If you have reached, or exceeded, 12 points on your driving licence and received a 6 month driving ban, you can appeal against this decision!
Whether you made an unsuccessful Exceptional Hardship application before the magistrates, or not, you have an automatic right to appeal against the decision to impose a driving ban.
For many of our clients, the prospect of this ban is devastating. A lengthy ban – such as one resulting from totting up – often means a person will face loss of job, loss of home, and countless personal difficulties due to increased strain on relationships and difficulties travelling to see children.
Here at Forrest Williams we are committed to helping motorists around the country stay on the road. We are specialist motoring lawyers and, despite the rules that say a driver with 12 points should be disqualified for 6 months, we specialise in helping drivers at risk of a totting up ban keep their licence.
Our success rate for helping totting up clients avoid a 6 month ban is over 95%. See our testimonials.
How Can You Appeal A Totting Up Ban?
You have an automatic right to appeal against the magistrates’ court decision within 21 days of the hearing.
A Notice of Appeal must be submitted within this timeframe, so it is vital that you seek legal help without delay.
Here at Forrest Williams, we are specialists used to assisting people with this type of case. You can call us now on 01623 397200 to see how we can help get you back on the road.
I found myself at risk of losing my driving license after accumulating too many points. There seemed no way out. I live in a very remote location, and was impressed with the previous reviews for Forrest Williams. Helen agreed to take on my case, and over a period of months prepared all of the required paperwork including handling the Court case. I was kept informed constantly. On the day of the Court case, Steve was confident and supportive. I kept my license thanks to his very careful preparation. I deal a lot with the Court system in my professional job and have to say I found Steve and Helen to be a superb team – their professionalism and caring attitude is a very rare thing to find. Thank You – so much, for the help you were able to give me.
~ Client Testimonial, 13 June 2022
What is Exceptional Hardship?
If the Court accept that, if banned, you or others would suffer Exceptional Hardship, they are able to opt not to disqualify you. This is a complex legal argument that requires specialist legal representation.
Naturally, the magistrates do not easily grant an Exceptional Hardship application, and so it is not unusual for a person to be disqualified at a magistrates’ court hearing but successfully Appeal against that decision.
Your case will be presented to the court in a full appeal hearing and it will be suggested that despite your totting up position, you should not receive the 6 month ban that the magistrates have imposed.
Many people (including some magistrates!) believe that Exceptional Hardship has to be suffered by someone other than yourself – this is not the case. You can be the only person affected by the potential totting up ban and still have grounds to make a successful Exceptional Hardship application. If your application was refused on the grounds that the ban would affect nobody other than yourself, our strong advice is that you appeal immediately.
The Sentencing Council sets the following guidelines for courts to follow:
It is for the offender to prove to the civil standard of proof that such grounds exist. Other than very exceptionally, this will require evidence from the offender, and where such evidence is given, it must be sworn.
Where it is asserted that hardship would be caused, the court must be satisfied that it is not merely inconvenience, or hardship, but exceptional hardship for which the court must have evidence;
Almost every disqualification entails hardship for the person disqualified and their immediate family. This is part of the deterrent objective of the provisions combined with the preventative effect of the order not to drive.
If a motorist continues to offend after becoming aware of the risk to their licence of further penalty points, the court can take this circumstance into account.
Courts should be cautious before accepting assertions of exceptional hardship without evidence that alternatives (including alternative means of transport) for avoiding exceptional hardship are not viable;
Loss of employment will be an inevitable consequence of a driving ban for many people. Evidence that loss of employment would follow from disqualification is not in itself sufficient to demonstrate exceptional hardship; whether or not it does will depend on the circumstances of the offender and the consequences of that loss of employment on the offender and/or others.
How do I know if I have a case for an Exceptional Hardship appeal?
As the law does not specify what amounts to Exceptional Hardship, there are many scenarios that can give you grounds to avoid the totting up ban.
The most common is where a driving ban will lead to financial hardship, usually due to the loss of employment. Many other situations can amount to Exceptional Hardship, however, and these can relate to yourself or other people. Examples include the company you work for suffering financial hardship if you were unable to perform your driving duties, and you suffering personal difficulties due to the impact of the ban on your mental health. These more unusual applications require additional preparation as they will be arguments the court are less used to having to consider.
It may be that you made an unsuccessful application for Exceptional Hardship in the magistrates court. You can appeal.
It may be that you didn’t realise an Exceptional Hardship application was possible, or chose not to make one and now wish you had. You can appeal.
If you think that you, or anyone else, will suffer more than could be reasonably expected because of your disqualification, give us a call for an honest, free assessment of your case.
What is the procedure for a totting up Appeal?
You must submit a Notice of Appeal within 21 days of the date of your magistrates’ court hearing.
You can complete and lodge this yourself, but if you instruct Forrest Williams, we will do this for you.
Upon receipt of this Notice, the Crown Court will list your case for an Appeal hearing.
At this Court hearing, your mitigation and portfolio of supporting evidence will be provided and if the Court agree that the ban will cause Exceptional Hardship, they will grant Exceptional Hardship and you will no longer be disqualified from driving.
The penalty points will remain imposed on your license, but you will be able to continue to drive in spite of totting up.
How often can I argue Exceptional Hardship?
You can only argue Exceptional Hardship using the same information once in a three year period.
How Can Forrest Williams Help?
An Exceptional Hardship application is a complex legal matter and not one that should be attempted without a specialist motoring lawyer representing you.
It is important to note that a Crown Court appeal is your only route to overturn the magistrates’ decision. It is therefore vital that the Appeal is prepared for and presented expertly.
Here at Forrest Williams, we completely manage your case from start to finish, building your case in a way that provides the court with all of the information they require in order to overturn your disqualification.
We win over 95% of cases where we advise that reasonable grounds to avoid the totting up ban are present.
If we believe you do not have reasonable grounds, we will advise you of this immediately. You may still choose to pursue an Exceptional Hardship appeal.
We can also ask the court to lift the ban you have already received pending the Appeal, although there is no guarantee that the court will agree to do this.
We also offer free, honest, no obligation advice on totting up and other motoring offences of all kinds.