The law: Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 s.35
Disqualification for repeated offences.
If you are convicted of an offence that takes your number of penalty points to twelve or more, the court can order you to be disqualified.
The minimum period of disqualification is usually six months but may be more if you have been previously disqualified. The court may choose not to disqualify you or to shorten the disqualification if it considers there to be sufficient grounds to do so in the specific circumstances of your case known as exceptional hardship.
However, some circumstances may not be taken into account:
Any circumstances that are alleged to make the offence not a serious one
Hardship, other than exceptional hardship
Any circumstances which, within the three years immediately preceding the conviction, have been taken into account in ordering the offender to be disqualified for a shorter period or not ordering him to be disqualified.
12 penalty points within a 3 year period results in the court having to disqualify unless you can show that as a result, you or someone who relies upon you will suffer “exceptional hardship”. The Court may decide not to disqualify where exceptional hardship applies. Losing your job will not necessarily be enough. You cannot rely on exceptional hardship in circumstances where the offence carries a mandatory disqualification eg. drink driving or dangerous driving.
Careful preparation and presentation of your case is crucial to your chances of being successful. So it is highly recommended that you seek advice from specialist motoring or criminal defence lawyers who will either be able to help you avoid a conviction or limit the damage by securing a reduced sentence.
Rose & Dunn can represent you for a fixed fee or possibly on legal aid. Contact us for further advice and assistance including a free initial appraisal of your case with no obligation.