Totting Up Driving Ban
In case you were not already aware of the "totting up" driving ban rules, 12 points on a UK driver's licence usually means you will be banned from driving for a minimum period of 6 months. That is unless you persuade the court that such a driving ban would cause you or others "exceptional hardship."
As if that wasn't enough bad news, the research we did for our unique money saving calculator suggests your insurance premiums could increase by over 200% if banned for accumulating points. We hate to be the voice of doom and gloom, but if you do receive that dreaded "totting up" ban, you may not even be able to secure an insurance policy once the ban is over. Don't take our word for it though, check out this 2011 forum post on the moneysupertmarket site all about insurance problems after a TT99 ban.
Even though the rules state that a driver should be off the road for 6 months, many of our clients who have faced totting up bans have been allowed to continue to drive with well in excess of 12 points on their licence. In fact, we have been involved in some very unusual cases where we have achieved results on the verge of being miraculous! Check out the case of Yanni Tsamplakos, who contacted us in 2011 desperate for totting up advice. We managed to reinstate his driving licence after he was banned in the Magistrates' Court and then within days we successfully argued exceptional hardship for him for a second time. Most solicitors would shy away from a case as complex as this. In fact, according to our client, eight solicitors turned him away before he got in touch with us! If you think all hope is lost, this is exactly the kind of case our team loves to win. Don't take our word for it though, you can contact Yanni directly through our unique interactive testimonial scheme if you click on the page with his story.
If you are worried about the prospect of a driving ban, then call our solicitors now! We have offices in London and Manchester and our expert motoring lawyers appear in courts all over the country (excluding Scotland) on Freephone 0800 085 2784. In most cases we get involved in it is highly likely we can save you from the totting ban altogether and all the insurance headaches that follow.
The Totting Up Offence
Despite our amazing totting up result with Yanni's two totting up cases and countless others the rules that normally apply say that a driver who accumulates 12 penalty points on their licence within a 3 year period will be disqualified from driving as a "a totter" for 6 months. If a driving ban of 56 days or more had also been imposed within the relevant 3 year period, this would increase the ban to 12 months as opposed to a 6 months ban. If two disqualifications of 56 days had been ordered in three years then the disqualification for totting up would be increased to 2 years.
So you could have been caught for 4 fairly minor speeding cases in the last 3 years but find yourself off the road for 6 months if you do not pick up the phone and call Geoffrey Miller Solicitors to see how we can apply our legal expertise to your case!
If you are unsure of how many penalty points you currently have on your licence, this handy page on the DVLA website enables you to check the position.
How Do We Do It?
Geoffrey Miller Solicitors are known for our "no stone unturned" style of case preparation. We analyse who you are and what you do and involve you in the strategy for your hearing at every step of the way - if you want us to! Some clients prefer to have less involvement in the case preparation and we will tailor our service to meet your needs.
We find that for the best chance of avoiding a driving ban, we need to know the ins and outs of your circumstances to be able to decide which lines of argument are best utilised in persuading the court to avoid a driving ban. For this reason we take an extremely detailed statement from you at the outset of your points totting up case and then gather further evidence to support your case when in court.
Examples of totting up cases that have been successful have ranged from arguing that a totting up driving ban would cause a driver's immediate family exceptional hardship. Other strategies have been where we successfully argued that a client's employers would be caused exceptional hardship as they would have had to replace the offender if he lost his licence.
One of the most unusual totting up cases we dealt with was where we took over a case from another very well known motoring law firm who had done the bare minimum on a case yet had charged a small fortune for the little work they did. Unhappy with his "loophole" lawyer's standard of service, we were instructed to take over the case at the last minute for a Member of Parliament facing a totting up ban. We prepared the case into the early hours of the morning before the hearing and successfully argued that a 6 months ban would cause his constituents exceptional hardship!
An exceptional hardship argument can be made if we can demonstrate that imposing a 6 month disqualification would have such an impact upon the defendant that it would cause them or other people to experience "exceptional hardship".
One of the main issues that a court will consider is how the driving disqualification will impact on innocent third parties and it is sometimes not enough to argue that losing your job is enough to avoid disqualification. The court should also consider whether or not the punishment is proportionate to the offence committed and in some circumstances, the impact of someone losing their licence for 6 months is so extreme that it is no longer proportionate to the offence.
