In certain circumstances it may be possible to apply to the court to end a disqualification from driving early. Section 42 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 allows a person who has been disqualified from driving by the courts to apply to the magistrates’ court to remove the disqualification early.
When can I apply to the court to end my disqualification early?
It is only possible to apply to remove a disqualification early in certain circumstances. If your disqualification is for less than 4 years you can make an application after 2 years. If your disqualification is for less than 10 years but not less than 4 years you can make the application after one half of the period of disqualification has expired. In cases where the disqualification is for longer than 10 years it is possible to make the application after 5 years.
What will the court consider when deciding whether to allow the application to end disqualification early?
The relevant legislation states that the court shall have regard to the following factors:-
- The character of the person disqualified and his conduct subsequent to the order;
- The nature of the offence; and
- Any other circumstances of the case.
In practice we find that the court will pay great attention to how a person has conducted themselves since they last appeared in court and received the disqualification. A disqualification from driving is viewed extremely seriously by the court and they will want to know how an individual has addressed the issues that led to the offence giving rise to the disqualification.
How can I prepare for an application to end disqualification early?
It is vital that if you are going to make such an application it is fully prepared and you are able to evidence to the court what you are saying. We would always advise obtaining character references from individuals who knew you at the time of the commission of the offence as well as now. It is often advisable to obtain a reference from your current employer particularly if there is going to be a requirement from your employer to have the benefit of a driving licence. If you have had issues with alcohol previously then you need to be able to show the court that these have been fully addressed and evidence the work that you have completed in order to engage with any agencies that have supported you.
If you are likely to come under the High Risk Offender Scheme i.e. you had a particularly high alcohol reading or have had a previous conviction in the last ten years then it is extremely advisable to have medical evidence to support your application including blood tests and a liver function test.
What is the process for making such an application?
The first stage of the process is to write to the magistrates’ court at which you were sentenced and request that the matter be listed.
The magistrates’ court will inform the Chief Constable of the police force in the area in which you were disqualified and they may actively oppose or support the application. From our experience different police forces engage in different ways. Some will actually attend the hearing and some will simply send a letter to the hearing to inform the court of their views.
It can sometimes be prudent to actively engage with the police force as we have had a number of successful applications where the police have actively supported the application following engagement with ourselves.
What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
If your application is unsuccessful it is possible to make a further application three months from the date of the refusal.
How can Olliers Motor Law assist me?
Olliers Motor Law are highly experienced in making such applications. We are able to advise how to fully prepare your case to maximise your chances of success and as specialist motor law solicitors are able to present your application in an effective manner to the court. Should you be considering making any such application we would advise that you contact Ruth Peters at Olliers Motor Law on 0161 827 7014 or by email to [email protected] We are generally able to agree a fixed fee for your case.