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taco
hello folks

just stumbled across this site and a quick read of some posts, looks like a lot of good advice is being given, so...here's my story!

was coming to a set of traffic lights which were just turning red, stopped, i had a very short call to make and was under the impression at the time that because i wasnt actually 'driving' it would be ok. lo and behold, the traffics pull up beside me and i'm off to court.

now, i am paying for a solicitor to defend me as i am a service engineer and need my car for the work i do.
i currently have 9 points, 6 of which will be off in September, any further points will result in a ban, and also me losing my job (which my boss has confirmed in a letter).
i have an exceptional hardship case due on the 14th of July, and these are my circumstances:

Living with fiancee in mortgaged 1 bedroom flat. we have a 5 month old son, my fiancee is currently on maternity leave and gets around £400/m.
All bills come out of my account which leaves me with roughly £150/m. my fiancees wage, if she were to return to work full time does not cover all our expenditure. therefore if i lose my job, we're likely to lose our flat, or be under severe financial stress.
as it stands, our small flat is going on the market in 2 days time as we need more space due to our son, again this would obviously be affected.
my lawyers fees are £500 which i cannot afford, but will have to find before the case goes to court, i have no option as i really need help with this.

my lawyer is telling me that it doesnt look good and im almost certain to be looking at a ban as the courts are very tight on the use of mobiles.

can anyone tell me if i should raise certain points which might help, or am i truly f***ed?

i should also state that i dont look after anyone disabled as i was told this would be a big factor in the courts decision

thanks
jobo
if your going guilty, ditch the lawyer as you can explain your case well enough yourself

if your paying a lawyer, get him to earn his money and get you off
taco
i normally would, but there's just too much at risk.
i dont want to go there and miss out something that could be vital that affects the decision
jobo
im not talking you in to something your reluctant to do, but every thing he will do, you can do equally well yourself and we have had significant success with EH arguments,, write it all down and post up for comments, if you read it out or pay him to is up to you

but if your quotes are accurate, im not that impressed with him so far
Logician
In Scotland you will have an uphill struggle with this. Look in the FAQs for exceptional hardship letters and google this site, there may be a pointer to some aspect you have missed.
taco
honestly jobo, im extremely reluctant to go it alone, also i dont think my girlfriend would be too impressed. i probably could give just as good an account of myself, but there's just too much at stake.


thanks Logician, ill have a look now
jobo
QUOTE (taco @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:22) *
honestly jobo, im extremely reluctant to go it alone, also i dont think my girlfriend would be too impressed. i probably could give just as good an account of myself, but there's just too much at stake.


thats fine mate

write down all your circumstances you want the solicitor to make for you and we can comment on what youve said and what you should leave out, then you can give it him as you circs

QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:21) *
In Scotland you will have an uphill struggle with this. Look in the FAQs for exceptional hardship letters and google this site, there may be a pointer to some aspect you have missed.


do we know Scotland are harder on EHs or are we just assuming ?
taco
i've already handed as much stuff to him as i can think of.
bank statements, wage slips, P60's, letters from employer.

it all pretty much adds up to what ive written in my first post, basically that i could lose everything and my fiancee would more than likely be homeless with a baby
jobo
QUOTE (taco @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:28) *
i've already handed as much stuff to him as i can think of.
bank statements, wage slips, P60's, letters from employer.

it all pretty much adds up to what ive written in my first post, basically that i could lose everything and my fiancee would more than likely be homeless with a baby


no write it down as you would like it read out, you need to concentrate on hardship others , your other half. your baby, your employer and how much trouble it will cause him, how often do you take your mother to the sea side

what's the employment situation in your area, how long will you be unemployed wiith out a dl,,go through it line by line
taco
ok, thanks jobo.

what i'll do is spend some time on it tomorrow and post it up for you later

many thanks for the help so far
jobo
the worst that can result is your wasting your time coz the solicitor has dont it better, but on the other hand if he is just going to busk it, your pointing him the way to go to YOUR circumstances

i wouldn't totality invent a disabled friend,so unless you can find one at short notice id leave that bit out, ive got one if you want to come and borrow him ?


