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Appeal a Driving Ban? Here’s How to Do It

Driving bans in the UK are issued for a variety of reasons. You may be banned from driving if you have been convicted of speeding, drink-driving, or using your phone while at the wheel. A driving ban can have a serious impact on your life and your ability to work, so it’s important to know that appeals are possible depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. The key is to provide the right evidence to either prove that the original ban was unfair or to convince the judge to give you a second chance.

In this article, we will outline some of the main reasons why people get banned from driving, and how you can give yourself the best chance to successfully appeal a driving ban.

drink driving ban


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What to Do When You Receive Your Ban

The first thing to do when you receive a driving ban is to read the official letter carefully. It will outline the main reasons why you have been banned and so the first you should do is check that every detail is correct. If there are any mistakes in the letter, then these errors may be grounds for an appeal but if there were genuine reasons that you received your ban, then it may be best to just accept responsibility and deal with the punishment. However, if you believe that your ban was unfair or you need your vehicle for your job or your other responsibilities, you will need to move forward with an appeal.

The Main Reasons for UK Driving Bans

The five main ways in which someone can be disqualified from driving in England and Wales are:

  • Causing death by dangerous driving – This offence carries a driving ban of at least two years and up to fourteen years in prison.
  • Dangerous driving – This offence carries a ban of at least one year, which can be increased to three or four years if you have been convicted previously for dangerous or careless driving.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs – A conviction will lead to a 12-month disqualification from driving in addition to an unlimited fine and up to six months imprisonment.
  • Causing serious injury by dangerous driving – If someone is seriously injured because of your carelessness behind the wheel then this may carry a two-year ban as well as a substantial monetary fine and potential prison sentence.
  • Using a mobile phone while at the wheel – There are lots of distractions that drivers face on our roads nowadays, which means using any kind of device while driving can be dangerous. A conviction for using a phone behind the wheel will lead to an automatic three-point penalty and a fine of £200, although it could increase to six points if you have been convicted twice in twelve months.
  • Failing to stop after an accident – Especially if damage or injury was caused, then you could face disqualification as well as imprisonment.
  • An accumulation of points – Drivers in the UK are issued with penalty points for various offences, which can lead to disqualification if they reach twelve or more within three years.

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What Factors Affect the Court’s Ruling?

If you are found guilty of any offence, the court will decide whether to give a driving ban as part of your punishment. The judge has full discretion when it comes to giving out bans and they may choose not to if there were mitigating circumstances or no one was injured in an accident. However, they generally follow guidelines set by road safety organisations that recommend how long each type of ban should last depending on what kind of offence is committed. For example, drivers who cause death while driving dangerously will always face at least two-year disqualifications, which can increase to up to fourteen years in prison depending on other factors such as whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

If you are disqualified from driving for a certain period of time, then it’s likely that the only way you will be able to get behind the wheel again is if your ban has expired or you apply for a new licence under exceptional hardship rules. However, these applications can fail, which means an appeal could potentially be your best chance of getting back on the road.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Appealing a Driving Ban

  • Hire legal counsel who specialises in motoring law. Ensure they have sufficient experience dealing with appeals because they will need to prepare evidence, testimonies and a persuasive argument that convince the court your driving ban should be revoked.
  • Submit your Notice of Appeal and a Statement of Grounds to the Crown Court. They may choose to uphold the ban, overturn it, or send you to the Magistrate’s Court for an appeal hearing.
  • Prepare all relevant paperwork such as witness statements or medical reports. In some cases, it may also help if there are references from employers or letters written by your lawyers who can attest to your character and how difficult life will be for you without a car.
  • Appear before the magistrates’ committee on the specified date and time so they can listen to your argument and come up with their ruling. Make sure that everything in your testimony and the case you present in court points towards exceptional hardship, which means showing just how much you would struggle without a licence.
  • When making an appeal, especially when trying to argue exceptional hardship, proof may be required such as school reports which show you usually have high grades, medical letters outlining any disabilities that make public transport an inconvenience, or business and financial records showing loss of income since your license was suspended.
  • It’s important to understand that all magistrates’ committees will have access to information about previous offences and convictions. Even if you were found guilty of a minor offence, it’s likely that this will be taken into account and could lead to an increased sentence or disqualification length.

car accident


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What Can You Expect from an Appeal?

