Special Reasons Argument - Patterson Law
Making a special reasons argument
The purpose of a Special Reasons Argument is to try to persuade Magistrates, after they have heard the evidence under oath, that under the circumstances in this instance it would not be appropriate to impose penalty points on your driving licence.
It is more normal to use Special Reasons Arguments to avoiding bans in drink driving cases but, it is also possible to use them to avoid penalty points for any endorsable offences.
In order to successfully argue Special Reasons it is necessary for you to give evidence under oath so that you can convince the Magistrates that under the circumstances, on this occasion it would not be fair to impose penalty points.
The most frequently heard Special Reasons Argument is that the offence was committed in the context of an emergency. You may have been rushing someone to casualty and in doing so you went through a red traffic light or exceeded the speed limit.
Magistrates will not impose penalty points on your licence if they find that there were special reasons with respect to your case.
Magistrates do not have a set list of special reasons, but in order to be a special reason it must fulfil the following criteria and must be;
1. A mitigating or extenuating circumstance
2. It must not amount in law to a defence to the allegation
3. It must be directly connected to the commission of the offence
4. It must be something that the Court ought to take into consideration when deciding what punishment to impose.
If your offence was a genuine mistake then you can argue special reasons. This can be quite useful as most traffic offences are what is referred to as ‘Strict Liability’ This means that whether or not you intended to commit the offence, the fact that you committed it makes you guilty.
We can use a special reasons argument to avoid points on your licence if you didn’t mean to commit the offence in question, but this is a difficult argument to always win, so it is best to take expert legal advice before you make an application to the court.
Section 34 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 contains information with regard to special reasons arguments and when they can be used.
For more assistance constructing your Special Reasons Argument, please Ask a FREE question without obligation.
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A new client came to us after being banned by the Magistrates for 6 months. He had accumulated 12 points within 3 years and the Magistrates court banned him for 6 months. The client tried to argue exceptional hardship on his own and the court rejected his argument.
Our client instructed us to represent him at court when he was charged with overloading a hired minibus. He had hired the minibus as he had his extended family visiting for a holiday. At the same time builders were refurbishing his house and asked him if he could help them collect some extra sand and cement. Our client agreed and they went with him to the DIY shop to collect the materials.
Our client was stopped on the way back home for overloading. He was devasted by the charge and the subsequent court proceedings, due to the fact that it was an innocent mistake and he was in the process of applying for an indefinite leave to remain in the UK visa.
He approached many so called motoring lawyers before us who told him to plead guilty and take the fine and points. We acted on his behalf and made a special reasons argument and also an argument under s.48 RTOA 88. The court agreed not to give any points and to impose an absolute discharge meaning that the conviction was imediately spent.
At Patterson Law we think outside of the box and we go the extra mile to try and achieve the results you need. Contact us now on 01626 359800 or email email@example.com if you want lawyers who represent an island of excellence in a sea of mediocrity!
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