In a small number of cases, those who are facing penalty points or disqualification may be entitled to argue that “special reasons” existed in relation to the offence. If you are looking for some legal help with this then we are here to listen and advise you — contact us now!
We have successfully argued special reasons on behalf of many clients. It is a very technical defence to raise, so please do get in touch with us as soon as you receive a summons in the post so that we can assess whether it might apply to you.
You, as the driver facing disqualification, must prove on the balance of probabilities that special reasons existed for why you drove in the manner you did. Your special reasons must be supported by evidence. You must inform the prosecution in advance that you will argue special reasons.
A special reason is a reason special to the facts of a particular case. It must: a) be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance; b) not amount in law to a defence to the charge; c) be directly connected with the commission of the offence; and d) be one which the court ought properly to take into consideration when imposing sentence. Special reasons cannot be found if there was any danger to the public.
Circumstances which can amount to special reasons include:
When only a short distance was driven and other road users wouldn’t be brought into contact; you unintentionally committed the offence or were misled into committing it; your breath sample included regurgitated alcohol which affected the readings; you committed the offence whilst coping with a true emergency.
Factors which will not amount to special reasons include:
You have a good driving record and are of good character; your family or employees will suffer hardship, however severe; you are a doctor; you have an employment of benefit to the public for which a licence is important/vital; the offence you committed was trivial.
Once the court finds that special reasons exist, it does not mean it is then bound to not disqualify or endorse your licence with penalty points. The court will only exercise its discretion in appropriate circumstances.
The comments above are general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of the law or procedure. Expert advice should always be sought on this area. We have not attempted to cover all the obligations or legal requirements that may arise.