LEGAL EAGLE: I will lose my job if courts give me a driving ban for speeding
I have received a summons to attend court in regard to a speeding matter. I already have nine penalty points on my licence and receiving three more could cause me to be disqualified.
I understand that I should be punished for this, but if I am unable to drive then I would lose my job. If I lose my job, I will be unable to pay my mortgage and my family may end up homeless. What can I do?”
Receiving three more penalty points on top of your existing nine points would ordinarily lead you to be disqualified for a minimum of six months under what is known as the “totting up” procedure. Eleven penalty points are usually the maximum that can be held without disqualification.
There are sentencing guidelines for speeding offences and the number of points that would be imposed, if guilty, would depend on how much over the speed limit you drove on that road.
The minimum endorsement would be three points.
In your case you may be able to argue that the disqualification would cause you exceptional hardship and if the magistrates accept that argument, they have a discretion not to disqualify you, whilst still imposing the points, or of reducing the period of disqualification.
Exceptional hardship must be more than that which would normally be suffered.
Loss of employment is not enough to persuade the court that you would experience exceptional hardship.
However, if the loss of employment rendered you unable to pay your mortgage with a risk you could lose your house, then the argument is more likely to be successful.
The court will also give greater weight to the impact your disqualification will have on other "innocent” parties, such as your family who may become homeless, or the impact your inability to carry out your job would have on your employer.
You need to prove on the balance of probabilities that exceptional hardship would result so providing witnesses or other documentary evidence will assist you at court.
It is important to note that if you successfully demonstrate exceptional hardship in this case, the same factors leading to that decision cannot be relied upon again within a three year time period.