Qualifying for Special Reasons
Special reasons not to disqualify from driving or endorse driving licences with penalty points
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“Special Reasons” are a provision that can apply to almost any case and can have a huge impact on the penalty a motorist receives.
They are most relevant in cases where the court must impose
a disqualification from driving and where there is no defence available. If
Special Reasons are found, it means that the motorist may still be allowed to drive despite being convicted of an offence like drink or drug driving.
Special Reasons should not be confused with having a defence (where the court would find you not guilty” or exceptional hardship (which is only relevant when a motorist accrues 12 points or more).
A “Special Reason” for committing the offence must meet the following criteria:
- The reason must be mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
- It must not amount to a defence;
- It must be directly connected to the commission of the offence, and
- The reason must be one that the court ought properly to consider when imposing punishment.
If the court accepts your reason it will allow them to impose a penalty other than what the guidelines suggest so even though drink driving carries a mandatory disqualification, the existence of a special reason may allow you to avoid that outcome.
Whilst the acceptance of a special reason can certainly have a positive outcome you must remember that you do still receive a conviction on your record and this may be as equally detrimental as a disqualification to many motorists within certain professions.
Special reasons arguments are notoriously difficult to run due to the high standard the court applies when hearing them. The court must be firm to prevent the provision possibly being abused.
The court would usually look at whether there was any option available to you at the time that would not mean you commit an offence. For example, in situations claimed to be a “genuine emergency”, the court will expect satisfactory answers to the following points:
- Why an ambulance or the police were not called
- Why someone else could not have driven
- Would have waiting for someone else resulted in a more severe emergency?
Other common examples of special reasons are spiked drinks or the shortness of distance driven but the court will adopt a similar approach to any argument of this nature to ensure that the “special reason” is genuine.
If you think that special reasons apply to your case, then please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the options available to you.
We want to ensure you are comfortable and fully informed before you make any commitment about your case.
We offer expert and specialist representation without a celebrity price tag as we understand that most motorists who are dependent upon their licence do not benefit from unlimited funds and justice should be accessible to all.