Reaching 12 or More Penalty Points and Exceptional Hardship Hearings

Specialist Motoring Offences Solicitor with over 35 years’ expertise in this area. Let me help you.

Paul Donnachie, Motoring Offences Solicitor

Paul Donnachie, Solicitor

If you accumulate 12 or more penalty points on your driving licence, it will result in an automatic disqualification. However, it may be possible to avoid this by pleading ‘exceptional hardship’. This means that losing your licence, even for a temporary period, will have a detrimental impact on those around you.

We act on behalf of people who have been charged with road traffic offences in Scotland and have successfully represented a number of clients at exceptional hardship hearings. To find out more about how we can help you, please call us now on Freephone 0800 678 5167 or make a Free Without Obligation Initial Enquiry today and let us explain your options.

“Although we live in the Highlands we had a minor motoring incident in Edinburgh and were subsequently , and in our view unfairly ,charged with two offences of which we were convinced we were innocent. We did not want to go to an Edinburgh solicitor because of the inconvenience of consultations in Edinburgh and the expense and Donnachie Law was recommended to us by our own solicitor in Edinburgh ,who did not do Road Traffic cases.

Despite the frustrations of dealing with our insurers (Saga) and the incompetence of the Procurator Fiscal service Paul Donnachie gave us an admirable service. He rigorously tested our arguments and did his best to guide us through the unfamiliar world of court procedures and give us confidence in presenting our case. When it finally came to trial almost a year after the alleged incident he spotted a procedural defect in the Crown case and secured a Not Guilty verdict on both counts without us having to give evidence. We could not have asked for better support or a better outcome.

Totting-up and driving bans

When you are convicted of a road traffic offence, you will typically have penalty points added to your licence. If you accrue 12 or more penalty points within a three-year period, you will automatically be disqualified from driving for at least six months. This is known as a ‘totting-up’ ban.

What does exceptional hardship mean?

Being banned from driving will undoubtedly be a nuisance for you, but there are times when it actually causes other people to suffer too. This could be anyone who relies on you having a licence, such as your family, your employees or other members of the community.

For example, elderly or infirm family members or friends might count on you to take them to and from medical appointments. Or a driving ban could jeopardise your business, meaning your employees could potentially lose their jobs.

There are many more examples, but what underpins all exceptional hardship cases is that a driving ban is more than an inconvenience – rather, it will lead to severe hardship for people other than yourself.

Exceptional hardship hearings

If you are concerned about the impact a driving ban could have, you need to investigate whether you can argue a case of exceptional hardship. At Donnachie Law we have a great deal of experience in defending road traffic offences and can advise you further.

If there is scope for an exceptional hardship argument, it will be necessary to prepare and present your case at a court hearing. You can represent yourself, although it is beneficial to have a lawyer act on your behalf. That way the burden will be removed from your shoulders and you can rely on the knowledge and expertise of your solicitor.

If the court finds in your favour, it may decide not to disqualify you. This will surely be a huge relief, both to you and those who rely on you.

How can we help?

We understand just how frightening it can be to have your licence taken away, even for a short period of time. Serious financial and emotional difficulties can result from being disqualified. Your livelihood may be at stake, your loved ones may suffer harm, and the employment of others may even be put at risk.

At Donnachie Law we can help you explore the options available. We have a strong track record at exceptional hardship hearings and have represented many people who have accrued 12 or more penalty points. This includes one man who would no longer have been able to provide swimming lessons if he lost his licence, and so was permitted to continue driving on the basis that the wider community would have suffered hardship given the shortage of people with his skills.

If we feel we cannot assist you, we will let you know at the start. If we believe, however, that you have a good case, we will act on your behalf, working hard to preserve your licence.

Contact us now

If you are facing a driving disqualification and would like to speak to a lawyer, please contact us now on Freephone 0800 678 5167 or make a Free No Obligation Initial Enquiry.

    Make a no obligation enquiry

    Why Choose Us?

    • Bringing over 35 years’ experience to help you
    • Specialist Court Solicitor
    • Featured in Scots Law Times

    What Clients Say

    Ask A Question