We represent privately paying clients who, for various reasons, may not be eligible for legal aid in this area of law. Our depth of knowledge and experience is wide ranging so we can offer you an excellent service no matter what your situation.
We are acutely aware of the importance to motorists of retaining their driving licences. The accumulation of penalty points could lead to a period of disqualification which can seriously affect a client's livelihood.
We specialise in representing clients charged with various motoring matters, including speeding and other offences, where a driving licence may be at risk. We will help you to understand your legal position in what can be a complex area of the law so you can decide if going to court is the best option.
If you require help or advice with a motoring offence please contact Alison Muir (01553 778100, email@example.com)
Frequently Asked Questions
I have just been summonsed to court for a speeding offence, where I intend to plead guilty. How many penalty points can the court impose?
The courts have the power to impose between three and six penalty points for each speeding offence. Alternatively, they can impose a period of disqualification for the offence itself, of usually no more than 56 days.
What factors do the court take into account when determining how many points to impose?
The court should look at a number of aggravating and mitigating features, including the road conditions, visibility, proximity to built up area, as well as personal mitigation. However, the main criteria for determining the number of points is that of the level of speed. As a general guideline, thirty miles per hour or more over the statutory speed limit would normally lead to a period of disqualification for the offence itself being considered. Alternatively, points are usually imposed if the speed is below that level.
I passed my driving test within the last two years, and am now facing penalty points on my licence. Could this jeopardise my driving licence?
Under the new driving provisions, if any driver who has passed their test within the last two years acquires six or more penalty points on their licence, then their licence will be revoked automatically. There is a loop hole, however, if the young driver is disqualified for the offence itself their licence will be returned to them automatically after the period of the disqualification.
I have a number of penalty points on my licence already and have been summonsed to court for a new offence. Will I lose my licence?
The court considers all penalty points acquired over the three year period preceding the offence and if they, together with the points or the new offence lead to twelve or more the court will usually have to disqualify you from driving for a minimum period of six months under the “totting up” procedure.
Is there any way I can avoid losing my licence under this "totting up" procedure?
The court has discretion not to disqualify or to reduce the period of disqualification if it feels that exceptional hardship would follow from that disqualification.
What might amount to exceptional hardship?
The court looks at the offender and not the offence when determining whether exceptional hardship would be suffered. This may be through loss of employment or if other people's welfare is likely to be jeopardised.
I have been summonsed to court for driving with excess alcohol, and intend to plead guilty. Will I automatically lose my licence?
Unless special reasons can be established the court has no discretion for an offence of driving with excess alcohol and has to impose a minimum disqualification period of twelve months or three years if the offender has a previous relevant drink driving conviction within the ten years preceding the offence. The level of disqualification will be longer the higher the amount of alcohol above the statutory level.
Is there any way that the period of disqualification can be reduced?
Courts can offer a drink drive rehabilitation course, which if successfully completed reduces any period of disqualification by a quarter. This will require attendance on a course over a number of sessions, and payment of the fee. The course must be completed within a certain time period.