Driving Licence Offences

DRIVING NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH A LICENCE

Depending on the circumstances in which this offence is committed, a convicted driver can expect to receive 3 – 6 penalty points or a discretionary disqualification.

This offence can be committed in a variety of ways. On the one hand, there is the endorsable offence (this will attract penalty points). This is committed when a person drives a vehicle for which they do not hold a licence, or they drive in conditions which are not permitted by the terms of their licence. Examples include a learner driver with a provisional licence who drives without supervision or displaying ‘L’ plates; or driving a manual car when you only hold a licence to drive an automatic.

Another way of committing this offence would include if the DVLA have revoked or suspended your entitlement to drive. This can occasionally happen if the DVLA request your licence (for endorsement) and you do not return it. Many clients find that they were unaware of the revocation or suspension and will continue to drive without realising that they are no longer entitled to do so. This version of the offence is non-endorsable, which means that you will not receive penalty points, but you will still be liable for a financial penalty.

DRIVING WHILST DISQUALIFIED

This is far more serious road traffic offence than the issues discussed above. If a driver has been disqualified in Court and continues to drive, or drives before the ban has expired and their licence has been reinstated, there will be severe consequences. This offence carries 6 penalty points, or a disqualification, a substantial fine or a custodial sentence (particularly for repeat offenders).

This offence attracts a particularly harsh penalty because it is seen as a sign of disrespect for the authority of the Court if a driver continues to drive, having been ordered not to do so.

If you have been stopped for driving whilst disqualified contact our team of motoring offence solicitors as soon as possible. We will take your instructions and give you advice on the best way forward.

APPLICATION TO REMOVE A BAN EARLY

When a defendant has received a lengthy driving disqualification it is possible to ask the Court to consider lifting the ban early, in accordance with S42 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988. This is not a simple request and thorough preparation should go into the application.

In order for the Court to consider an application under this section the defendant must:

➢ Have served at least 2 years of a 3-year disqualification; or
➢ Have served at least half of a disqualification of between 4 – 10 years; or
➢ Have served 5 years of a disqualification of any length.

In order to make the application it is necessary to write to the Court that imposed the original sentence and request that it be listed for consideration. The Court will then set a hearing date, which you will need to attend. Some Courts will charge a fee for this.

The application is quite difficult to make, as the Court are being asked to deviate from the punishment which was clearly considered appropriate at the time of sentence. The Magistrates’ will want to be satisfied that such a request has merit, and also that the defendant no longer poses a risk and will comply with the law. This is particularly important when you consider that lengthy disqualifications of over 3 years are reserved for very serious offences.

At the hearing the Court will decide on whether or not to lift the ban early, taking into account the following factors;

➢ The nature of the original offence, including any aggravating or mitigating factors;
➢ Your conduct since the disqualification was imposed; and
➢ Any other information that is considered relevant – such as those around you who are being affected by the ban or a change in your circumstances, which now places a greater importance on your ability to drive.

At the hearing the Court will either grant or reject the application. A further application can be made, however 3 months must pass before it can be re-lodged. We recommend contacting our team of motoring defence lawyers if you wish to make an application. Our legal team can ensure that the most carefully prepared application is presented at the first available opportunity.

  • We are specialist motoring defence solicitors, based in Plymouth in the South West. We provide expert legal advice and representation to clients both across Devon and Cornwall and nationally. Contact a member of our motoring legal team for an initial discussion about any road traffic matter.**