Careless Driving

Case Study: Mobile Phone Usage– Exceptional Hardship

This Case Took Place at Preston Magistrates Court

To keep our client’s identity confidential, they will be referred to as ‘’ George’’ for this case study.

George came to us after being charged with driving whilst using a mobile phone. George advised us whilst driving to his next job his phone had fallen off its stand(on his dashboard)onto his lap, and he had picked it up to view the map he was following .

Unfortunately, at the same time, a police officer drove past George’s vehicle and saw him using his mobile device and he was subsequently charged with the offence.

George went on to disclose to us that he already held a 6 point endorsement on his licence. We explained to George that as driving whilst using a mobile device carries a further six point endorsement, he was at high risk of a driving disqualification under totting up procedures. However, as George had not presented exceptional hardship in the last three years, we could present his case before the court, to persuade the judge/s to allow him to retain his licence on 12 points.

In order to present exceptional hardship successfully, it’s important to establish the ‘exceptional’ element within the Defendants circumstances. After an in-depth discussion with George about his personal circumstances, he explained to us he was a self-employed driver and without his licence he would lose his employment. George also explained that he was the sole earner in his household and was a carer for his wife, who was severely disabled.

To prepare for Georges hearing we wrote up and in-depth case of mitigation after consulting with him on multiple occasions. This mitigation would make up Georges exceptional hardship case. We also obtained supporting documents to reinforce the argument of exceptional hardship we were making. This included :

  1. Supporting Statements from Georges customers, speaking to his usual conduct when driving his vehicle and emphasising how he is generally a very safe road user.
  2. Character References from George’s friends’ family stating George is a safe road user generally and speaking to his good character.
  3. Documentation outing his wife’s disability, such as doctor’s notes, medication etc – to show the severity of her condition.

    We then provided George’s barrister with in-depth instructions. We instructed a barrister for George’s case whom we have instructed previously on multiple exceptional hardship cases and always gets great results.

    After attending George’s hearing and presenting all the evidence we had accumulated – we successfully presented exceptional hardship!
    The court found exceptional hardship based on submission of the following aspects:
  1. George could not retain his employment without his licence
  2. If George were to lose his licence, this would bear a severe financial impact on him and his partner.
  3. George’s partner’s heath condition and the severe impact on her should the couple’s income be lost and George no longer be able to care for her.

    If George were to find himself in this position again he would have to wait 3 years to rely on the same circumstances for exceptional hardship. George was also given a very minimal fine of £310 (including prosecution costs and victim surcharge).

Overall, this was a brilliant result and George was very happy leaving the following feedback –

‘Cannot speak highly enough of SOYS Laura and her colleagues gave me exceptional service all the way to court conclusion first class’

This case is a good example of how quickly you can be at risk of disqualification for seemingly minor offences. If you find your send in the same position as George, please call one of our motoring experts on 0330 912 2124.

Latest Articles

Our 4 steps to success


Make an initial enquiry

Give us a call or request a call back. We'll listen to your case and provide no-obligation advice.


Your case is accepted

Should we advise your case is worth pursuing, and you choose our services, we will begin case preparation.


We'll work on your case

With your co-operation, we'll work on your case through to completion. You may be required to provide extra evidence.


Successful Outcome

As your Solicitors, we can ensure that your case has the best possible outcome given the circumstances around it.