[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When a motorist accumulates 12 penalty points or more within a 3-year period they become what is known as “a totter” and court may disqualify them from driving for 6 months. The effect of totting can be significant to many motorists due to the length of the disqualification, but we are hugely successful at helping our clients avoid a ban entirely
The law that governs these provisions is the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and this Act also enables us to avoid lengthy disqualifications on a regular basis.
“Totting up” is not specific to a certain type of offence and in most cases, the offence that caused you to “tot” is not as relevant as the number of points on your licence. Penalty points can be accumulated quickly and from numerous offences such as speeding, using a mobile telephone, driving without insurance and running a red light (to name some of the more common).
To be banned under these provisions is one of the most damaging endorsements on a motorist’s licence as the conviction code you receive (a TT99) is extremely damaging when it comes to purchasing insurance. It is not uncommon for the TT99 code to result in premiums being higher than those you could expect following drink driving conviction.
The only benefit that results from this type of disqualification is that it also has the effect of wiping your licence clean of any points meaning you can start afresh once you are able to drive again.
Motoring Defence Solicitors Can Help Save your Driving Licence
We have extensive experience representing motorists who tot up and the necessary knowledge to prepare an argument that can often result in the licence being saved.
We have an outstanding record of success in this area and would urge you to contact us to see if we can help you secure on of the following outcomes:
- Avoiding a disqualification entirely
- Securing a short-term disqualification; or
- In some circumstances we can secure a short-term ban and have your licence cleared of all points!
The key in any case is extensive preparation. A poorly prepared case will almost never achieve the desired result and we take pride in the level of detail we prepare all our cases, and this is what helps us maintain a fantastic record of avoiding disqualifications.
The case must be strong enough to persuade the court not to impose a disqualification and this is where many practitioners adopt the wrong approach.
The court must be persuaded that if you are banned from driving for 6 months you would experience “exceptional hardship”.
Whilst a ban may cost you your job, the court attaches more weight to the hardship caused to those other than yourself (innocent third parties) so the risk of unemployment is not always enough to secure a successful outcome (although we have been able to do just that on many occasions and some courts are more sympathetic than others,
If you are facing a totting up disqualification, then we can help you and provide free advice. We can discuss your case, ascertain whether you have a good chance of success and then you can decide how you would like to proceed.
The clear majority of our clients are able to drive away from court!
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Instructing Motoring Defence Solicitors will ensure that you case is meticulously prepared to present the strongest argument for you in court. Knowledge of the legislation is crucial in forming an argument that convinces the court to exercise its discretion and impose an alternative penalty to the disqualification.
We will initially take a comprehensive statement from you which usually takes between 60 – 90 minutes. Our goal is to gather as much information as we can and find out more about your personal circumstances. This will help us identify mitigating factors within your circumstances that can assist our argument.
Many of our clients are initially unsure as to whether their circumstances will be strong enough to amount to exceptional hardship. until we take this statement. This is where we truly excel beyond our competitors as we explore every avenue that could help us strengthen your argument at court as opposed to obtaining a brief overview. Clients are often surprised during this process at how far reaching the consequences of their ban are this is exactly what the court needs to know. The court will try to find reasons not to find hardship and we need to be able to be able to respond appropriately and persuasively.
Having identified the mitigating circumstances that are relevant we can then provide you with advice on supporting evidence to help strengthen these points in court. This will often include collating character references, bank statements etc.
Selecting a suitable barrister is also crucial to the success of your case. It is important to remember that regardless of how strong you think your mitigating circumstances are, you are appearing in court because you have likely committed several offences within a relatively short space of time. We have worked closely with road traffic barristers for over 10 years and there is a small pool that we instruct on a regular basis to deal with this type of case. We will select a barrister we feel will have the best chance of persuading the court to achieve the best outcome.
Other Sentencing Options
Exceptional Hardship is the most widely known method of avoiding a disqualification however in our view; this should only ever be used as a last resort. Hardship arguments can only be used once in any three-year period so if you are successful you will have to be extremely careful over the following three years. Any further offence for which you can receive penalty points will land you back in court and make it much more difficult to obtain a good result.
There are many criminal lawyers who do not realise that there are other ways to deal with a “totting up” case and there is specific case law we regularly use to persuade the court to consider other options for sentencing.
There are usually several options available to somebody in a “totting” position and it is important that you discuss your case with us as soon as possible.
If you are facing a six-month disqualification due to “totting” then please contact us for free advice.
We offer representation on a guilty plea basis at £2000 + VAT which includes:
- Untimed and unlimited consultations with your lawyers for advice and support;
- Meticulously prepared mitigation;
- A specialist Barrister/advocate
- Thorough advice on supporting evidence to assist mitigation
- Thorough advice on court procedure and what you can expect on your day in court