Experts in Motoring and Road Traffic Law
Penalty Point Totting Up Solicitors
Losing your driving licence can lead to devastating hardship, especially if your economic survival depends on being able to operate a vehicle. Our road traffic solicitors can advise and represent you if you have penalty points on your licence and a further offence places you in jeopardy of accumulating 12 penalty points within three years, a situation which can lead to an automatic six-month driving ban.
At MPR Solicitors, we practice almost exclusively in criminal and road traffic law. Our lawyers have years of specialist experience in UK motoring law and can act quickly to advise and support you. By instructing us, you can be assured of receiving expert legal advice from lawyers who have an in-depth understanding of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and other motoring legislation.
To contact our penalty point totting up solicitors, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment.
We are dedicated to providing exceptional client care and quality legal guidance to all clients who instruct us. We have a dedicated team of lawyers specialising in totting up, based in London, but we advise and represent clients from all over the UK.
How many points does it take to lose your driving licence?
Penalty points were introduced under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to deter motorists from breaking driving laws.
The minimum number of penalty points that can be given is two. Major offences, such as causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident can result in 10 to 11 penalty points being given as well as terms of imprisonment in some situations.
Penalty points are cumulative. If you receive 12 penalty points within three years, you will automatically be banned from driving for six months, unless you can show ‘exceptional hardship’. Newly qualified drivers can be banned from driving if they receive six penalty points within two years of obtaining their licence.
How long do penalty points remain on your driving licence?
Penalty points are valid for three years from the date of conviction (i.e. you received a Fixed Penalty Notice or court sentence), but will not be removed from your licence until the fourth anniversary.
How long does a driving ban last?
The recommended period is six months. However, the court does have a discretionary power to impose a lesser ban and has been known to impose bans of three months. If you can prove ‘exceptional hardship’ you may avoid being taken off the road altogether. We will assess your situation to see if you could either avoid a ban or get a very short ban instead of the normal six-month ban.
What qualifies as ‘exceptional hardship’ for a driving ban?
There is no definition of ‘exceptional hardship’, however, there is a consensus that it must be more than a foreseeable consequence of losing one’s driving licence. Therefore, simply pleading that you will lose your job may not usually be enough to satisfy the court that ‘exceptional hardship’ will occur, should you be taken off the road.
The court will look at all the circumstances surrounding your case when deciding if ‘exceptional hardship’ will be a consequence of you losing your licence. ‘Exceptional hardship’ is usually divided into emotional hardship and financial hardship. So, the court may consider some of the following factors when assessing whether ‘exceptional hardship’ would occur if you lost your driving licence:
- Do dependent family members rely on your income for economic survival?
- If you own a business, could it become insolvent if you were unable to drive?
- Are there elderly or disabled relatives who rely on you for transport to medical appointments and to do their shopping?
- Are there public transport links where you live?
How MPR Solicitors can build a case of ‘exceptional hardship’?
Our road traffic solicitors have a strong track record in successfully arguing ‘exceptional hardship’ before the court. Upon instruction, we will carefully examine the circumstances of your life, the people who rely on you and the impact losing your licence through totting up will have on them. The starting point for the court is that you should be disqualified from driving if you have accumulated 12 or more penalty points in three years; therefore, we must create an extremely persuasive argument that the court’s discretion should be applied in your particular circumstances. Thanks to our years of experience and our focus on criminal and road traffic law, our team can swiftly identify elements of ‘exceptional hardship’ which may be present in your situation and develop a sensible, persuasive argument to present to the Magistrates.
The court will also consider the history of your driving offences. We will look closely at the dates your penalty points were received and see if any of the points were due to expire shortly after you committed the most recent offence. If they were, we can use this to strengthen your argument that the court should use its discretion and not ban you from driving.
Do you need to apply for a new driving licence after being disqualified?
If you have been disqualified from driving for 56 days or more, you will have to apply for a new licence. You cannot apply for a new licence until the disqualification period ends.
To reapply for your licence, you will need to complete a DL1 form and pay the required fee.
What should I do if I have committed an offence which may mean I will accumulate enough points to be disqualified from driving?
If you have committed an offence which carries penalty points such as speeding or driving without insurance, you need to contact us immediately. You may have a defence available which could result in you being let off the charge and no penalty points being added to your licence.
Our traffic solicitors can quickly tell you if you have a defence available. If you do not have a valid defence, we can still represent you in court if you plead guilty, and make a case to the Magistrates to have your sentence mitigated.
If you are at risk of being disqualified from driving due to totting up of penalty points, please call us immediately on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.