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.
The principle behind ‘special reasons’ says that for certain motoring offences, even if the defendant is technically guilty of the offence, the court may choose not to impose a driving ban, even where a ban is normally mandatory.
Special reasons are covered in S.34 RTA 1988
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.
I wanted to thank you for all the good and diligent work you have done on my behalf. I am very pleased with the final outcome of my court case and most satisfied with the level of service you provided.
Dear Louise, I would like to express deep appreciation for all the work and effort you've put into my case and for ultimately getting me the decision that I wanted. Your professionalism, ease to communicate with, understanding of my problem and successful result are all testimony to your excellent legal services. I would recommend anybody with a Road Traffic Offence matter to your use your firm as they can be assured of an excellent and thorough service. Thanks again.
Having Googled for a solicitor who had expertise in the area of my alleged offence I found your firm and I have to say it I am so glad I contacted you. From the first phone call the attitude from your office was positive and informative. Once I instructed your firm officially I immediately felt that my case was at last being handled by someone who actually had an interest and knowledge and wanted to provide an exceptional service. All in all a positive experience. My thanks to all who had dealings with my case and especially to Louise for the expediency with which she dealt with the case saving me many sleepless nights. Very professional, honest from the outcome, didn't raise my hopes at getting case discharged at all. Very well done.
It is extremely rare to do a web search and stumble across a firm of any profession, and actually receive a first rate service, but that’s what’s happened in this instance. My hesitation was doubled by the fact they are located 200 miles away from me. From my initial contact through the web site, the call back was very, very fast, and the conversation put you in no doubt you were in safe hands. The contact with the secretaries was fast and efficient. The information from both the Principle Solicitor Emma Patterson and the Solicitor and Senior Case Progression Officer Louise Kippax was professional, useful, thorough and pragmatic. I wish more people in all professional services sector were as down to earth, and say it like it is! Overall, I would have no hesitation in recommending this firm. Thank you!
Great Response, Great Advice, Great Service and … Great Result – Thanks.