parties who are innocent to the proceedings. For instance, if you were the primary carer to a disabled relative who depended on you to take them to hospital appointments, the Exceptional Hardship argument may be used to save your licence. Similarly, if a driving disqualification would cause you to close down your business, rendering your employees jobless, this would be considered unnecessary suffering of others.
Here at Gray and Co Solicitors, we have a team of expert solicitors in the field of motoring offences. We can help you to put a strong case of Exceptional Hardship to the Courts, giving you a higher chance of retaining your driving licence. If you’d like to speak to one of our friendly team regarding your case for Exceptional Hardship, you can call us on 01244 344299 or use our online contact form.