Special Reasons Arguments
If you have penalty points on your driving licence and have been found guilty, or you are being prosecuted for a further motoring offence the consequences can life changing.
Mander Cruickshank Solicitors advise and guide our clients each step of the way, all with our commitment to establishing the most favourable outcome possible.
There are occasions where you will be advised to plead guilty to an offence because there is no defence available to you but where we can ask Magistrates to find “Special Reasons” so as not to endorse your licence with penalty points or disqualify you from driving.
This argument is usually available where the offence is:
- Driving with excess alcohol
- Driving without insurance
The law states that a ‘Special Reason’ must:
• Be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
• Not amount in law to a defence to the charge;
• Be directly connected to the commission of the offence; and
• Be one which the Court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing sentence.
So how can Special Reasons be upheld?
An example of a no insurance case is that a parent or partner;
- Takes out a policy of insurance for a child or partner doing so on their own with the other person having no involvement in the process
- Premiums are paid from a bank account accessible only by the person who took out the policy
- A payment is missed without the account holder realising or the driver knowing – this has to be explained and the oversight has to be reasonable
- The child or partner is then stopped by the Police for driving without a policy of insurance in force when totally unaware that was the case
Driving without insurance is what is known as a “strict liability offence” which means that you either have insurance or you do not. In the above example the person driving the car would have to plead guilty but could argue Special Reasons so as to avoid having 6-8 points endorsed on their licence. This is especially important where the driver is still a probationary driver – not having driven for 2 years since passing their test as 6 points within this two year period means their licence will be revoked.
The person responsible for the missed payment and the driver would have to give evidence at Court.
Driving with excess alcohol
There are additional requirements here if Special Reasons are to be upheld;
- The distance driven needs to be short;
- There has to be no intention of driving further.
Magistrates will also look at;
- The condition of the vehicle;
- The manner in which it was driven;
- The risk to other road users or pedestrians.
What happens next?
With our vast experience in dealing with ‘Special Reasons’ arguments, we understand the situations that can lead to a successful outcome for you.
Mander Cruickshank Solictors will guide you through the legal process step by step and ensure that your case is prepared thoroughly for the ‘special reasons’ hearing.
The onus is upon you to establish that there are ‘special reasons’. We will attend Court with you and present the most forceful representations on your behalf based on all relevant case law to support your case.
Remember, by seeking legal advice from the outset we can help ensure that any complex legal arguments favourable to you are explored and put forward.