Exceptional Hardship Application to Avoid Six Month Driving Ban
This week saw the resolution of a complicated motoring case at a Nottinghamshire Magistrates’ Court for our client, Patricia.
Patricia, who was represented at the hearing by Steve Williams, said she had been very frustrated by the errors made by the court in the period running up to the hearing, and that she was glad that she could now put the matter behind her.
When Patricia first approached us for help, she explained that she had – to her horror – already been disqualified in her absence. This had been a shock as she had previously received a letter from the court notifying her that the hearing (for a speeding offence) had been adjourned to a later date.
Patricia’s case worker carefully checked the letters received from the court and identified what appeared to be a mistake made by the court – the same speeding offence had been given two different case numbers, so was now being treated as two different speeding matters.
A period of liaison with the court followed, during which the court at first refused to accept that a mistake had been made, then referred the matter to a Legal Advisor who accepted there had been an error and that Patricia should not have been disqualified.
However, in another unfortunate twist in the tale, the court then refused to consider lifting the disqualification administratively (without the need for a hearing), which meant Patricia had to endure a disqualification period while she waited for the new hearing date set by the court.
As Patricia had 9 points on her licence at the time of the most recent speeding offence, this made the situation more seriously. If the Exceptional Hardship application prepared on her behalf was not successful, then she would automatically be disqualified for a period of 6 months.
Patricia, who runs her own clothing business and relies on her driving licence to visit customers and suppliers, was guided through the preparation of supporting documents by her case worker prior to the new hearing date.
As an early hearing date was sought, due to the fact that Patricia had already been disqualified and we could thus only now try to effect the lifting of this disqualification and avoidance of a 6 month disqualification, this meant little time for the full preparation of the case.
However, here at Forrest Williams we are used to preparing a case in a limited amount of time, and to the highest possible standards.
On the day of the new hearing, Steve Williams addressed the Magistrates, making a full Exceptional Hardship application and explaining the position our client had found herself in, and referencing the mistakes made by the court.
The court’s decision was that they did find Exceptional Hardship and that she be disqualified for a period of 7 days (in addition to the disqualification period already served) and that financial penalties be paid. Patricia was pleased with this outcome, as it meant that in just a week’s time she would be able to drive again for work as usual.
This was not the most straightforward case as it involved liaison with a number of court staff and proving a position that, at first, the court refused to accept as it did not believe it would make a mistake of this nature.
Once again, attention to detail by Forrest Williams resulted in a good outcome for a valued client.
If you have been charged with a speeding offence, or are in a ‘totting up’ situation and fear the automatic 6 month disqualification, please call our office on 01623 397200 today for free, initial advice and full preparation of your Exceptional Hardship application.