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Is Job Hunting Exceptional Hardship?

Can Job Hunting Be Exceptional Hardship?


Is Job Hunting Exceptional Hardship?


In Mansfield Magistrates’ Court this week, Steve Williams, of Forrest Williams, successfully conducted an Exceptional Hardship application for client Natalie Godber.


Natalie, who was in tears as the court’s decision was announced, thanked Steve profusely and asked that her sincere thanks be passed back to her case worker Tracy Johnson, who had fully prepared her case for court over a period of several months, during which time they had worked very closely together.


Natalie, who had worked as a Key Accounts Manager for a large company when she made her first call to Forrest Williams, explained that the majority of points (9 in total) were accrued over a period of 6 months, some two years ago, when she was going through a difficult period in her life which saw the ending of a long term relationship.


Although she knew that she could not offer excuses to the court, Natalie explained to her case worker that she had driven without incident for the last two years, before being caught speeding – doing 91mph in a 70mph limit. She said that this happened as a result of underestimating the power of the new car she was driving, which handled very differently to the car she had previously been driving.


The pre-existing 9 points meant that the most recent speeding offence had resulted in a summons to court under the ‘totting up’ provisions – and a likely 6 months’ disqualification from driving unless Natalie could convince the court that to disqualify her in this way would mean hardship of an exceptional nature would be experienced by either herself or those close to her.


Natalie’s case for Exceptional Hardship was built on the following facts. First of all, she clearly needed to maintain her driving licence in order to do her job, which involved travelling to stores based across a wide geographical area. Secondly, her husband could not meet their joint financial commitments on his wage alone. Thirdly, Natalie acted as driver for an elderly relative and no one else could cover this role if she were to be disqualified.


Unfortunately, not long before the hearing date Natalie lost her job. This was a worry to all concerned as it had been the primary reason for her Exceptional Hardship application. However, she was able to demonstrate to the court that she was applying for very similar roles and was being granted interviews. Clearly, she would not be able to take up the offer of any of these jobs without a driving licence.


Natalie was effectively given the opportunity by the court to continue with her job hunting and to hopefully secure the type of work she has experience of in the very near future.


For Natalie, contacting Forrest Williams and entrusting them with her case was, quite simply, life changing. Her tears in court said everything. 


If you need help for a motoring matter, call our expert team now on 01623 397200.


Totting Up Ban Avoided In Recent Case

Awards - Frames + Chad Winner 2015 - Medium - 1000 x 313 (No Scaling Nee


Dan Fletcher was relieved this week when he heard the decision of the bench at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court. Although he had ‘totted up’ to 12 points through the accumulation of 4 minor speeding offences, once the court heard full evidence the magistrates decided not to impose a totting up ban.


For Dan, this was excellent news, as he needed to keep his driving licence in order to continue his work as a Mobile Mechanic. Specialising in one particular type of vehicle, Dan has to travel across the whole of England and Wales to carry out servicing and repairs for his loyal customer base, many of whom have been using his professional services for several years.


Dan started his business nine years ago and, when he first approached Forrest Williams, he told the person who would become his case worker that he has built up a very good reputation within the community of vehicle owners. He now has a strong presence within the community and is widely known by members of the Drivers’ and Owners’ Association and on Facebook.


Dan told us that, since he started his business, others have tried to follow in his footsteps and establish themselves within this business sector. This has meant that he has to keep his prices low enough to encourage loyalty from his customers initially, after which they come back to him because of his competitive rates and the quality of the services he offers. However, Dan knew that if he was to be disqualified for a period of 6 months, then his customers would go to his competitors and many may not come back to him.


A totting up ban for Dan meant the very possible loss of his business.


This was, thankfully, not what happened. Dan approached us and in an initial telephone call he discussed his circumstances in some detail following which an appraisal was made of the possible chances of success of an Exceptional Hardship application.


Dan was told that his application would be made stronger because his wife did not work and therefore relied on him financially. If he were to be disqualified, she could not meet the couple’s financial commitments as she was not earning.


Dan thanked Steve Williams, Senior Solicitor of Forrest Williams, for conducting his Exceptional Hardship application in an assertive and confident manner. He also passed on his thanks to his caseworker for the detailed preparation of his case for court, both of which allowed him to avoid a 6 month totting up ban.


Need help to avoid a totting up ban?  Call our dedicated team on 01623 397200.




Specialist Motoring Lawyers in Mansfield

Tracy Johnson, Paralegal at Forrest Williams Solicitors


Alice Barker told her case worker that she had instructed Forrest Williams because they are specialist motoring lawyers in Mansfield, and one of her court hearings was listed at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.


Alice knew her case was complicated, and she told us she was glad that her case worker gave her time to explain what had happened, and also to ask lots of questions during her initial telephone call.


Alice explained that she had not just one but four motoring charges, listed at two local courts. The first two charges – failing to notify driver’s details and speeding – happened, she said, as a result of letting someone else drive her vehicle. Although she had informed the police who the driver was, within the time limit, she had been told that she had not completed the form correctly.


The second two charges – again failing to notify driver’s details and speeding – were, she told us, the result of her driving her own vehicle but failing to return the completed notice of intended prosecution (NIP) within the time limit due to an administrator who worked within her office not dealing very well with the paperwork side of things.


Alice, who runs her own business, explained that she took responsibility for the fact that she had been speeding on the second occasion, but that she honestly believed the NIP which she had completed had been posted back as it should have been.


As Alice had 6 points on her driving licence at the time of the alleged offences, her case worker made her aware that she was potentially in a ‘totting up’ situation which may lead to her being disqualified for 6 months on reaching 12 points. This is because the failing to notify driver’s details charges each carry 6 points.


Alice’s case worker made her aware that, although we would liaise with the authorities to try and have some of the charges discontinued, we could not guarantee this would work, so we would have to commence full Exceptional Hardship preparation.


However, after a period of intensive liaison, both charges relating to the first court hearing were discontinued. Alice was delighted.


Shortly afterwards would come the hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court. Prior to the hearing, her case worker continued to liaise with the authorities, making them aware that Alice would plead guilty to the speeding charge but requesting that the second failing to notify driver’s details also be discontinued, for the reasons given above.


Alice was once again delighted when her case worker informed her that, subject to Alice pleading guilty to the speeding charge, the failing to notify driver’s details charge would be withdrawn at court.


So, as a direct result of skilful and persistent liaison by Forrest Williams, specialist motoring lawyers in Mansfield, Alice’s potential 12 points was reduced to just 3, for the speeding charge she admitted in court.


Alice said the results were better than she had dared to hope for, and that she would definitely recommend Forrest Williams to anyone worried about multiple charges and more than one hearing date. 


Looking for specialist motoring lawyers in Mansfield?  Call our expert team now on 01623 397200.


specialist motoring solicitors in Mansfield

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