In some cases, it is possible to have your driving ban completely revoked if the court rules that you should be able to drive again. In other instances, you may be allowed back on the road as long as certain conditions are met such as only being permitted to drive under supervision or not for work-related purposes.

If your appeal fails, then there is still the chance that you could be allowed back on the road if you take a driver improvement course or are given another opportunity to prove yourself. However, this can depend on how long it has been since your disqualification began and whether any new offences have occurred since then.

Maximising Your Chances of a Successful Appeal

There are various ways to increase your chance of successfully appealing against a driving ban. The most important are:

  • Hiring an experienced motoring lawyer who can present a strong argument in court. When choosing your lawyer, make sure you ask them about their track record with similar cases and what their plan of action would be for your case. You can contact one of our motoring law experts by clicking here so that we can discuss your situation and find the best way forward.
  • Having a strong legal argument that demonstrates your hardship and proves that you would struggle without a licence. This may be the difference between having your ban completely revoked or just being able to drive under supervision for work purposes only.
  • Ensuring all paperwork is up to date, accurate and sufficient enough proof that exceptional hardship exists in your case. You can’t expect magistrates’ committees to take into account personal circumstances if they don’t know about them; therefore everything relevant must be prepared in advance of appealing against your driving ban.
  • Making sure you attend every meeting with magistrates’ committees on time so you are never late when presenting evidence or arguing why revocation should occur in certain cases where this applies. Being constantly tardy and not showing up on time could mean your ban remains in place or is increased.
  • Making sure there aren’t any new offences or convictions since your suspension began – this may affect how long you receive for your original offence so ensure everything is clear before submitting an application form for exceptional hardship rules.
  • If the length of disqualification has been reduced to a certain period, make sure you abide by any conditions that may have been imposed such as only being allowed to drive for work purposes under supervision. Otherwise, you will likely be disqualified again until this condition is met, which can turn into a vicious cycle if there are many offences recorded against you.

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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


What Happens if Your Appeal is Successful?

If your appeal is successful, it means that you will be permitted to drive again. However, this does not necessarily mean the end of your disqualification period as there may still be restrictions in place depending on what was decided by magistrates’ committees during their ruling.

For example, if revocation occurs then you will most likely only be allowed back on the road with certain conditions attached. These must be followed at all times while driving or else you will risk being disqualified again. These conditions could include things like only being able to drive for work-related purposes under supervision, or taking an advanced driver improvement course certificate before getting behind the wheel again.

However, if the magistrates’ committee decides there should not have been a ban imposed against you in the first place, you will be allowed to drive again immediately without any conditions. In this case, you should take a driver improvement course as soon as possible so your driving skills are up to scratch and you won’t risk being banned in the future for not having a licence.

What if Your Appeal is Unsuccessful?

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will need to continue serving the entire length of your ban. This means that if it was 12 months long then this period must be adhered to before you are allowed back on the road again with full driving privileges once more. You may want to consider appealing again but this can be a costly process and you may not have the resources to do so. Discuss the matter with your lawyers and see what they recommend.

How to Avoid a Driving Ban

The best way to avoid a driving ban altogether is to avoid any of the behaviours that can cause your license to be suspended in the first place. Here are some safe driving practices everyone should follow at all times:

  • Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; this is a major factor in many accidents that result in fatalities and serious injuries. Driving under the influence will always lead to disqualification from driving along with various other penalties depending on the circumstances.
  • Always drive within the speed limits as speeding is another common cause of road traffic accidents that could result in you losing your license as well as people getting badly hurt or even killed.
  • Never drive when you are overly tired. This is another dangerous behaviour that can lead to you losing your license for a certain length of time or even being disqualified altogether if you cause an accident.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times. Don’t use your phone, apply makeup, eat, listen to distracting music, or do anything else which could cause you to lose concentration or affect your driving abilities.

driving ban appeal in court


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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice


Conclusion

If you have been disqualified from driving, it is important to appeal the decision as soon as possible. For the best chance of success, contact our motoring law experts at Caddick Davies so that we can advise you on the best way to proceed. We have an excellent track record of helping motorists in your situation and will be able to discuss all of the options available to you.

Motoring Lawyer at Caddick Davies Solicitors
Caddick Davies is recognised as one of England and Wales’ leading motoring law firms, offering specialist Speeding Solicitors, Drink Driving Solicitors & Dangerous Driving Solicitors.We provide advice and representation on all motoring offences including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving, drink driving, as well as a range of services related to medical revocation of a driving licence.
Neil Davies

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