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Miss W instructed Paul Turner having been summonsed to Birmingham Magistrates Court, West Midlands for an offence of driving without insurance. Miss W contacted Paul and outlined the circumstances of her case. Paul advised Miss W that based upon her instructions, she had strong grounds for special reasons. Paul advised Miss W that, as no insurance is a strict liability offence, she would have to plead guilty to the offence and that her case would have to be adjourned for a special reasons trial. Paul attended at Birmingham Magistrates Court along with Miss W and her witness for the special reasons trial and having heard all the evidence, the District Judge found special reasons and did not impose any penalty points, nor was there any financial penalty imposed. Miss W was delighted with the result as she was able to keep her clean driving licence and no other penalty was imposed.
Miss W had been stopped by the police and it was noted that there was no insurance on the vehicle. The vehicle belonged to a friend of Miss W’s and Miss W had been assured by her friend that she had been added on to the insurance policy as a named driver. As it transpired, there had been a problem with the insurance and there was no valid insurance in place in any event. As it was not possible for Miss W to have known these problems, it would not be fair to her to incur penalty points.
For a matter to amount to a special reason, the matter must:
In terms of no insurance, a defendant must have a genuine and honest belief that they were insured and that the genuine and honest belief must be based upon reasonable grounds.
In the above case, Miss W had a genuine and honest belief that she was insured, and the Court found that the genuine and honest belief was in fact based upon reasonable grounds and therefore used their discretion not to endorse her licence with any penalty points.
Many people find themselves before the Court for an allegation of driving without insurance even though, as in Miss W’s case, it is not their fault. Although you are technically guilty of the offence and will have to enter a guilty plea if you were driving on a public road and there is evidence that there was no insurance in force, it is possible to avoid penalty points. If you find yourself in a predicament like Miss W’s, contact us for a confidential consultation and expert and professional advice and assistance.