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JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
solicitors Birmingham

Motoring Offences Defences

We know that your driving licence is a critical part of your day-to-daycontact us life. For many people their employment and family life can depend heavily on being able to drive.

At J R Jones we have a great deal of experience in defending all types of motoring offences.

If you are charged with any motoring offence, we aim to achieve the most favourable outcome possible for you. In some cases this may be an acquittal of the charges, in other cases it may mean minimising the sentence imposed by the Courts.

Is it possible mount a defence against a motoring offence charge?

In some situations it may be appropriate to enter a plea of ‘not guilty’ to the motoring charge. Our specialist motoring offences solicitors will assess your case and tell you if this approach will be suitable for you. This will depend on a number of factors, including whether a suitable defence is available.

In many cases the approach will be to defend your charge on the basis of incorrect procedure being followed by the Police.

Strict procedures exist which set out the protocol that the Police must follow in dealing with someone at the roadside and at the Police station. This includes giving you the correct information and administering things such as breathalyser tests in the correct manner.

Motoring defence - Special reasons

A defence based on what is known as ‘special reasons’ is effectively a plea of mitigating circumstances. This means that you are not denying that the offence was committed, however, you are asking for mitigating circumstances to be taken into account to reduce the penalty imposed by the Courts, or asking for them to impose no penalty.

‘Special reasons’ can apply to a number of offences from speeding, driving without insurance and drink driving.
There are four criteria that must exist in order to raise the issue of special reasons as a possible defence:

  1. It must be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
  2. It must not amount in law to a defence to the charge;
  3. It must be directly connected with the commission of the offence;
  4. The matter must be one that the Court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing punishment.

Some possible examples of special reasons include:

  • Your drink was spiked
  • An emergency situation such as driving someone to hospital while over the alcohol limit
  • Speeding to rescue someone from danger

Motoring defence - Exceptional hardship

In cases where you are facing a disqualification from driving (through either totting up of penalty points or an outright ban for a single offence) it may be possible to plead to the Court on the basis that a ban would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to you or someone else. The Court may have the discretion to reduce the penalty from a ban to a lesser penalty.

An ‘exceptional hardship’ defence can only be used in extreme cases where the imposition of a ban would be so exceptional in nature that it would have a serious impact on innocent parties. For example:

  • If a driving ban would lead to you losing your license and this would have a serious impact on an innocent party or parties. (Losing a job in itself would not normally qualify as exceptional hardship.)
  • A family member who has a health problem or disability and who relies on you for mobility
  • An impact on employees who would be seriously affected by you losing your license. For example if you were a business owner.

The Courts understand and accept that the imposition of a driving ban will cause hardship; it is after all intended to be a penalty. A defence on the basis of ‘exceptional hardship’ will rely on showing that the consequences would be so extreme in nature that it goes beyond the intended penalty.

Do I require a solicitor for a motoring offence?

Some people choose to represent themselves in Court to try contact usand save money on legal fees. This is almost always a mistake. The Courts have heard every excuse that exists for motoring offences and will not be impressed by someone with little or no understanding of the law trying to defend themselves.

A specialist motoring offences solicitor with knowledge and experience of the law will offer you the best chance of achieving a favourable outcome in your case.

Contact us to speak to one of our solicitors who will assess your case and advise you on a possible defence.