Totting Up Solicitors
If you are in a totting up position, you may already be aware that, in normal circumstances, reaching or exceeding 12 points on your license will lead to a 6 month 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 94%. See our testimonials.
How Can You Fight A Totting Up Ban?
While the law may seem fairly straightforward in the guidelines that a driver who reaches 12 points should be disqualified for 6 months, this is not always the case.
Specialist motoring lawyers like Forrest Williams are able to use a legal argument known as Exceptional Hardship to help totting up victims stay on the road.
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, but a skilled lawyer will be able to build a strong case. This case will be presented to the court in a full hearing and it will be suggested that despite your totting up position, you should not receive the 6 month ban that should be imposed immediately.
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.
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 an Exceptional Hardship case?
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.
If you think that you, or anyone else, will suffer more than could be reasonably expected if you were to be disqualified for 6 months, give us a call for an honest, free assessment of your case.
What is the totting up procedure?
If you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution for an offence that carries sufficient points to cause you to reach or exceed 12 active points, the matter will have to be dealt with at Court. After returning the Notice of Intended Prosecution, you will receive a summons to attend Court. This can take several months.
As soon as you receive a Notice or a Summons, contact us to begin preparing your case. The Court will not have allowed enough time on the initial Court hearing date to hear an Exceptional Hardship application, so the matter will have to be adjourned to a later date.
At this Court hearing, your mitigation will be provided and if the Court agree that a ban would cause Exceptional Hardship, they will not ban you. The penalty points will be 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.
Here at Forrest Williams, we completely manage your case from start to finish, building your case in a way that provides the magistrates with all of the information they require in order to avoid disqualifying you.
We win over 94% 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 application.
If you have attempted an Exceptional Hardship application that was unsuccessful and are still within the time limits to Appeal this decision, we can lodge your Notice of Appeal and fully prepare an application for the Crown Court. 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.