Exceptional Hardship Solicitors in Mansfield Magistrates Court
Charles Nelson appeared in Mansfield Magistrates’ Court this week as he had been charged with speeding – 85mph in a 70mph limit.
Although ordinarily this would be treated as a fixed penalty (3 penalty points and a £100 fine), Charles was not in a position to accept an offer of fixed penalty as he had 9 points on his driving licence at the time of the speeding offence.
Charles did not dispute that he had been driving at a speed over the legal limit on the date in question. He told his case worker that he did a lot of driving for work and that he accepted full responsibility for the offence – it was an error of judgement on his part.
As Charles had found himself in a ‘totting up’ situation (i.e. reaching or exceeding the threshold of 12 penalty points), he approached law firm Forrest Williams to assist him in preparing and conducting an Exceptional Hardship application, as he knew from research on the Internet that this was the only possible way he could avoid the automatic 6 month disqualification through the ‘totting up’ of points.
Charles worked very closely with his case worker, Tracy Johnson, throughout the preparation period, producing and collating a set of suggested supporting documents which, it was anticipated, would help strengthen his application on the day of the court hearing.
As the work that Charles does relies on him having a driving licence to travel to sites linked with national security, it was imperative to him that he try his best to avoid a disqualification.
However, as Charles’s case worker discovered whilst taking his statement, this wasn’t the only strong reason he had to support his Exceptional Hardship application. Charles mentioned to us, almost as an afterthought, that he had provided financial support to his widowed mother for a number of years. He told his case worker that his mother relied on these payments in order to manage financially, and that she still lived in his birth country, where there was no welfare benefits system to support those who were unable to earn and support themselves.
Charles was informed that, although the court may well be disinclined to feel much sympathy for him, as he had – after all – committed the series of motoring offences, they were likely to feel sympathy for his mother’s situation. It could not be argued that if she were to suffer financially through her son’s disqualification, this would not be fair as she had done no wrong.
When our Senior Partner, Steve Williams, met with Charles at court he took time to explain what would happen, and how he might be questioned by the bench.
Steve then conducted a full Exceptional Hardship application on behalf of Charles. After some anticipated questions, and a short deliberation, a decision was reached: Exceptional Hardship had been found.
Charles thanked Steve for all his help and said he would recommend Forrest Williams to others in his situation.
If you need help for a motoring matter, contact our expert team now on 01623 600645.