Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification: What should I do?
If you have recently received a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification in the post, you may have some questions regarding the possible options, in this article we briefly answer some of the common questions our clients ask our solicitors and barristers.
What is a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification?
A Magistrates’ Court will send you a notice of proposed driving disqualification in the post when the Court is considering imposing a driving ban via the Single Justice Procedure system. If you do not respond to the notice, the Court is likely to disqualify you from driving without a court hearing even taking place.
Why have you received the Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification?
If you pleaded guilty to a motoring offence via the Single Justice Procedure (SJP) process or did not respond to the SJP, the Court may issue a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification if the Magistrates form the view that your case justifies a driving ban.
What happens if I do not respond to the Notice?
The Disqualification Notice should clearly state the deadline a response is required. If you take no action or do not respond within time, your case will still progress and there is a high likelihood that the Court will impose a driving ban. The Notice will also make it clear that you should not drive if you have not responded, this is because the Court may have banned you from driving if you did not respond. If you do not respond and continue to drive, you may be prosecuted for driving whilst disqualified which is an offence that can attract up to 6 months imprisonment.
Totting-Up Driving Ban: 12 Penalty Points
Many Notices of Proposed Driving Disqualifications are received because the motorist has become a ‘Totter’ (accumulated 12 or more points on their licence). If a motorist accumulates 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period, they must be disqualified from driving for at least 6 months. This type of disqualification can potentially be avoided by putting forward an Exceptional Hardship Application.
You may find yourself in a situation where you have a clean licence (no penalty points) and still in receipt of a Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification for a speeding offence.
Speeding offences attract penalty points or disqualifications. If you were caught speeding substantially in excess of the speed limit, the Court can impose a ban rather than points. As an example, you may have a clean licence and were caught speeding at 101mph on the motorway, whilst you have no points and would not face a ‘Totting Up Driving Ban’ you are still at risk of receiving a driving ban for the offence, because of the excessive speeding. In this type of case, the Court may impose a ban because of the speed and that is why you have received the Notice.
Avoid a Driving Ban
The purpose of the notice is to reduce the number of cases the Court has to allocate time for, and to inform you that you are likely to be disqualified. Some motorist may not be concerned with a ban however, if you want to avoid a driving ban, you should respond to the notice before the deadline and request a Court Hearing in person. The Court will then allocate a date and time for you to attend where you can put forward a robust, compelling and legal argument of why you should not be disqualified.
Legal Representation at Court
If you have requested a Court Hearing, you can either attend on your own and put forward your legal submissions or alternatively you can appoint a specialist driving offence solicitor to attend Court with you. If you prefer to have representation at that hearing, you are perfectly entitled to it and the Court will not have any issue with that.
Having expert legal representation will place you at an advantage and substantially increase the chances of avoiding a driving disqualification. Our experienced solicitors and barristers have advised and represented many clients in the past for similar cases and will present strong and compelling mitigation on your behalf in an attempt to convince the Court to avoid a disqualification.
If you would like to appoint or speak with one of our legal team about your Notice of Proposed Driving Disqualification, please call us on 0345 222 9955 or complete our Contact Form.