At Patterson Law we help a large number of private-hire and Hackney carriage drivers who are at risk of having their licence suspended or revoked. There could be a number of reasons why you would be called before the Licensing Officer or Sub-committee but ultimately the test will be whether or not you are a fit and proper person to hold your taxi licence.
But undoubtedly, a risk to your taxi licence can have devastating consequences and cause a lot of worry and stress around if you can continue working.
Through an in-depth advice call with one of our in-house specialists, we can talk through the process with you and give you comprehensive advice. We can assist at various stages:
If you have been called before a Licensing Sub-committee then we can assist you. A Sub-committee is a panel of representatives of the Licensing authority who considers cases that have been listed before them in a formal setting.
You will be called before the Sub-committee if the local authority wish to review whether you are a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence. Some examples could be that you have accumulated penalty points on your driving record, being investigated or convicted of a criminal offence or having a complaint made against you, to name but a few.
By having a chat with us, we can advise you on your prospects of success in your specific circumstances and how to prepare before the hearing. We can represent you at the Sub-committee meeting and one of our experienced barrister’s will attend with you and put forward the prepared and robust mitigation on your behalf with a view to persuade the Sub-committee that you are a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence, despite the reason that you are being called before them. In the majority of cases our aim is to persuade the Sub-committee to issue a warning instead of revoking or suspending the licence so you can continuing working.
If your local authority have decided to refuse your taxi licence application or revoke an existing licence, you can appeal the decision to the Magistrates’ Court within twenty-one days. This can be a lengthy and daunting process if you are representing yourself so we can also represent you if you are looking to appeal a decision. At the appeal, the court will expect you to show that that the decision made by your local licensing authority was incorrect or excessive by providing evidence that you are a fit and proper person.
There are very strict procedural rules that must be followed throughout the process so getting a legal team on board at the early stage will ensure that the appeal goes ahead. There are number of factors to consider before making your decision to lodge an appeal, so have a chat with us and we can talk through the entire process, including the merits and the risks.
You have a statutory twenty-one-day right of appeal from the date of the written decision which is given to you the same day or posted to you. We can take over the whole process for you, including lodging the appeal and dealing with case management, liaising with the local authority to obtain their evidence, assist you in gathering supporting evidence, preparing the appeal bundles for the court process and sending an experienced barrister to represent you at the appeal hearing.
What we aim to achieve would be subject to the decision that has been made against you, so it would be beneficial to have a thorough discussion regarding the circumstances of your case in order to determine the best course of action for you. We have a very high success rate in persuading the Court to overturn the Council’s decision completely and get our taxi drivers back on the road and working.
Whether you are a private-hire driver or a Hackney carriage driver, if it is alleged by the police or the Council that you have been plying for hire, then this could put your licence at risk. If you are plying for hire, this could automatically invalidate your insurance policy and you could also be charged with driving without insurance, which will show on your driving licence. This is likely to result in receiving a summons to attend the Magistrates’ Court.
Plying for hire carries a financial penalty and driving without insurance carries six to eight penalty points or a discretionary disqualification, as well as a financial penalty. If you already have at least four penalty points on your driving licence, then you could also be at risk of receiving a mandatory minimum six-month driving disqualification if you accumulate twelve or more penalty points within a three year period. Therefore, this allegation can have devastating consequences.
If you do not accept that you were plying for hire, we can assist you by defending the allegation. We have a high success rate at persuading the prosecution to take no further action by making representations prior to a court hearing. We can review the evidence against you and represent you at Court if it becomes necessary, so you will not have to face the court alone.
If you have a query in relation to your taxi licence, please contact us and speak to Hannah Reynolds for a free, no obligation free advice call. She may be able to help you save your taxi licence and your livelihood.