Criminal law

Totting up procedures

The 'totting up procedure', as it’s commonly known, refers to the fact that if you ‘tot up’ 12 or more points on your licence in a three-year period, you face an obligatory disqualification for a minimum of six months. The only way to avoid this is to successfully advance exceptional hardship in court.

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Does totting up always lead to disqualification?

The best way to avoid losing your licence, is to always stay within the speed limit and drive with due care and attention. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, particularly for those who cover many thousands of miles every year.

With fixed penalty offences carrying a minimum of three points and offences such as using a mobile device carrying up to six points, it’s easy to see how you might find yourself accumulating 12 or more penalty points in a three-year period.

Totting up procedures mean that the court should disqualify you from driving for a minimum of six months under these circumstances, which can have a devastating effect on your life and livelihood if you need to drive in order to work for a living.

The only way to avoid a disqualification or reduce the period of disqualification is to advance a successful exceptional hardship argument – on the grounds that it would cause hardship that’s exceptional over and above the punishment intended by the law in this case. The court will take into account any third parties that will also suffer.

If you find yourself at risk of being disqualified under the totting up procedure, you need to speak to a skilled and experienced road traffic offence solicitor right away. Call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we’ll call you.

Can I plead exceptional hardship to avoid a ban?

The key to making a successful plea of exceptional hardship is to provide compelling evidence of emotional and financial hardship and the court will also take into account any exceptional hardship that would result from your disqualification on an innocent third party.

The court are unlikely to accept your argument if only you would be inconvenienced, perhaps by having to get up very early in the morning and take public transport to work.

However, if you could only get to work by car and your absence would significantly jeopardise or harm the livelihoods of others, the court might consider that plea. Similarly, if you’re a carer for an elderly or ill relative and would be unable to attend to their needs without a driving licence, that might also be considered to represent exceptional hardship by the court.

Every case is different and the courts are generally reluctant to accept pleas of exceptional hardship for those who’ve totted up 12 or more penalty points. If you find yourself in this position, you should always talk to an experienced road traffic offence solicitor, who can look at your personal circumstances, and seek the best way to make a compelling case to the court on your behalf.

To find out if we may be able to help you avoid disqualification under the totting up procedure, call us on 0330 041 5869 or contact us and we’ll call you.

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