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Totting Up Bans: An Extensive Guide

Nov 10 2022 | Criminal Law

by Jamie Pellman

by Jamie Pellman

Head of Criminal Defence

In this article
totting up offences

What is a ‘totting up’ ban?

A ‘totting up’ ban is a driving ban that comes as a result of accumulating 12 or more penalty points on your licence within 3 years. The court will arrange a hearing where they will decide, based on the severity of the offences, the length of the disqualification.

A ’totting up’ ban will last for a minimum of 6 months. After this, you can reapply for your driving licence and begin driving again. However, if you have previously had a driving ban for longer than 56 days within the past 3 years, the disqualification is likely to be:

  • 12 months for one previous disqualification or;
  • 2 years for two or more previous disqualifications.

 

Differences for new drivers.

New drivers can face more severe sanctions if they receive a totting up ban.New drivers are drivers who have had their licences for 2 years or less. New drivers are only able to receive 6 points on their licences before receiving a ‘totting up’ ban. This means that, for example, two speeding offences (3 points each) within the first 2 years of passing your test will lead to having your licence revoked.

Having your licence revoked is different to disqualification in that the new driver must also resit both their theory and practical driving tests to regain their full licence. The points will also remain on their licences even after they have become a fully qualified driver.

Can you reduce or prevent a ‘totting up’ ban?

In short, yes. There are several routes you can take to avoid or lessen the impact of a ‘totting up’ ban. These include:

Successful defence against the motoring offence allegations in court.

It may seem obvious but like with all court cases, if you are not guilty of a driving offence you can take the matter to trial. If found not guilty, you will not receive any penalty points or disqualification.

Contact our expert criminal law team at Britton and Time Solicitors, and we will assist you in presenting your defence as strongly as possible in court.

Special reasons.

Special reasons relate to the circumstances of the offence committed. Special reasons cannot amount to a defence to the offence but are relevant to the circumstances surrounding the offence and therefore the court ought to rightly take them into account.

New drivers can face more severe sanctions if they receive a totting up ban.Circumstances relating to the offender themselves like the impact of disqualification or the offender’s lack of previous convictions cannot amount to a special reason. Common special reasons are being involuntarily intoxicated, a medical emergency, or driving a very short distance.

For example, you have a passenger in desperate need of medical attention, meaning that you must drive faster than the speed limit to get them help in time. When facing a charge of driving in excess of the speed limit, the related penalty points or disqualification could be avoidable due to the medical emergency.

It is very difficult to present a successful special reasons argument in court. To be successful, it is almost always necessary to have professional and experienced representation.

An exceptional hardship argument.

An exceptional hardship argument is the process of persuading the court that a driving ban would result in disproportionate consequences.

A ‘totting up’ ban should cause some hardship as this is the purpose of a driving ban. However, if you believe that the hardship due to disqualification would be above and beyond that usually suffered, you may be able to argue exceptional hardship.

You can argue exceptional hardship when facing a ‘totting up’ ban, so long as you haven’t argued exceptional hardship on the same grounds in the last 3 years. The court is far more likely to accept that your disqualification will cause exceptional hardship if innocent parties such as your family, elderly relatives or young children would suffer hardship from your disqualification.

Remember...

An exceptional hardship argument should present all factors, so the court understands the full picture, including the impact on you.

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