Exceptional Hardship | Woollcombe Yonge
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Woollcombe Yonge
Jan Santillo

Jan Santillo

Exceptional Hardship

“Exceptional Hardship” is an argument used solely to persuade a Court against imposing a “totting up” ban due to the exceptional hardship this could cause to the offender or those reliant on the offender’s ability to drive.
A “totting up” disqualification is imposed if a motorist accrues 12 or more points in a 3 year period. The starting point for a ban would be 6 months unless an offender has also had a ban of 56 days or more within the 3 year period in which case, the length of time of the road, doubles to 1 year. Woollcombe Yonge Solicitors have argued exceptional hardship successfully in all manner of cases over the years.

For many drivers who drive above average miles per year, there is an added complication in a case where there may be two or more allegations that crystallise around the same time. The reason this complicates matters is because you are only permitted to raise exceptional hardship argument relating to the same set of facts on one occasion. Therefore for example, you can’t go to court in Plymouth Magistrates’ Court and argue exceptional hardship on one day and then use the same arguments a week later in Truro Magistrates’ Court for another minor speeding case even if the offences were committed on the same day.

When faced with this situation, we endeavour to have a number of allegations joined together and heard at the same time and in the same court. This might seem to be quite a simple objective. However, the bureaucracy in having cases that have been commenced by different police constabularies being joined and heard together can be difficult. When we are instructed in these multiple offence cases, we make it a priority to persuade the courts concerned to adopt a fair and sensible approach.

When we are preparing for an exceptional hardship argument, we like to gather as much information and evidence as possible in support of our mitigation presentation.

We often find clients are concerned that their arguments are not likely to be considered exceptional but when we are able to delve into the detail, we are usually able to overcome these concerns. In addition to preparing a case for the best possible outcome, we see our role as guiding clients through the process. Many of our clients have never had any dealings with the criminal justice system and this in itself can be the source of significant anxiety. Once we explain the process this anxiety reduces and of course, we are there at court with you every step of the way.

You can speak with a qualified solicitor in our criminal department on 01752 827941, to discuss your options in more detail.

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