Exceptional Hardship – Defending The Loss Of Your Driving Licence

Any motorist that receives 12 penalty points on their licence within a three year period faces an automatic ban of at least 6 months, in accordance with guidelines laid down by the court. A 6 month ban is the minimum recommendation for receiving that number of points within a three year period and the Judge, on the day of the hearing, would be well within their rights to impose a longer ban if he or she felt this was justified. The only way of escaping a California Fake driver’s license ban under these circumstances is to prove to the court that you would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ as a result of losing your licence.

So what exactly is exceptional hardship? There is no statutory definition of exceptional hardship but it is deemed to be ‘hardship that goes beyond what would normally be suffered’. It is the case for most drivers that losing their driving licence would cause some amount of hardship, therefore to persuade the court to avoid imposing the driving ban, you must be able to prove to them that the loss you would suffer as result of being banned from driving would go beyond what would be classed as ‘normal’ hardship.

After all, a Defendant driver is likely to have been well aware of the consequences of receiving 12 points in a three year period and therefore must have an extremely strong argument to prove that he would suffer exceptional hardship as a result of any imposed ban. It is not enough to simply say that you would lose your job if you were banned from driving – again, the court would argue that you were well aware of this risk when you committed the driving offences that resulted in you receiving 12 penalty points on your license.

However, if you can show that other people – i.e. spouse, children and extended family members would suffer greatly as result of you losing your job through not being able to drive, then this may be enough to be seen as ‘exceptional hardship’. Similarly if you can prove that losing your licence would, for example, prevent you from being able to take your sick child to weekly hospital appointments – or losing your licence, and therefore your job, would result in not being able to meet your mortgage payments and your family having to move out of the family home – this may be classed as hardship ‘beyond that normally suffered’, i.e. ‘exceptional hardship’.

If, later on, you again find yourself in the position of having received 12 penalty points on your licence within a three year period you will again be able to present a case of ‘exceptional hardship’ to the court. However, unless a period of three years has passed since your last conviction, you will not be able to use the same reasons for exceptional hardship being caused as you used previously.

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