but think laterally

taco
QUOTE (jobo @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:41) *
ive got one if you want to come and borrow him ?


yes...lol!!

i know what you mean though, ill write it as how i would present myself, it really is bleak.
would it be worth giving what i write to my lawyer so that he has an even better understanding and could possibly present my mords to the court backed up with his 'expertise'?
jobo
QUOTE (taco @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:59) *
QUOTE (jobo @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:41) *
ive got one if you want to come and borrow him ?


yes...lol!!

i know what you mean though, ill write it as how i would present myself, it really is bleak.
would it be worth giving what i write to my lawyer so that he has an even better understanding and could possibly present my mords to the court backed up with his 'expertise'?



yes mate thats the idea, he can either read it out as your statement or paraphrase it in to his statement, but then he has all the info. ive not got much faith in solicitors to be honest.. no need to put you financial stuff in, to post on the net, just the gist
taco
cool:)

one thing i will say about him though, he did try to dissuade me from using him at first until he saw my EH points, and he's actually knocked £300 off his normal fee that he first quoted me.
it kinda leads me to think that he's got a gut feeling about it
jobo
if he is the best thing since sliced bread, then all youve done is waste a couple of hours, if you get off without a ban, you can always post it up in the hall to remind you not to ANYTHING else daft
sgtdixie
I have no idea about your specific solicitor, but be aware just because he/she has a law degree and is called a lawyer doesn't mean they are Perry Mason's (for those old enough to remember) long lost brother. Many are frankly rubbish at putting forward your case.

Arrive suited and booted with a prepared EH letter taking advice from those on here and fully admit the offence with the mitigation you didn't realise at the time you had breached the law but fully accept you have.

Remember the EH arguments must relate to hardship to others, your loss of job, or house or anything else won't sway a scottish bench. Don't use the argument about moving to a bigger home, that will just scupper pretty much everything you say.
glasgow_bhoy
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 10:02) *
Remember the EH arguments must relate to hardship to others, your loss of job, or house or anything else won't sway a scottish bench. Don't use the argument about moving to a bigger home, that will just scupper pretty much everything you say.


Not moving to a bigger home, but moving to a more appopropriate home in order to fulfil the needs of the child would be better IMO. I dunno if they would consider it living in poverty having a kid in a one bed flat, but I know most councils won't let council house tennants live in these conditions.
andy_foster
@OP,

You say you have an EH hearing. Does this mean you have already pled guilty?
Logician
QUOTE (jobo @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:26) *
QUOTE (taco @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:22) *
honestly jobo, im extremely reluctant to go it alone, also i dont think my girlfriend would be too impressed. i probably could give just as good an account of myself, but there's just too much at stake.


thats fine mate

write down all your circumstances you want the solicitor to make for you and we can comment on what youve said and what you should leave out, then you can give it him as you circs

QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 00:21) *
In Scotland you will have an uphill struggle with this. Look in the FAQs for exceptional hardship letters and google this site, there may be a pointer to some aspect you have missed.


do we know Scotland are harder on EHs or are we just assuming ?

That is what I have heard from someone in the Scottish Courts Service.
taco
this is what i would probably say in court. bear with me!






QUOTE
I would like to state to the court that i fully admit to the offence, but didn't realise at the time i had actually commited an offence. i would also like the court to take into consideration the implications a driving ban would have on myself, and more importantly, my innocent family.

My job as a service engineer requires that i have a valid licence to go about my daily duties as stated in my contract of employment, also, within my contract of employment & confirmed in the presented letter from my Boss it states that if i lose my licence i would face disciplinary action in the form of being made reduntant.

