“Special Reasons” Arguments

In any motoring case, the Court is entitled to consider whether there are special reasons not to disqualify a convicted driver or to endorse their licence with penalty points.

For a Court to find special reasons, the following must apply:

  • The reason must be a mitigating circumstance of the offence,
  • The reason must not be a legal defence to the allegation,
  • The reason must be directly related to the actual offence
  • The reason must be something that the Court should properly consider when deciding the appropriate punishment.

This means that any personal circumstance of the offender can not be considered in a special reasons argument. Those issues may be suitable for consideration under the Exceptional Hardship procedure instead.

The Court applies a high threshold when considering special reasons arguments, particularly when the offence involved relates to drink driving. However, cases involving defendants driving in genuine emergencies, or after consuming spiked drinks have been accepted as special reasons not to disqualify a driver.

It is important to understand that even if a special reasons argument is accepted by the Court, the defendant is still convicted of the offence. This may still cause significant hardship, such as increased insurance premiums.

If you are facing a Court appearance for a driving offence, and need further information about whether you may be able to argue that there are special reasons in your case, contact us and we can recommend a suitable motoring specialist to advise you.

Unfortunately due to the Legal Aid system, it is very difficult to secure public funding (legal aid) for a special reasons argument. This is because the Legal Aid Agency do not accept that a technical argument and explanation of evidence justifies public expense. However, we can discuss competitive private rates or fixed fees for these cases by using either a solicitor or a direct access barrister.

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