HOW TO AVOID GETTING POINTS ON YOUR LICENCE
There are a number of approaches that can be taken to try to avoid getting penalty points on your driving licence, here are some of them –
SHORT BAN AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO POINTS
In some circumstances you can ask the court to impose a short disqualification (14 days for example) instead of endorsing your licence with penalty points.
There are many reasons why someone may prefer to have a short ban instead of points. For example, it may be worth doing if you already have points on your licence and want to avoid a minimum 6 month ban under the ‘totting up’ provisions (see the bottom of this page for an explanation of the term ‘totting up’) or perhaps you simply don’t like the thought of having points on your licence.
Asking the court to impose a short ban instead of points is also one of the few ways to avoid having your driving licence revoked. If you think you might be caught by the New Driver Provisions then have a look at the NEW DRIVERS (LICENCE REVOCATION) page.
It is not always easy to avoid points by asking for a short disqualification and you would be well advised to get a specialist road traffic solicitor to represent you, to increase your chances of getting what you want.
The court has sentencing guidelines that they should use to decide whether to give you points or a ban instead and a good road traffic solicitor will refer to those guidelines when trying to persuade the court that it would be appropriate in the circumstances of your case to impose a short ban rather than points. The court is unlikely to impose a short ban simply because it would be convenient to you, which is why it is vital to identify other relevant reasons as to why a short ban should be imposed in light of the particular circumstances of your case.
For example, if you had pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance part of your argument could be that the new driver provisions were not intended to punish new drivers who may commit document offences but instead were designed to make the UK’s roads safer by removing full licence entitlement from those new drivers who have driven too fast or perhaps driven without due care and attention. The court may then be persuaded that imposing the minimum 6 points for no insurance and the consequential licence revocation would be unjust and therefore agree to impose a short ban as an alternative to points. Arguments such as this can be tricky to present and they need to be worded very carefully if you want to succeed in your objective to avoid points.
The courts are not supposed to impose a short ban instead of points if the reason is simply to enable a driver to avoid having their licence revoked under the New Driver Provisions and recent changes to the sentencing guidelines have reinforced this point. However, there are circumstances when the courts will agree that a straight forward disqualification is more appropriate than imposing points. For example, if the court can be persuaded that there are particular features of an offence that warrant the imposition of an immediate short disqualification.
SPECIAL REASONS ARGUMENT
The court is entitled to choose not to impose points that would otherwise be applicable to an offence, if the court is persuaded that there is a special reason not to impose points. A special reason is a particular feature of an offence that does not amount to a defence and is to do with the circumstances of the offence rather than the circumstances of the offender. For example, if your insurance policy was cancelled through no fault of your own and without your knowledge, you would still be guilty of using a vehicle without insurance but you could argue that the circumstances of the policy cancellation amount to a special reason not to impose the minimum 6 points that this offence attracts. A special reasons argument can also be used to persuade a court not to impose an obligatory disqualification or to impose a shorter disqualification.
It is not easy to determine what might amount to a special reason and so if you think you might be able to avoid points by arguing special reasons, you would be well advised to take advice from a specialist road traffic solicitor.
See SPECIAL REASONS for more information on this subject.
DRIVER’S EDUCATIONAL COURSES
Depending on your circumstances and the circumstances of the offence it is sometimes possible for a good road traffic solicitor to persuade the prosecuting authority to allow a defendant to complete one of the driver’s educational course that are available, even if the case is already before the court.
Examples of the education courses that can be used as an alternative to prosecution include, the Speed Awareness Course, Traffic Light Awareness Course and the Driver Awareness Course. If you complete one of these courses then you don’t get prosecuted and so you avoid getting points on your licence.
THE APPEAL PROCESS
Everyone who is found guilty at a magistrates’ court has the automatic right to appeal against that conviction, you do not need grounds to appeal.
Everyone who is sentenced by a magistrates’ court has the automatic right to appeal against that sentence, again you do not need grounds to appeal
By successfully appealing to the crown court (or High Court) it is possible to avoid the points that the magistrates’ court have imposed, actually being placed on your licence. It is not easy to appeal against conviction and/or sentence and strict time limits apply, so if you are thinking of appealing you should urgently submit the details of your case via the FREE ADVICE SERVICE for free initial advice as to the chances of your appeal succeeding, or for more information on appeals have a look at BB Law’s APPEALS page.
Client feedback relating to avoiding points
This was quite a bad case of careless driving combined with a high level of excess speed. The client wanted to take a damage limitation approach and so we were quite pleased to resolve it in the way that we did.
“Hi Bobby. The level of service I received throughout was first class. Communication of case updates and speed of response to my queries was very good. Pleased with the level of the fine as it was lower than anticipated, and the points were what I expected due to your initial brief. I would highly recommend your services to anyone looking for representation.” – Mr P, T – Lichfield
This client represented himself at the magistrates’ court and was given a fine and 6 points for a No Insurance offence. He then represented himself on appeal to the Crown Court and his appeal was dismissed. He eventually contacted BB Law and we managed to persuade the Crown Court to rehear the appeal. Bobby Bell represented the client during this second appeal and persuaded the court to find Special Reasons not endorse the licence with any points and also persuaded the court to replace the fine with a Absolute Discharge. 50% of the client’s legal fees were refunded by the court.
“Dear Mr Bell. Although, as you aware that my native language is not the English, therefore I may not able to find the suitable words to describe the standard of the service which I have received from your respectable firm. But I can say that I have received a very high standard of service without any hassle this due to the fact that the firm is managing by a director like yourself which I can describe as: – a very Qualified, Honest, Honourable, Talented, Focused, Fair, Reasonable, Active, Bright, Ambitious, Expert, Confident and Cooperative young mature gentleman. I wish nothing but the best for you. Please accept my best regards.” – Mr T, E – London
“Dear Mr Bell. Many thanks and congratulations for your efforts so that I keep my driving licence. I must admit that being involved in the prosecution side in magistrates’ courts I was all out of my depth on receiving the summons and I was very relieved when you took it on despite the difficulty in communication, I having no computer and working through Peter, an old friend. As you realise I have come into contact with many solicitors and counsel, some good, some downright awful, your work was done with knowledge and interest and execution better than most in my thirty years of dealing with their work. I wish you every success in your business life. Thank you again.” – Mr A, B – Shrewsbury
“Hi Bobby. Thank you for dealing with my case so efficiently, I’m satisfied with the outcome. I appreciate the way you managed to respond to my (numerous) email enquiries promptly and kept me up to date on the process. I would certainly recommend you to other people in my position. Many thanks” – Mr A, S – Cardiff