My family life would be hit the hardest should i lose my job. As the main source of income, my wage barely covers all of our bills, including mortgage & various debts. My Fiancee is currently on maternity leave and is receiving Statutory Maternity Pay which equates to around £400 p/m. Should she return to work in a full-time capacity, her wage alone would not cover our current outgoings, resulting in a very real possibility of rendering Myself, my Fiancee & 5 month old son homeless.

At present, we live in a small, 1 bedroom flat which has become quite cramped since the arrival of our son and are currently in the process of selling our flat to move to a more appropriate home in order to fulfil the needs of our child. Again, these plans would have to be scrapped & the resulting financial penalties involved would further hit us hard.

we also have the possibility that we may end up caring for my Fiancees 5 year old niece, dependant on other issues outwith this case. this also would be affected.

In this current financial climate, finding another job would prove to be difficult. This is the only job i have done since i left school at 17, and as you can see from the letter from my Boss, i am regarded as an honest, reliable, trustworthy and valued member of my Employer.







I have no idea how to start or end it, but i would probably just hand this to my lawyer.
so, if anyone can think of things i should include or omit, or expand upon, please....im all ears

Andy, yes i have already pled guilty
jobo
QUOTE (taco @ Thu, 30 Jun 2011 - 21:05) *
this is what i would probably say in court. bear with me!




I was stationary at the lights and with out realising that it was an offence in these circumstances, I answered the moby,]I would like to state to the court that i fully admit to the offence, and dont seek to deflect blame from my responsibility

however i would also like the court to take into consideration the implications a driving ban would have on myself, and more importantly, my innocent family.

I work as a service engineer for,,,,,,,,, this requires that i have a valid driving licence to go about my daily duties as stated in my contract of employment, also, within my contract of employment & confirmed in the presented letter from my Boss it states that if i lose my licence i would face disciplinary action in the form of being dismissed. I have asked my employer if they could re deploy me to another role for the duration of any ban. but this, he tells me is impossible in the current economic situation .

My sole skill is that of



As a ban would inevatably lead to loss of job My family would be hit the hardest my wage barely covers all of our bills, including mortgage & various debts. My Fiancee is currently on maternity leave and is receiving Statutory Maternity Pay which equates to around £400 p/m. Should she return to work in a full-time capacity, her wage alone would not cover our current outgoings, resulting in a very real possibility of rendering Myself, my Fiancee & 5 month old son homeless.

At present, we live in a small, 1 bedroom flat which has become quite cramped since the arrival of our son and are currently in the process of selling our flat to move to a more appropriate home in order to fulfil the needs of our child. Again, these plans would have to be scrapped & the resulting financial penalties involved would further hit us hard.

we also have the possibility that we may end up caring for my Fiancees 5 year old niece, dependant on other issues outwith this case. this also would be affected.

In this current financial climate, finding another job would prove to be difficult. This is the only job i have done since i left school at 17, and as you can see from the letter from my Boss, i am regarded as an honest, reliable, trustworthy and valued member of my Employer.


therefore it is with great respect that i ask, if you could review my circumstances and consider if a ban could be avoided on this occasion. I must stress to the bench that i have learned my lesson and i will not be appearing before them again






I have no idea how to start or end it, but i would probably just hand this to my lawyer.
so, if anyone can think of things i should include or omit, or expand upon, please....im all ears

Andy, yes i have already pled guilty


im a bit gushy let a few have a play, made myself cry there
taco
lol jobo!! exactly as i entended:)

i take it that sounds ok?
brief, but to the point & informative
jobo
let it lie for a while to see if there are other mods suggested, but yes its quite good
taco
thanks, will do
taco
wish me luck folks....D-Day 10AM icon_hang.gif

got a very slight piece of positive news when i dropped off the letter on friday. he defended a case very similar, although the guy had no children, client was given a ban, took it to the appeals court and won a reversal. He said it may well set a precedent for future (similar) cases.

fingers crossed anyway, and thanks again to those who have helped.

will let you know how i get on:)
The Rookie
First level of appeal sets no precedent, however the court who originally imposed the ban will be aware of the reversal and so moderate their sentancing accordingly.

