Is it best to represent yourself or instruct a solicitor in relation to motoring matters?

Many people receive paperwork through the post having allegedly committed a road traffic offence such as speeding and do not know how to deal with it.  We can assist you.

We would strongly advise that any response is sent special delivery and that you keep a copy for your records.

If you are then asked to attend Court this is either because you are denying the offence, or having admitted it, the Court are considering disqualifying you from driving.  The Court will consider disqualification if the case is so serious that a disqualification may be necessary or where you had a number of penalty points on your licence at the time of the new offence and the Court are considering disqualifying you as a “totter”.

A “totter” is a person who has accumulated 12 or more penalty points within the last 3 years.  If you are disqualified as a “totter” this will be for 6 months unless you have been disqualified in this manner before.  In order to persuade against such a disqualification an argument of exceptional hardship can be put forward.  This can only relate to the personal circumstances of the Defendant and not the offence itself.

If an exceptional hardship argument is successful the Court has the option of still disqualifying the Defendant, but for a shorter period, or they can agree not to disqualify the Defendant at all, although penalty points are still imposed on the licence.

The Defendant will be driving around with a large number of penalty points and so any further motoring offence is likely to lead to a driving disqualification.  The reasons put forward to argue exceptional hardship cannot be used again over the next three years.

A separate argument can be formulated relating to the circumstances of an offence, called special reasons.  This is argued in cases where the offence is accepted but there was a special reason, such as an emergency.  Certain criteria has to be met in order for special reasons to be found.  If special reasons are found this often results in either no disqualification or no penalty points being imposed and a more lenient sentence.

For both arguments, there is case law which will need to be considered.

For new drivers, those who have passed their test in the last two years, there are additional rules to be aware of.

  • We charge a fixed rate of £100 plus VAT for an hour long consultation, where we can advise you on questions of motoring law, which can be extremely complex.

If you need representation, please contact us on 0116 262 8596 or crime@dodds-solicitors.co.uk