What you need to know about totting up
Whether they are dealt with by the Court or by way of Fixed Penalty Notices, most motoring offences carry penalty points. The number of penalty points given depends on the severity of the offence. Any driver who has had penalty points for motoring offences in the last three years and faces another Fixed Penalty Summons which takes them to the limit of 12 points is at risk of losing their licence under the totting up procedure.
This can occur through the accumulation of points via a number of completely separate offences over the course of 36 months or if a number of offences are committed at the same time and the Court concludes that the appropriate punishment is 12 points or more. The court has the power to ban a motorist for a minimum of 6 months if they reach this limit.
Furthermore, if a driver already has 9 points on their licence and commits an offence for which a Fixed Penalty Notice would normally be appropriate, the notice would not be accepted because it would take the motorist to the 12-point limit. The offence would then have to be dealt with by way of a summons, as a totting up ban can only be imposed at a court hearing.
Unless the driver can show that the ban would cause exceptional hardship to them or someone else, the Court may decide to disqualify the motorist from driving. This can have serious implications on the livelihood of anyone who relies on their vehicle for work through leading to a loss of earnings. Furthermore, any motorist banned for accumulating points could see their insurance premiums rise by up to 200%, and in the worst case scenario, they may not even be able to secure an insurance policy once the ban is over.
Penalties for totting up points
The rules for totting up typically state that a driver who accumulates 12 penalty points on their licence within a 3-year period, will be disqualified from driving for 6 months. If a driving ban of 56 days or more had also be imposed within the relevant 3-year period, this would increase the length of the ban to 12 months as opposed to a 6-months disqualification.
If two disqualifications of 56 days had been ordered in a 3-year period, then the disqualification for totting up would be increased to 2 years. Under these rules you could have been caught for 4 minor speeding cases in the last 3 years and then find yourself off the road for 6 months. However, you do not necessarily have to accept the Court’s decision, and if you do not challenge it, you will have no other choice but to accept the punishment issued.
Sentencing guidelines for totting up
The court guidelines are that an automatic 6-month driving disqualification should be given if a driver reaches 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period. However, the Court may exercise discretion and give less than 6 months, but this is only if they have been given a good enough ‘exceptional hardship’ argument.
Defending a totting up disqualification
The Court will offer the motorist the opportunity to state why they should be allowed to keep their licence before imposing a disqualification. They will consider the effect a ban would have on the defendant, or others such as family members, their individual circumstances, and the individual circumstances of the offence. A driving ban may be avoided if the defendant can successfully convince the Court that a disqualification would cause exceptional hardship.
However, the law is complex and the manner in which a case is presented can make a crucial difference to the outcome – which is why it makes absolute sense to contact an experienced motoring offence solicitor. Of course you can always represent yourself in court. However, when it comes to preparing and presenting your case so that it meets specific legal criteria, it is always best to leave it to the experts. This will ensure that you stand the best possible chance of retaining your licence.
We have helped countless motorists to save their licence and livelihood and have a proven track record of securing the best possible outcome for our clients. We represent many people who rely on their vehicle for a living, like sales reps and professional drivers such as couriers because we have the knowledge and expertise to win cases. We understand that avoiding penalty points can be difficult if your job or business involves high mileage driving. Through instructing us, we will do everything within our power to help you to avoid a driving ban, keep your licence and stay on the road.
Contact PDA Law
If you are at risk of losing your licence through the totting up procedure, we are here to help. As we offer a free, no obligation meeting, as well as a no win, no fee service where appropriate, you can proceed with no financial risk throughout the process.
To receive tailored advice from our expert driving offence solicitors, contact PDA Law today by calling 01244 373373. Alternatively, fill out our online contact form and we will call you back at a time that is convenient for you.