Defences for Motoring Offences
If you are arrested or charged with any motoring offence contact us for advice and representation. We have a lot of experience in defending all types of motoring offences and we can help you to mount a strong defence against the charges where appropriate.
Is it possible to mount a defence against a motoring offence charge?
Depending on the type of offence, and the circumstances of the case, it may be appropriate to enter a plea of ‘not guilty’ to a charge. We will assess your case and tell you if this approach is suitable for you. Entering a plea of ‘not guilty’ will depend on whether a suitable defence is available.
In some cases we can defend your case on the basis of the Police not following the correct procedure.
Strict procedures exist which the Police must follow in dealing with someone at the roadside as well as at the Police station. These include giving you the correct information and administering things such as breathalyser tests in the correct manner.
Special reasons defence
A defence based on what is called ‘special reasons’ is effectively a plea of mitigating circumstances. This means that you are not denying that an offence was committed. In these cases you are asking for mitigating circumstances to be taken into account to reduce the penalty imposed by the Courts, or asking them not to impose a penalty at all.
‘Special reasons’ can apply to a number of offences such as speeding, driving without insurance and drink driving.
These criteria must exist in order to raise the defence of special reasons:
- It must be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
- It must not amount in law to a defence to the charge;
- It must be directly connected with the commission of the offence;
- The matter must be one that the Court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing punishment.
Examples of ‘special reasons’ are:
- Drinks being spiked
- An emergency situation such as driving someone to hospital while over the legal alcohol limit
- Speeding to rescue someone in danger
Exceptional hardship defence
In cases where you are facing a disqualification, either from a single offence or from ‘totting up’ of penalty points, it may be possible to plead to the Court on the basis that a ban would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to you or someone else. The Court may have the discretion to reduce the penalty from a disqualification to a lower penalty.
‘Exceptional hardship’ can only be used in extreme cases where the imposition of a ban would be so exceptional in nature that it would have a serious impact on innocent parties. For example:
- The defendant has a family member who has a health problem or disability and who relies on them for mobility
- An impact on employees who would be seriously affected by the defendant losing their license. For example if they were a business owner.
- If a driving ban would lead to a defendant losing their license and this would have a serious impact on an innocent party or parties. (Losing a job in itself would not normally qualify as exceptional hardship.)
The Courts accept that in most cases the imposition of a driving ban will cause hardship. A successful defence on the basis of ‘exceptional hardship’ will rely on showing that the consequences would be so extreme in nature that it goes beyond the intended penalty.
Contact us for advice and we will assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.