Hadi Law

How to Prove Exceptional Hardship If You Are Charged With a Motoring Offence in the UK

If you have been charged with a motoring offence of any type in the UK, we understand just how worried you may be, especially if it may result in you losing your driving licence. You may lose your driving licence for six months or more if you receive 12 or more points on your driving licence within a 6 month period (known as a ‘totting-up ban’). Being banned from driving for such a long period may mean that you are not able to go about your daily life, even go to work. This can be exceptionally problematic if you rely on your ability to drive due to health problems or disability. Likewise, it may be that your family member rely on your ability to drive.

In some circumstances, however, you may be able to prevent yourself from being disqualified from driving, if you can prove that you would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ if your driving licence is taken from you. In this article, we will explore the key elements of proving exceptional hardship.

What is meant by ‘exceptional hardship’ in relation to driving offences?

Exceptional hardship is a legal argument that you can use in a court that there are compelling reasons why you should not be disqualified from driving following. If the court handling your case accepts that you will suffer exceptional hardship, they may allow you to continue driving.

It cannot be overemphasised that using the defence of exceptional hardship is not as simple as telling the court that you need you to drive for work or drive a family member to hospital. The court will be looking for circumstances that go beyond the normal impacts of a driving ban and will have a significant impact on your life. The key to using this defence effectively is understanding what the courts view as an ‘exceptional’ hardship, not just a simple hardship.

Building a legal case that proves that on a ‘balance of probabilities’ you or your family will suffer exceptional hardship requires strong evidence. It is not enough simply to make an argument of exceptional hardship without backing this up with proof.

What are the types of exceptional hardship I can argue?

There are different types of exceptional hardship that you may be able to argue, including:

Employment related exceptional hardship

One of the main considerations in proving exceptional hardship is demonstrating the severe impact on your employment and, hence, your finances. To make a strong case that you will suffer exceptional hardship if you cannot work, you will need to provide evidence that you will lose your job and outline the impact of any financial loss on you and/or your business. Evidence may be required in the form of a letter from your employer, payslips, and an employment contract stipulating that you must be able to drive.

Family and dependents exceptional hardship

If losing your driving licence will directly impact on your family members and dependents, this should be explained to the court. This may be the case if you need to:

The evidence you need to provide to back up a claim of family and dependent exceptional hardship will depend on the circumstances. You may be able to ask the Local Authority to provide a letter confirming that your family members rely on you to transport them to school or hospital. Written testimony from your family members explaining why this is so important, the impact of you losing your licence, and why there is not alternative method of transport available to them can be extremely useful in using this argument.

Health and mobility hardship

If you have a medical condition that requires regular transportation for treatment or care, this may be a compelling factor in proving exceptional hardship. It may be that you are geographically isolated or you have no other friends or family who can help to transport you to your medical appointments. Your case will be made stronger if you provide evidence in the form of medical reports, prescriptions, and letters from your doctors explaining your health and mobility needs. Again, if you can demonstrate that you have no other way of getting to hospital or GP appointments, this will help to persuade the court not to take away your driving licence.

Wrapping up

Proving exceptional hardship requires careful planning, strong evidence, and legal knowledge. It is crucial to seek legal advice from a motoring offence Solicitor who will assess the specific details of your case and provide tailored guidance on how you can present a compelling argument for exceptional hardship. Your Solicitor will gather all of the necessary evidence to back up your case, prepare your case, and provide expert representation at each court hearing that you should keep your driving licence.

For further information on any careless or dangerous driving matter,, please speak to our motoring offences law team on  01772 447000 or reach out to us on our seven-day-a-week WhatsApp helpline 07869760533.

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