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Exceptional Hardship

At Cartwright King we understand that losing your driving licence can have a severe negative impact on your private and working life. If you ‘tot up’ 12 points then you can be disqualified from driving, unless you can establish that being disqualified would cause you or others connected to you, your family or business, exceptional hardship. We regularly and successfully present these arguments to courts across the country, so if you face a charge which will take you to 12 or more points on your licence, it is vital to get legal advice as soon as possible. We are available to represent you anywhere in the country and argue your case for you in court.

How have I been disqualified from driving?

If you have pleaded guilty to an offence that means you will ‘tot up’ to 12 points on your licence, then you will face a hearing where Magistrates must disqualify you for a minimum of 6 months. However how long you are disqualified for depends on the following circumstances:

•    6 months – This is the standard duration if you have not had a previous disqualification
•    1 year – If you have had a previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last 3 years 
•    2 years – If you have had more than one previous disqualification of at least 56 days in the last 3 years 

You could potentially have your disqualification from driving shortened or even avoid disqualification altogether if you are able to put forward special mitigation usually known as “Exceptional Hardship”. At Cartwright King, we will be able to represent you in court and argue this on your behalf.

What is Exceptional Hardship?

When a person reaches 12 points the law requires Magistrates to disqualify them for at least 6 months. It is recognised that everyone who is disqualified from driving will suffer some hardship and inconvenience. That alone will not enable a ban to be reduced or avoided. What must be shown is that any hardship caused will be “exceptional”. 

Whilst the hardship may affect you, hardship to others affected by your ban will carry great weight with the courts. Exceptional Hardship arguments must go above and beyond the obvious inconveniences that losing your driving licence would cause. Examples of such arguments include, but are not limited to:

•    Loss of a career for you or anyone who relies on your business
•    Potential homelessness which results in you not being able to pay for your mortgage if you lose your job
•    If you suffer from health issues and will have your mobility restricted if you cannot drive
•    If you are the carer for somebody with severe health issues and they are heavily dependent on you

The court will look into all of your circumstances and you will have to give evidence to the court an oath about your circumstances to establish your exceptional hardship arguments. We can prepare your arguments, organise evidence to support your arguments and represent you in court to present them and take you through your evidence. 

This is a particularly complex area of the law and one in which legal advice should be sought at an early stage. Phone our team of motoring solicitors for more information.

How we can help

At Cartwright King our Motoring Solicitors will review your circumstances carefully and ensure that you receive the best legal advice and representation that they have to offer. We understand that a strong Exceptional Circumstances argument is based on effective preparation and presentation, which is why we will ensure to take great care in retrieving all the relevant information and documentation from you to help support your case.  

Why Choose Us?

At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress that losing your driving licence can cause and the potential long term consequences that can affect you, your family and your future earning potential. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.  Our team also have a vast amount of experience in successfully defending individual’s driving licences in court.

How to make contact

If you require any legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550. Alternatively you can email the Motoring team on and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Motoring Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in BirminghamBedfordDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleManchesterMiddlesbroughNorthamptonNottingham and Sheffield.

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