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Special Reasons

Special Reasons


Many motoring offences carry a mandatory disqualification as a penalty. This means the court’s hands are tied so far as sentencing is concerned as the law stipulates that they must impose a disqualification even if this means the loss of your job or other such hardship.


Unlike “Exceptional Hardship” which is an argument to persuade the Magistrates to impose a lesser penalty where someone is at risk of a “totting up” ban, “Special Reasons” have nothing to do with your personal circumstances.


Special reasons, if accepted, allows the court to depart from the usual sentencing guidelines. In drink driving cases for example, a special reasons argument could mean that you receive no disqualification at all.


Whilst this may sound like an enticing approach to your case it is important to remember that special reasons are NOT a defence. In order to run such an argument you must still plead guilty and you will still receive a conviction against your record.


Special reasons may apply to any offence but all must meet the following criteria:


  • The reason must be mitigating or extenuating circumstance;
  • It must not amount to a defence;
  • It must be directly connected to the commission of the offence, and
  • The reason must be one that the court ought to properly take into account when imposing punishment.


The most common argument used in special reasons is that of an emergency situation in which a motorist had no choice BUT to drive due to the emergency that had presented itself.


Special reasons arguments are notoriously difficult to run due to the high standard the court applies when hearing them. The court must adopt a strict stance to prevent all suspects from avoiding penalties by arguing special reasons.


As a result of this, the court would usually have to be satisfied that there was simply no other choice available to you other than to break the law. If you intend to argue that there was an emergency for example the court will expect satisfactory answers to the following points:


  • Why ambulance/police were not called?
  • Why someone else could not have driven?
  • Would have waiting for someone else resulted in a more severe emergency?


If you think that special reasons apply to your case then please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7923 4020 to discuss the options available to you.


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