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Exceptional Hardship

If you’ve been accused of a driving offence, and face a potential driving disqualification, you are likely to be feeling stressed, wondering what your options are from here.

Our expert exceptional hardship solicitors at Stephen Rimmer have much experience supporting clients who are facing driving bans, providing outstanding legal support, to secure the best possible outcome in the situation.

Accumulating 12 points on your driving licence can result in a driving disqualification. There are also a number of driving offences that can result in an immediate driving ban, including drink driving, drug driving, or excessive speeding.

Regardless of these rules, with the right legal representation you could secure a reduced sentence, or avoid a driving ban altogether. At Stephen Rimmer, we have experience across a broad range of driving offences. We have a fantastic track record of success, and always align our legal assistance with your specific circumstances.

We will ensure to handle your case with sensitivity and care, building the strongest defence possible, and working towards the best outcome.

How we can help with exceptional hardship defence

At Stephen Rimmer, we can provide a range of assistance with driving offences, especially, with exceptional hardship defence. Our support includes:

  • Legal advice on your charges, tailored to your specific situation, ensuring that you understand your position
  • Assessing your case, to gain an understanding of your position and options
  • Building an exceptional hardship legal defence, based on the situation and circumstances, and particularly any mitigating factors there may be
  • Negotiating with the prosecution in attempt to secure the most favourable outcome possible, including, reduced penalties and charges, and avoiding a driving disqualification
  • Court representation for those accused of driving offences, presenting your defence before a judge
  • Supporting you with an appeal where appropriate and if you are convicted of a driving offence and or receive a driving ban

Speak to our exceptional hardship solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises clients all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with driving offences and driving bans, please contact our expert team now:

Frequently asked questions about exceptional hardship

What qualifies as exceptional hardship?

In context of a driving disqualification, exceptional hardship means consequences that are more extreme than the average consequences of suspending an individual’s licence.

In order to prove exceptional hardship, it is necessary to demonstrate to the Court that disqualifying a person’s licence would cause significant harm to that individual, and or their family. For instance, where a driving ban would result in an individual losing their job, and therefore being no longer able to support themselves and their family.

Another example might be where an individual with a medical condition relies heavily on driving to access their necessary treatment and appointments.

What is the difference between exceptional hardship and special reasons?

Essentially, exceptional hardship is based on what would be the consequences of disqualifying this person from driving, for example, the consequence of losing their job and income. Special reasons is instead based on the circumstances concerning the driving incident itself.

An example of a special reasons defence might be where the person incurred points on their licence due to speeding. However, they were only speeding due to a genuine medical emergency.

Both of these concepts can be used as a basis for the Court to serve a sentence that’s more personalised, or lenient.

Do I need a solicitor for exceptional hardship?

Yes, building an exceptional hardship argument can be complicated, which is why it’s important to work with an expert solicitor.

Our exceptional hardship solicitors at Stephen Rimmer have much experience working on driving offences, including building an exceptional hardship case to avoid a driving ban.

How do I get out of a totting up ban?

A totting up ban refers to a situation where a person has accumulated 12 points on their driving licence, and therefore faces a driving disqualification.

In some circumstances it may be possible to prevent a totting up ban, despite having 12 points on your licence. For example, where it can be demonstrated that a driving ban would result in exceptional hardship, the Court may choose not to impose the driving ban.

Can you claim exceptional hardship twice?

An exceptional hardship argument can be used to avoid a driving ban once, within a three year period.

If the individual is facing a potential driving disqualification for a second time, within the three year period, they cannot make an exceptional hardship claim based on the same reasons as the first claim.

Where there are entirely different and genuine reasons, in rare circumstances, the individual may be able to claim exceptional hardship for a second time.

What do the court consider when deciding whether to serve a totting up disqualification?

The Road Traffic Act 1995 outlines the considerations that the court should make when deciding whether or not to serve a totting up disqualification. However, exceptional hardship defence is also interpreted by the court on a case by case basis.

Some factors that the court are likely to consider include:

  • The court must be convinced that the driving ban would not cause a mere inconvenience or slight hardship, but an exceptional level of hardship
  • This usually means that the hardship caused would affect not just the person, but their family members
  • Loss of employment is often a factor that’s used to determine exceptional hardship, though this fact alone will not always guarantee an exceptional hardship ruling

What happens at a totting up hearing?

A totting up hearing happens whereby a driver has gained a specific number of penalty points on their licence, within a specified period of time.

Where a driver has accumulated 12 or more points on their licence, usually within a timeframe of three years, they will need to attend a hearing. During the hearing, the court will need to decide whether or not to disqualify the person from driving.

To avoid a driving ban, the person may pursue an exceptional hardship defence, or a special reasons defence, depending on the circumstances. It is important to work with an expert solicitor, who can build a strong exceptional hardship argument.

To learn more, contact us, using the details below.

Speak to our exceptional solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises clients all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with driving offences and driving bans, please contact our exceptional hardship solicitors today:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.