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Special reasons exist for many driving offences, and although they are different to claiming exceptional hardship, they can help you to avoid disqualification and fines despite the fact that you will still be found guilty of the offence. For example, if your drink was spiked and this led to you being arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol, then you could still be charged and found guilty of drink driving, but the court may determine that you should be allowed to keep your licence.
Some offences are considered absolute offences. You were either driving while over the limit, or you weren’t, and there are no defences that can be argued in these cases. Driving without insurance is another absolute offence, but while there may not be any defence for the case, it may be possible to argue that there were special reasons. You will usually still be found guilty of the offence, but the court may stop short of handing out the usual penalties. You could avoid disqualification, and you may not have to pay a financial penalty either, but you will need a good lawyer or solicitor to be able to argue what can become a very complex case.
Different offences have different special reasons that may be argued. Drink and drug related driving offences have special reasons that include drinks being spiked, and if the insurance company made a mistake that means you were driving without insurance despite being told that you had full coverage, then this could be a special reason for driving without insurance.
If you do not have a licence because you have previously been disqualified, or because you only have a provisional licence, but you were involved in an emergency, then you may be able to argue special circumstances if you can show that there was no other genuine alternative to getting in the car and driving. Other special reasons do exist, and your solicitor or lawyer should be able to discuss your case and determine whether you will be able to argue this point.
Courts typically follow guidelines on the minimum and maximum penalties that can be handed down for each offence, but there are exceptions that can be made. For example, driving while under the influence of excessive alcohol should carry an automatic ban, but if it can be proven that your drink had been spiked and so you were unaware that you were over the limit, then the courts may opt not to disqualify you from driving. It should be noted, however, that in cases like these, it may be necessary to show considerable proof, including the successful charge against another person for spiking your drink.
Arguing special reasons can be difficult, and it requires an in-depth knowledge of the law that only qualified and experienced motoring law solicitors will typically have. If you are facing a motoring offence charge, but believe that you have a viable case to argue that there were special reasons for your actions, then you should contact a lawyer to take on your case.