If the Magistrates accept that a 6 months ban, or longer, would cause exceptional hardship then they will still endorse your licence with penalty points (so you may be driving around with 12+ points as with one of our client's Mr Englander) but they can exercise their discretion in respect of a disqualification. In most cases, they will not impose any period of ban at all but if someone is disqualified under the totting up provisions then their licence is wiped clean of any penalty points. If exceptional hardship is found and NO disqualification is imposed, then the points will remain on your licence until they expire.
Exceptional hardship should only ever be used as a last resort however as it can only be run once on the same set of facts in any three year period.
If you wish to read about some of our clients' experiences, take a look at our dedicated totting up solicitors facebook page.
Some Myths about Points Totting Up
Some people mistakenly assume that they can delay a case to circumvent the totting up rules.
For example, if you are on 9 penalty points but have 3 points due to expire soon, delaying the court hearing until after the points have "dropped off" will NOT mean that you will escape disqualification as a totter. The court will look at the number of points that were live on the licence at the time of the most recent offence was committed.
So if you had 9 points all less than 3 years old at the time of the latest allegation, it does not matter if it takes a year for your case to come before the court. Your circumstances will be considered from date of offence to date of offence.
Oh, and if you are unsure about how long your penalty points stay on your licence, whilst they will count for the purpose of totting up rules for a period of 3 years, DVLA will not remove the points from your licence until the 4 year anniversary of the date of the offence. Check out their rules on penalty points removal on their site.
If you are interested in learning about other motoring law myths, check out the Geoffrey Miller team's Q&A blog from May 2012 on the confused.com website.
Very few clients can cope with the thought of a 6 months driving ban. However, you may be able to cope with a 2 week ban instead?
There is case law that we have successfully used to persuade the Magistrates to impose a short term ban instead of further points that would lead to someone totting. For example, if on 9 points, we have argued that the defendant should be given a short ban, a couple of weeks is average, and no further penalty points.
All of our tactics are lawful and every expert motoring solicitor in the Geoffrey Miller team acts with Rest assured, integrity. If you are thinking that swapping penalty points with a friend of loved one, think again! Check out Jeanette Miller's blog detailing some crazy solutions drivers thought could get them out of their speeding fine mess....but ended up with them not only losing their licence but also a spell in prison!
Speed Awareness Courses - You May Not Need Us!
Sometimes when clients call us the advice we give is not necessarily going to be of benefit to us but is the best advice for you. It is possible that the offence that may take you to the dreaded 12 points, is a low level speeding allegation that qualifies for an offer of a speed awareness course. The criteria for speed awareness courses differs depending on the location of the speeding allegation, but if you are offered a course this may be far preferable than placing your driving licence in the hands of the courts.
Repeat Totting Up Specialists
Many solicitors mistakenly believe that if you have argued exceptional hardship once, you are prevented by law from doing so again. This is not so and in fact, in 2012 we achieved a Geoffrey Miller Solicitors record of saving an anonymous client's licence FOUR times in three years!
If facing a totting up driving ban for the second, third or even fourth time, we are the firm to speak to.
We will agree a fixed fee for your totting up case so that you have a clear idea of the cost involved from start to finish. Unfortunately, as you are pleading guilty but presenting mitigation to the court, there will be no scope to request any contribution towards your costs from the court. Legal Aid is not available for a totting up case. Please take a look at our page dealing with our charges for more information about payment.
What Do I Do About My Totting Up Case Now?
Once you instruct us we will guide you through the process from that point until you walk out of court (Hopefully with your licence intact) so you no longer feel alone and hopefully you'll also feel less worried than you do reading this page.
We understand that words on a website may not give you complete reassurance or answer all the questions you have. So if you would prefer to call us rather than trawl through the pages on our website, we are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients FREE OF CHARGE. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary. Please call us now on freephone 0800 0852784. Our team of specialist driving lawyers will be glad to discuss your options free of charge. Our phones are manned 24 hours a day by real lawyers (not in a call centre) all of whom are experts in the field of points totting up and UK motoring law.
Not Sure What to Do?
Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the totting up case by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.
We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 085 2784 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange instalment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.
If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our penalty calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.