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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70526
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I've just received conditional offer offence - 84mph on a

Customer Question

I've just received conditional offer for speeding offence - 84mph on a (just finished/new) dual carriageway (70mph). I currently have 9 points (Totting offences) and have been on a speed awareness course before, but cannot remember when? Am I still eligible to go on another course ... and how can I find out the date of the previous one that I attended?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Was it within the last three years?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know (forgotten)! That's why I asked, "how can I find out the date of the previous one that I attended?"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Surely there must be a way I can find out when I last attended the speed awareness course?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, they will have a record but they won't reveal it to you for DPA reasons.

Also, it doesn't really matter here because you are not suitable for the awareness course as you have nine points. They wouldn't normally offer the course unless you had no points or no more than three.

Otherwise it would frustrate the will of Parliament which I'm afraid was that people who acquire twelve points face the totting up procedures.

Sorry if that is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I use my car for work, plus driving down (from Norfolk to Sussex) to see my children, every month (as I'm a divorced father). Does it look like I will lose my license? Or are there any mitigating circumstances here?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My first 3 totting points were awarded on 19 Oct 2013 (expiring 19 Oct 2016).
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It doesn't matter when they will expire. The issue is the date of offence not the date of conviction or sentence.

Can you travel to work by public transport?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I live out in a rural region of Norfolk and have to drive to the nearest train station. Apart from that I have to drive my own car for work, at least once a week.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What about cabs?

Or buses? There are bus services in Norfolk.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Date of offence was 7th May 2016. Cannot afford a taxi to/from home every day. Bus service not reliable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not like living in a town, or city. The bus service in rural Norfolk villages is VERY unreliable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I work as an Estate Agent and my job is driving to show houses to people all around the city & county. If I lose my license it will put my job in jeopardy!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

That is not likely to amount to exceptional hardship I'm afraid.

This clearly does amount to inconvenience but not exceptional hardship.

Plain fact remains that there are taxi services and bus services but you find it cheaper and more relaible to drive. That is not exceptional hardship.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You could try to argue that the need to meet buyers at houses amounts to exceptional hardship but you will have to show it is not possible for you to do it by other means.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
does that mean I am likely to lose my license, up to 19th October 2016 (when my 1st totting points expire)?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No. It will run from the date of the court hearing and probably be for six months I'm afraid.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it better for me to try to attend court & plead that I have to use my car for work. Would I need a letter from my work backing this up?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You will probably need to show more than that.

You need to show that it is completely impossible for you to do your job without driving. That is hard to do but is possible.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
With your experience, is it an open & shut case, that I will receive a driving ban? After this are ALL my other points erased?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You are not describing exceptional hardship so far. It might be that you have other grounds to raise that but you are not describing it here.

The erasure is a non issue. The date of offence is the issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As previously stated, "My first 3 totting points were awarded on 19 Oct 2013 (expiring 19 Oct 2016)". Date of this offence was 7th May 2016.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, so they are active then?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
3 points received 19 Oct 2013
3 points received 9 Mar 2014
3 points received 23 May 2015
This offence: 7 May 2016
With your experience, is it an open & shut case, that I will receive a driving ban? After this are ALL other points erased?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

You are not describing exceptional hardship so far. It might be that you have other grounds to raise that but you are not describing it here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hardship only my work and regular paternal contact with my 2 children. Probably not enough, in the eyes of the law?!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

That is not likely to amount to exceptional hardship I'm afraid.

This clearly does amount to inconvenience but not exceptional hardship

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
a 6 month driving ban? If it's so cut & dried, is it worth me attending court, or not?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, it depends whether you have other evidence that would amount to exceptional hardship.

I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have you any other suggestions for 'exceptional hardship'? I have no other relatives apart from my 2 children (350 miles round-trip (and a sister in South Africa)!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On the day that I received my last totting points I was running late; travelling to see my 2 children (350 miles round-trip)!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

The issue isn't whether or not you need your car. Clearly you do. Everybody needs cars.

The issue is whether you would suffer exceptional hardship which is not the same as inconvenience.

You have to show that you cannot travel to these engagements by public transport or taxis. Taxis can be rejected if you can show they are very expensive and would mean there is no point in working. Public transport is harder.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am on a low basic salary (+ commission) but can show that I barely receive enough each month, so a taxi twice a day, 5 days per week would be inconceivable! Guesstimated cost = approx £50 per week / £200 per month!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Taxis are usually not economical. If they would cost more than you would earn at work then Magistrates will usually reject that suggestion.

That still leaves buses and trains though.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Impossible to do my job - showing houses to prospective purchasers by bus or train!
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Why?

You have the burden of proof. You have to show why it can't be done.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cannot be done as usually have approx 10-15 properties per day to be viewed - all over
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

It is not that simple. You will have to prove it can't be done.

Probably by reference to the diary for the last few months and bus and train timetables.

Also, you will need to show the properties are diverse enough apart to make something like a pedal cycle impossible.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK - easy enough to do that, as average 75+ miles travelled per day. Would this help to prove necessity, or would they just say "well someone else in your office could do it"?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, they could say that. You would need to show why you have to do the showings.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. Thanks for your time, answers ... and patience.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No problem.

All the best.