Motoring Offence - Special Reasons Hearing
In certain circumstances, it is possible to avoid a compulsory Driving Ban or penalty points from being endorsed upon your driving licence. If ‘Special Reasons’ are applicable to your case, you can avoid being disqualified from driving or having penalty points endorsed. If you would like to know more about Special Reasons and whether a Special Reasons Hearing will be applicable to your driving offence, complete our Enquiry Form or call 0345 222 9955 to speak with one of our Driving Offence Solicitors.
The legislation which gives the Court this discretion is contained within Section 34 of The Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 which states the following:
“Where a person is convicted of an offence involving obligatory disqualification, the court must order him to be disqualified for such period not less than twelve months as the court thinks fit unless the court for special reasons thinks fit to order him to be disqualified for a shorter period or not to order him to be disqualified”
Driving Offences Where ‘Special Reasons’ Are Applicable ‘Special Reasons’ can be argued for any Motoring Offence however, ‘Special Reasons’ are commonly used for:
- Drink Driving
- Failing to Provide a Specimen
- Driving without Insurance
- Failing to Provide Driver Details
Definition of Special Reasons
For ‘Special Reasons’ to be accepted by the Court, the circumstances relied upon need to satisfy the criteria below:
- Must be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance
- Must not amount in law to a defence to the allegation
- Must be directly connected with the commission of the offence
- Must be something which the Court ought to properly take into consideration when imposing sentence.
Special Reasons Arguments Procedure
When making a ‘Special Reasons’ Argument, the plea to the Driving Offence would be guilty, because the person accepts committing the motoring offence therefore, the special reasons argument takes place as part of the sentencing procedure at Court.
If special reasons are applicable to your case and you would like to raise this, you will need to attend Court in person for the sentence hearing because the Court must hear your evidence in person and on oath to determine whether special reasons are applicable. If relying upon special reasons to avoid a driving disqualification or penalty points the prosecutor must be provided with the opportunity to cross-examine and challenge your evidence in relation to the ‘Special Reason’ raised.
A special reasons argument cannot be made by only writing to the Court, attendance at Court is necessary to raise and successfully rely upon special reasons.
Example of Special Reasons
Common examples of ‘Special Reasons’ Arguments include:
- Emergency Circumstances
- Short Distance Travelled
- Being Misled Concerning Insurance
- Spiked Drinks
A specials reasons argument can be raised in relation to any circumstance which is directly connected with the commission of the offence.
What Does Not Amount to Special Reasons
A special reasons argument is raised to explain why the offence was committed, it does not relate to you, or your personal circumstances. Loss of employment, financial hardship, loss of your home, a clean driving record or good character do not amount to special reasons, because they do not relate to the commission of the offence.
The Difference Between Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship
Special Reasons Arguments relate to why the offence was committed or circumstances connected to the offence, as an example a person may commit the offence of Speeding because they are taking a friend or relative to hospital due to a genuine emergency. This could potentially amount to special reasons, because the person accepts committing the offence of speeding however, the reason for committing the offence was the medical emergency.
Exceptional Hardship relates to personal circumstances, for example an endorsement of 3 penalty points may render someone becoming a ‘totter’ and receiving a Driving Ban. An Exceptional Hardship Application would focus on the consequences of a driving ban and the hardship caused to others because of the driving ban.
Kang & Co Solicitors – Special Reasons
If you are being prosecuted for a Motoring Offence and would like to speak to one of our Driving Offence Solicitors or Barristers about making a Special Reasons Argument, please complete our Enquiry Form at the bottom of this page or Call 0345 222 9955 to see how we can help save your driving licence or avoid penalty points being endorsed onto your driving licence by making a Special Reasons Argument to the Court.
Convincing the Court that special reasons are present in your case can be difficult and requires experienced legal knowledge with reference to appropriate case law, factual evidence and persuasive mitigation. To have a reasonable prospect of being successful with a special reasons argument, you will need expert legal advice, preparation and representation at Court.
Our National Coverage
We represent and successfully advance special reasons arguments for clients throughout England & Wales. As a law firm based in Birmingham City Centre, we are frequently appointed to represent clients in Birmingham, Walsall, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Lichfield, Tamworth, Nuneaton, Sutton Coldfield, Leamington Spa, Wolverhampton and Coventry.
Our Solicitors and Barristers regularly appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, Walsall Magistrates Court, Warwickshire Justice Centre (Nuneaton), Warwickshire Justice Centre (Leamington Spa) , Kidderminster Magistrates Court , Wolverhampton Magistrates Court , Coventry Magistrates’ Court and Cannock Magistrates’ Court.
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