What is the Definition of Exceptional Hardship and How do I Build a Case?

Exceptional hardships can help prosecuted drivers avoid 6 month driving bans, if the defendant can successfully prove that such a ban would be damaging to themselves or others.

What is exceptional hardship?

Exceptional hardship relates to driving cases and can usually be divided into emotional and financial hardships – e.g. if the affected driver cares for relatives or needs to drive for their job.

What is the legal definition of exceptional hardship?

Technically, there is no legal definition of exceptional hardship as circumstances differ from case to case, generally it is accepted that the ‘hardship’ must be beyond what would be reasonably foreseeable. Minor inconveniences that can be worked around will not be sufficient. The severity and degree of the hardship will be assessed by the court, as will the implications a six month driving ban may pose on the defendant.

Of course, as always, pleading guilty when you know you are guilty as accused will work in your favour in sentencing, but this in addition to a hardship plea has the ability to reduce your punishment from a driving conviction.

How do you build an exceptional hardship case?

The two things absolutely vital in building an exceptional hardship case is to:

  • Start early
  • Seek legal advice

DPP Law can help you build your exceptional hardship in good time and ultimately, can improve your chances of your case being accepted by the courts.

All relevant information relating to your personal and professional circumstances should be put before the court in order to give you the best opportunity to save your licence. Nothing should be left to assumption as in this case, the more information the better.

More often than not the court is presented with arguments regarding the possibility of a person losing their job as the result of a disqualification from driving. Although this is a perfectly valid argument, the court will sometimes need a more convincing argument from you as to why they should not ban you from driving. Typically, highlighting the impact your disqualification would have on an innocent party is a perfect example of a case that has higher chances of being accepted.

For more information on what an exceptional hardship case is, or to start building one contact DPP Law today.