Simon
henrik777
There is only 1 appeal up here afaik. Certainly in McConnell it went JP to High court of justiciary (supreme court).

It is therefore binding precedent.

Cheers
taco
DEVASTATED! sad.gif
got a 6 month ban and £90 fine. i can't actually believe they handed this down, said i didnt meet exceptional hardship, so god only knows how much more s*it someone would have to be facing for them to agree to it.

can i appeal? if so, what happens, do i get to keep my licence until the appeal is heard?

i really really really need to find another way
The Rookie
Strictly you got 3 points and then a totting ban, you can appeal, once the appeal is formally entered the ban will be stayed until the appeal is heard, you have 21 days to lodge the appeal.

Simon
taco
what do you mean the ban is stayed?
The Rookie
Once the appeal is formally eneterd, the ban will be stopped so you can drive, if you loose the appeal the 6 month clock will start at the point it was at when it stooped, so if its suspended at 2 weeks and you loose you will then have another 5 months and 2 weeks to serve.

Simon
taco
thanks Simon

i think i have to go down this route, even if i still lose, at least my fiancee would be back in work by then (september) and it would give me some breathing space to look for another job, etc
CuriousOrange
I would check that - I've a fairly good idea that it's not an automatic process, but that you have to request from the magistrates who ordered the ban that they suspend it until the appeal's heard, and they don't have to agree (c.f. Nolan).

Mayhem007
QUOTE (taco @ Thu, 14 Jul 2011 - 13:08) *
DEVASTATED! sad.gif
got a 6 month ban and £90 fine. i can't actually believe they handed this down, said i didnt meet exceptional hardship, so god only knows how much more s*it someone would have to be facing for them to agree to it.

can i appeal? if so, what happens, do i get to keep my licence until the appeal is heard?

i really really really need to find another way


Obviously you are appealing against the sentence/punishment. I appealed against a conviction and it took 4 months for that appeal to suspended my disqualification.

Not too sure how you can appeal against it, since they followed the guidelines. You may become worse off since you were only fined £90.
Mayhem007
Criminal procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

Section 186 and 187 relevant, also section 175

You first need to appeal to the clerk of the court where you were sentenced within 1 week.

If they refuse you will then need leave to appeal in the high court.

Judging by the fact you only got £90 quid fine, it left the court without any room for manouvre. Since, generally they might allow someone to continue driving with 12 points but would give them a hefty fine. I daresay with your financial status they were unable to give such a hefty fine, in return for allowing you to keep your license.
CuriousOrange
I know it's Scotland, but I don't think that the decision to ban or not in these situations is based on how big a fine the offender can afford.

taco
just waiting on my lawyer getting back to me on the appeal process.

i think i might have missed a point yesterday, was talking to my missus about what we are going to do, and another thing that cam up was that she would have to give up her car as well. now, as it stands, our son has a hernia and has been referred to a childrens hospital, 60 miles away, we visit the hospital every 2 months or so and are just waiting on them making a decision on when to operate. her mum has had to retire from work as she can barely walk, and is waiting to be referred for a hip replacement, my partner goes round every day and takes her out and about with our son. she also looks after a boy with special needs at least 1 night a week and needs her car to do all of these things.

i cant believe i overlooked this scenario as i think this would have helped my case.

any views on this guys?
Mayhem007
I might be wrong but I think appeals on sentence are based on the information laid before the court at the time.

Since, you have a lawyer on the case then perhaps he may be able to advise accordingly.

However, it would appear given this new information after sentence, it possibly does strengthen mitigation.
taco
just off the phone to my lawyer. you're correct, the appeal is only based on the information given at the time. he said the thing about my sone, especially, would have helped my case.
i feel even worse now than i did yesterday, cant believe i never thought to mention this!

anyway, the appeal is being written up and i need to go back to court on monday or tuesday and hopefully get my licence back temporarily
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