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Disqualified From Driving: Understanding The Consequences And Next Steps
If you have been to court and have been disqualified from driving or have just received notice from the DVLA or the Court that you have been disqualified from driving, you will need to understand the consequences of this outcome and the next steps you can take:
Consequences of driving disqualification:
Recognising the consequences of a driving disqualification can be overwhelming. From the immediate loss of driving privileges to the potential financial and employment implications. If you’re navigating this challenging scenario, it’s crucial to understand the right steps to take. Whether it’s seeking legal advice, considering alternative transportation, or exploring driver rehabilitation courses, knowing your options can make a significant difference.
If you are at risk of being disqualified or have already been disqualified, it is important to seek expert legal advice. At Caddick Davies, we are experts when it comes to defending motoring offences, with decades of experience dealing with a diverse range of cases. Whether you’re hoping to have the conviction overturned or planning to plead guilty to the offence, we can prepare a strong case, giving you the best chance of success in court.
You can contact our office for a free consultation on 0151 944 4967.
Read on for an overview of the repercussions of a driving disqualification and how to effectively address and overcome them.
A disqualification from driving means that you are banned from driving on public roads in the UK until the disqualification period is over. A disqualification is not an indefinite ban from driving and has an end date, which is set by the Court.
If you are convicted (found guilty of or pleaded guilty to) a motoring offence, the Court can endorse your driving licence with a disqualification from driving, depending upon the nature and seriousness of the offence or due to the accumulation of penalty points on your driving licence.
The disqualification will prevent you from driving anywhere in the UK, including Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. This is called a ‘mutual recognition of disqualification’. Disqualified drivers from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man are also banned from driving in Great Britain.
The disqualification will prevent you from driving any ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’. This includes
Whether a disqualification is imposed will also depend upon the Court’s sentencing powers, as not all offences carry the possibility of being disqualified from driving. Some disqualifications are mandatory for the Courts to impose, and some are only discretionary.
|Offence||Type of Disqualification||Disqualification Period||Aggravating Features|
|Speeding||Discretionary||7-56 days OR ≥6 months with 12+ penalty points||Speed significantly over the limit|
|Driving Without Insurance||Discretionary||Up to 12 months||No valid license, false info to police, long uninsured period|
|Careless Driving||Discretionary||Varies based on the severity||Excessive speed, driving a heavy vehicle, accidents, high traffic|
|Driving Whilst Disqualified||Discretionary||3-18 months||Driving soon after disqualification, significant distance driven|
|Drink Driving||Minimum Mandatory||12-36 months (or 36-60 months for the second offence)||Poor conditions, passengers, professional driving, accidents|
|Drug Driving||Minimum Mandatory||12-36 months (or 36-60 months for the second offence)||Multiple drugs, obvious impairment, professional driving|
|Dangerous Driving||Minimum Mandatory||12 months (or 24 months with prior disqualifications)||Ignoring road rules, evading police, excessive speed|
|Failure To Provide A Specimen For Analysis||Minimum Mandatory||12-36 months (or 36-60 months for the second offence)||Deliberate refusal, high impairment|
For the following offences, the Court might take away your driving rights if they find the offence severe:
Driving Without Insurance:
Up to 12 months, especially if:
Disqualification is possible, especially if:
Driving When Already Banned:
The Court often takes away driving rights for this. But if it’s a minor offence, they might just add 6 penalty points.
Disqualification can last 3-18 months, especially if:
For these offences, you’ll lose your driving rights for at least the minimum period if you admit guilt or are found guilty:
Not Giving a Specimen for Testing:
You will be required to serve the disqualification until the disqualification period set by the Court is over. However, even when the disqualification is over, it will still appear on your driving licence for a period between 4 to 11 years – depending upon the nature of the offence and disqualification.
The below offences will result in the disqualification remaining on your licence for a period of 4 years before it is removed:
The below offences will result in the disqualification remaining on your licence for a period of 11 years before it is removed:
The period that this starts is the date that you are sentenced to the disqualification, not the date that the offence was committed.
If you are disqualified for less than 56 days then you do not need to re-apply for your driving licence. The disqualification will be endorsed on your driving licence by the DVLA, and you can keep hold of your current licence which will remain valid when the disqualification is over. Therefore, as soon as the disqualification is over you can return to driving again.
If the disqualification is for 56 days or more then you will need to re-apply for your driving licence from the DVLA. You will need to complete a D1 form, which you can obtain from the post office, complete and send it to the DVLA in order for your driving licence to be returned to you.
In most circumstances, a disqualification will not mean that you will need to re-take your driving tests. However, there are certain circumstances which would require you to take further tests before your driving licence can be reinstated.
