Case Study: Speeding – Exceptional Hardship Granted 

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

Jack came to us following being charged with speeding, namely driving 59mph in a 30mph zone. As Jack already had 9 points on his licence he was at high risk of disqualification, under totting up procedures. 

As per the Magistrates Sentencing Guidelines, as Jack was driving in excess of 51mph he found himself in the highest sentencing band which covers ‘excessive speeding’. The Sentencing Guidelines suggest a six point endorsement for this band. A discretionary driving disqualification is also offered of between 7-56 days, but the decision of whether to allow this rests with the judge. Some of clients prefer the option of a ‘short sharp’ discretionary ban, whereas some are concerned of the affect this can have on their insurance. If you are unsure which is the best option for you, speak to your solicitor for legal advice owning to your personal position. 

In Jack’s case the short sharp ban was of no benefit to him as he was employed as a HGV driver and could not afford to take anytime off work in the current climate. Therefore, we proceeded with preparing for an exceptional hardship argument. 

To prepare for this we gathered in depth mitigation from the client in respect of his personal situation; such as employment details, income/outgoings, individuals who were dependant on him and his living situation. This is a critical step in preparing for exceptional hardship, to ensure no details that may be of use to the case are missed. 

After reviewing Jacks mitigation, we then determined which elements (if not all) would be beneficial to use. We then talk through the importance of supporting statements and Character References to strengthen his exceptional hardship. 

At Jack’s hearing his barrister presented his exceptional hardship argument with emphasis to the following aspects

  • His Job requires a driving licence and he has no savings to depend on, should he be disqualified 
  • His Partner is currently on maternity leave, so is the sole earner supporting the entire family 
  • He would be at risk of running up substantial debt and would struggle find another job within his employment field. 

As Jack’s exceptional hardship was presented with supporting statements, the court successfully found exceptional hardship. This meant Jack was endorsed with six-point but was still able to retain his licence. 

Jack was extremely happy with the result and noted having this matter dealt with took a way a great deal of stress for his family. If you have found yourself in a similar situation to Jack, please give us a call.  

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