You may be an expert in running your business, but that’s not always the case for any other aspects of your life. One example would be driving.
I’m not saying that you (clear throat) are a bad driver, but if you’re getting yourself into too many problems involving the way you drive your car (and your business car insurance agent is keeping himself busy settling claims on your behalf throughout the year) then you may face a driving ban. And you certainly would want to ‘upgrade’ your driving skills.
It is possible, yes. Obviously in some circumstances a ban is the only outcome, and it’s mandatory under the “totting up” system. However sometimes a ban can be avoided, but you need expert legal advice here.
Can I avoid a ban if I’ll face hardship as a result?
Many people think that if they demonstrate how their lives will be adversely affected by a driving ban, the courts will take pity and be lenient. A driving ban is meant to be punitive, however – the defendant is supposed to face some hardship as he or she has committed an offence.
Just facing severe hardship because of the ban isn’t always enough of a reason to commute it, which is why anyone facing prosecution should get legal help. Very often, defendants think they can represent themselves in court, but sometimes when people try to defend themselves without a full understanding of the law, they can end up with an even harsher punishment. This is why proper legal help is vital if you want to reduce your ban or cancel it altogether, as you need to meet (and understand) very specific legal criteria if you’re to have any hope of succeeding. Remember, going into court unprepared and uninformed will merely annoy Courts, who may see you as a time-waster.
Can I keep my licence if I stand to lose my job if I’m banned?
Courts have to look at each individual case and its merits before they decide on the nature of the punishment or the length of the driving ban. Just losing a job because of a ban may not be a good enough reason to keep your licence.
A good legal representative will be able to explain other issues as well as your job that may combine to help you retain your driving licence; he or she will be able to put these issues and reasons forward to help you as much as possible.
What if I have a clean driving licence?
Obviously your previously clean record will be taken into consideration, but bear in mind that some of offences such as drink driving, carry a mandatory disqualification.
OK, I’m going to be banned – is there any way I can shorten it?
Yes, especially if you demonstrate remorse and, if asked, agree to attend a drink-driving or speed awareness course. The courts look at each individual case and apply guidelines to it, so if your offence would usually warrant a 12-month ban, attending a course could reduce it to nine months.
Can I get my licence back early?
If your ban was under two years, there’s no way to get your licence back early. If your ban was more than two but less than 5 years, you can apply for your licence after two years.
If your ban was between 5 and 10 years, you can apply after you’ve served half the ban and for 10 or more years, you have to wait for five years.