Many motoring offences carry a Mandatory ban or endorsement of penalty points. This means regardless of your personal circumstances the Court MUST impose the disqualification or points.
Special reasons is an application made to the Court, it is used when you are guilty of an offence but there are special reasons why it occurred.
If the Court agree there are special reasons in your case, they can decide not to endorse your licence with penalty points or disqualify you from driving.
The Court will consider the facts of each individual case and determine if special reasons are applicable in that case.
When can I use special reasons?
You can apply special reasons to any Road traffic offence. It is most commonly used when charged with offences of excess alcohol and no Insurance.
Typical examples of special reasons can be:
Driving a very short distance
If you have driven your vehicle while over the prescribed limit or with no Insurance but only for a short distance you may be able to ask the Court to grant special reasons. The Court will take the following into account:
- The distance travelled
- The manner of the driving
- The purpose of the journey
- The weather conditions
- Any other factors
Generally the distance must be very short to be successful with this application.
If you can convince the Court that the purpose of your journey was an emergency and essential then you could have special reasons. You must be able to show that driving the vehicle was the only option in the circumstances. If you could have contacted the emergency services instead this will not amount to a special reason.
Misled and believed you were insured
Special reasons is commonly used in no insurance cases where the accused “held a genuine and honest belief that they were insured and it was reasonable to hold such a belief”
This is often used where your Insurance Company have cancelled your policy but you had no idea that this had happened. In this situation you could successfully apply for special reasons.
This is an expert area of law and if you feel your case may warrant special reasons then it is important you contact a solicitor as soon as possible. Below is a case study and example of a case conducted by Mr. Colville where special reasons was granted
The defendant was driving her motor vehicle when she was stopped by the police as the vehicle had no MOT. Following checks made by the police they discovered that the defendant had a policy of insurance however had failed to disclose a motoring offence committed earlier in the year. As a result of this the insurance company deemed the policy to be invalid from inception and therefore defendant was summonsed for driving with no insurance.
The defendant entered a guilty plea to driving with no MOT and no insurance. She already had 6 points on her licence. If the minimum 6 points were imposed then she would receive a disqualification.
She wished to argue special reasons on the basis she held an honest and genuine belief that she was insured and this was reasonable.
The circumstances were that when she received 6 points on her licence she had asked her Husband to declare this to the insurance company. He had assured her that he would do this however had forgotten despite his assurances and confirmation that he had done it.
Both the defendant and her husband gave evidence to confirm this. The court found special reason in her case on the following basis:
- She had asked her husband to declare the points.
- The Husband confirmed to her he had done this.
- In evidence he confirmed that he had forgotten to inform the Insurance Company of the points and it was his mistake.
- The defendant had held an honest belief that she was insured and it was reasonable to expect her Husband to have declared the points if he had confirmed to her that he had.