Where a driver has accumulated 12 or more penalty points in a 3 year period they are subjected to disqualification for a minimum period of six months. The Court calculates the time from the date that the previous endorsement was ordered to the date that you committed the new offences.
In some cases where further offences are committed the disqualification period can be longer.
If convicted of certain offences, the Court can impose a disqualification or order that your licence be endorsed with penalty points. However, where Special Reasons are pleaded, the Court may refrain from disqualifying you or endorsing your licence. These reasons are commonly referred to as “Special Reasons”.
A “Special Reason” cannot relate to your personal circumstances but must be base on the facts of the offence. For example, in drink driving cases you could plead that the drinks were ‘spiked’ .Those Special Reasons not only cover the use to which the vehicle was being put but can includes the offenceof driving without insurance where you have been misled as to your cover.
Establishing Special Reasons involves careful case preparation and often is necessary to call evidence [including witnesses] to support your case.
Where the Court accepts that Special Reasons exist they may still impose penalty points as an alternative to disqualification.
In cases where the Court is considering disqualifying a driver because of penalty points on their licence (called totting up), it is possible to plead “mitigating circumstances” to persuade the Court to exercise their discretion not to disqualify the driver or to reduce the period of disqualification.
Pleading this requires the Court to hear evidence that shows the driver (or innocent third parties) would be placed into ‘exceptional hardship’ by the loss of the licence. This requires careful case preparation and legal argument to represent your case in the strongest light.