Special reasons exist so as to avoid the type of hardship that can arise if sentencing did not have a reasonable margin of appreciation. There are many road traffic offences that carry either obligatory disqualification or obligatory points on your driving licence. There are accepted circumstances where the court can avoid imposing these matters even though they appear obligatory.
The burden is on you to satisfy the Magistrates that there are special reasons why you should not be disqualified/have your driving licence endorsed. It is almost inevitable this will involve you in giving evidence on oath to the court and then being cross-examined by the prosecuted and perhaps asked questions from the court. Such a hearing might also involve others, such as witnesses and police officers giving evidence with the need to cross-examine them. Expert evidence is may also be needed in these cases. This might seem a lot of bother but your licence may be worth that to you and your family. The possible complexity means you will be greatly assisted by taking our expert advice at an early stage.
The definition of what can amount to a special reason is clear and must include all of:
- The reason must be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance
- It must not amount to a defence
- It must be directly connected to the commission of the offence, (as opposed to the offender) and
- The reason must be one that the court ought properly take into account when imposing punishment.
Properly prepared and presented a court might be willing to accept special reasons exist. It is not a rare event and there will be many ways in which the argument can arise. As long ago as 1986 in the case of Chatters v Burke Watkins LJ indicated seven matters which ought to be taken into account by Magistrates if a submission is made that special reasons exist for the defendant not being disqualified. First of all they should consider how far the vehicle was in fact driven; secondly, in what manner it was driven; thirdly, what was the state of the vehicle; fourthly, whether it was the intention of the driver to drive any further; fifthly, the prevailing conditions with regard to the road and the traffic upon it; sixthly, whether there was any possibility of danger by contact with other road users; and finally, what was the reason for the vehicle being driven at all. You can see from this that there will be examples including emergency, a very short distance driven or ‘spiked’ drinks. Even if the court does not find special reasons, by presenting the material appropriately with our expert advocates there may still be a significant impact on the level of penalty.
Contact Daniel Bonich to discuss your needs and agree a fee structure to deal with this.