In certain circumstances, a disqualification, particularly for alcohol or drug-related offences, may require you to undergo medical enquiries with the DVLA before your driving licence can be renewed. This would be imposed when:
The DVLA will need to conduct medical enquiries to ensure that you are fit to drive.
The following offences will result in the Court imposing a mandatory extended re-test which must be completed before your licence can be re-instated once the disqualification is over:
Appeal To The Crown Court
If you have been disqualified from driving and you are unhappy with the decision (either because you believe you are not guilty of the offence or because you believe you have mitigating circumstances) then you can appeal to the Crown Court.
The appeal must be made in writing to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of the sentence being imposed. An appeal can be accepted outside of this time period, however, you will need to give a good enough reason as to why the appeal is late. It is at the discretion of the Court as to whether they accept the appeal out of time.
If you are appealing and a disqualification has been imposed, the acceptance or lodging of an appeal does not mean that the disqualification is then removed. You must make a formal application to the Court for the disqualification to be suspended pending the determination of the appeal. This application is discretionary and therefore the court may decide for the disqualification to remain in place until the appeal is heard.
If you were unaware of the court proceedings against you, then you do not need to appeal the decision. You can have the case re-opened by way of a ‘statutory declaration’. A statutory declaration is a formal statement affirming that something is true to the best knowledge of the person making the declaration. It is effectively a statement informing the Court that you were unaware of proceedings and therefore would like the case to be re-opened.
When the Court have ‘processed’ the declaration this will have the effect of the case being re-opened meaning that the previous sentence imposed is removed. This if includes any disqualification imposed by the Court. You will therefore be able to return to driving again.
A statutory declaration must be made in writing to the Magistrates’ Court within 21 days of you becoming aware of the proceedings.
A statutory declaration can be accepted outside of this time period, however, you will need to give a good enough reason as to why the declaration is late. It is at the discretion of the Court as to whether they accept the declaration out of time.
If you do not want to appeal to the Crown Court, or if you were aware of proceedings, then you can make an application to re-open the case.
The Court can re-open the case and revisit the conviction or sentence imposed if they believe that it is in the interests of justice to do so. Furthermore, if a mistake has been made, then the Court are more likely to agree to re-open the case. As with a statutory declaration, if the case is re-opened this will have the effect of the previous sentence being removed, including the disqualification imposed. You will therefore be able to return to driving again.
There is no time limit for a case to be re-opened, however, the request should be made as soon as possible. You will need to convince the court that it is in the interests of justice for the case to be re-opened, which can often be difficult where you were aware that proceedings were ongoing.
If the Court made a mistake such as failing to set a hearing date and/or notify you of a hearing date, then they will be more inclined to re-open the case. Furthermore, if you have pleaded not guilty to an offence and you have been convicted in your absence, then they would also be more likely to re-open the case.
If you have been disqualified from driving you can ask the Court to reduce the period of disqualification. However, you can only do so after serving a certain period of the disqualification:
You need to apply in writing to the Court that disqualified you, giving information to justify your request. The Court will then set a hearing date for the early removal of your disqualification to be considered.
In considering such an application, the Court should consider the below factors when determining whether the disqualification should be removed:
If you have accumulated 12 or more points on your driving licence within a 3-year period then you will then fall liable for a disqualification from driving for a minimum period of 6 months (a ‘totting up’ disqualification). The minimum period is increased to 21 months if you have received 1 disqualification of 56 days or more within the past 3 years and to 24 months if you have received 2 or more disqualifications of 56 days or more within the past 3 years.
In order to avoid a ‘totting up’ disqualification, you can make an application for ‘exceptional hardship’. You will need to outline the reasons that you or those around you rely upon your licence, and therefore why a disqualification would have consequences that are ‘exceptional’.
Further reading on: ‘exceptional hardship’ and a ‘totting up’ disqualification.
The Court may also choose to exercise discretion to not impose a disqualification if they are persuaded that there are ‘special reasons’ as to how/why the offence was committed. An application for ‘special reasons’ is usually most appropriate in circumstances where an offence may have been committed on a technical basis, but there may be significant mitigation to be considered in connection with a lack of knowledge/intent, little or no harm caused, or less moral culpability associated with the offence.
There are four grounds for ‘special reasons:
Common examples of ‘special reasons’ are, although not limited to:
You will also avoid disqualification if you are found not guilty of an offence. In order to establish whether you have a defence to any charge, we advise you to get in contact with a solicitor from our office for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Disqualification from driving is a serious consequence for individuals who have breached the rules of the road in significant ways and have posed a significant threat to the safety of themselves and others on the road. When facing disqualified it’s important to understand the duration of the ban, which will vary according to the severity and frequency of driving offences committed. A motoring defence solicitor may be able to help you to reduce the period of the ban or avoid disqualification entirely depending on your circumstances.
Contact our friendly team to discuss your case on 0151 944 4967.
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