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Archive for October, 2015

Why You Should Be Honest With Your Lawyer

solicitors for exceptional hardship


Why You Should Be Honest With Your Lawyer


We have today represented Mike who appeared before Derby Magistrates Court following an application to re-open his case. 


In our initial consultation, Mike informed us that he had mistakenly attended a hearing one day late for failing to notify driver’s details and had been convicted in his absence. Having already received 9 points on his licence through previous motoring offences, this additional offence meant that he would receive a further 6 points meaning that he would be disqualified under the “totting provisions.”


If a driver reaches 12 points or more in a 3 year period, the Court guidelines are that an automatic disqualification of 6 months should be imposed.  This ban can be avoided if you can successfully argue an Exceptional Hardship application.  However, you cannot put forward a second Exceptional Hardship argument using the same grounds within a 3 year period. 


Mike was advised by the court to apply to re-open this matter which he did. It was at this stage that he contacted us to represent him and make an Exceptional Hardship application in order that he be allowed to keep his licence. 


We received a court date for him to re-open his case and fully prepared his case for an Exceptional Hardship application. One of our most trusted Barristers attended to conduct the hearing on the day and, while we can never guarantee the outcome of a case as the decision rests with the court, we were confident that Mike had a strong case and would win his application. 


The hearing was brought on in court and the application was made. The Barrister felt that the Magistrates were on the brink of allowing the application before they retired to consider their decision. It was at this time that the Legal Advisor made further enquiries and it was discovered that Mike had previously ran an Exceptional Hardship Application in March 2015 which had been successful.


This meant that he could not put forward another Exceptional Hardship argument using the same reasons within 3 years. His application was, therefore, disallowed and he was disqualified from driving and ordered to pay a financial penalty. 


Here at Forrest Williams we conduct numerous successful Exceptional Hardship applications and will always put forward the strongest application possible for you following weeks of preparation. However, we can only work with the information which you provide to us. Unfortunately, despite being asked extensive questions about his driving record, Mike chose not to tell us about his previous Exceptional Hardship application.


If he had told us in his initial consultation that an Exceptional Hardship Argument had already been put forward and allowed by the court within the last 3 years, we would have either been able to save him the unnecessary expenditure of both time and money, or built a case focused on grounds that he had not used in the previous application.


This case highlights how important it is to be honest with your lawyers.  We are on your side, and we can only assist you if you are open with us.


If you are looking for a specialist and passionate legal team who will fight for your best interests, call us now on 01623 397200.


Early Return of Driving Licence

Julia Coffin




We get a lot of calls about the early return of driving licences following disqualification for driving offences.


If you have been disqualified for 3 or more years then you can apply to the court for your driving licence to be returned to you before the end of the disqualification period, after 2 years or half the ban period has elapsed. So for example, if you were disqualified for 2 years you would not be able to apply to have it returned early, for a 3 or 4 year ban you could apply after 2 years, a 5 year ban would be after 2.5 years and so on. 


There seems to be a common misconception that it is an automatic right to have your licence returned early.  This is absolutely not the case, it is an in-depth application made to the court and you are effectively asking them to go against an earlier decision to disqualify you for a set period, so you have to have very compelling reasons to ask them to consider this. It is far from a tick box exercise and certainly not all applications are granted. 


The Police are informed about an intention to make such an application and do have the right to attend court and object to this. 


The Court will want to hear very specific reasons why you would like your driving licence back – simply saying “I just want to be able to drive again” or “I don’t like having to get the bus to work” just aren’t good enough and would not make a strong application. 


Recently we had a client make an application on the grounds that he had been offered an expansion of his role to include driving duties for the firm he was working for, which clearly meant he needed to have his licence to accept the role. If he couldn’t drive the boss would have no alternative but to employ a driver meaning he would lose his job. His other main reason was that his elderly mother was in a care home with a degenerative and terminal illness and he would be able to see her much more regularly, and at short notice should something happen to her during the night. 


They were the strong points of his application. 


The weaknesses in his application were that he had been disqualified from driving three times previously, all within the past ten years. Twice for drink driving and once for driving whilst disqualified during his most recent disqualification, a very serious offence for which he very nearly went to prison. 


Our client had had plenty of time to reflect on his past decisions and the consequences on him and other people. Since his most recent offence he had settled down in a stable relationship and become much more settled within himself. He had changed his drinking habits and stopped drinking at home completely.


His remorse was clear to see, and the changes he had made to his lifestyle had made a huge impact on his life. However, there was still the hurdle of his past offending to overcome. 


Our Barrister was able to present a full picture of this client’s circumstances to the Court, and they found some sympathy with him.  His driving disqualification was lifted and we had a very relieved, grateful and happy client.


If you would like to make an application for Early Return of Driving Licence, call our expert team now on 01623 397200.


Client Avoids Ban For Speeding At 116mph in 70mph Limit

Client Avoids Ban For Speeding At 116mph in 70mph Limit


A delighted client provided Forrest Williams with this feedback recently:


Hi Katie,

I would like to say a big thank you to you and your team.Also 
to Julia for being so good in court,a great out come 
6 points. I will throw the lead boot away now.
thanks again.
It really was a good outcome.
The client admitted driving at 116mph in a 70mph limit.
A speed so fast it’s off the sentencing guidelines.  We advised the client that he was looking at a ban starting at 56 days in length – something he was keen to minimise or avoid.
He instructed us to prepare his mitigation and assist him with gathering appropriate supporting documents, and one of our specialist barristers represented him at the hearing.
He managed to avoid a ban completely, being sentenced to 6 points on his licence and financial penalties.
Can you afford not to have us on your side?
Call us now on 01623 397200 to see how we can help you.

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