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Dominic Sellar

Special Reasons

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Section 34(1) Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

Where a driver is convicted or simply accepts that he is guilty of an offence he may be able to establish that there are Special Reasons why penalty points should not be endorsed on his licence. The same principle applies to offences that attract discretionary and mandatory periods of disqualification. This means that if a driver proves that Special Reasons exist the court will either reduce the period of disqualification or impose no disqualification at all.

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"I firmly believe every motorist is entitled to expert road traffic advice"

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Independent Testimonials

From Recent Case Wins

Honest and trustworthy service

facing a very difficult situation of a lengthy ban Dominic managed to fight my corner which resulted in a more manageable short term ban. What I liked about Dominic was that he was very straight talking and was very honest. … Continued

Careless Driving
Multiple Charges

I was facing multiple charges and Dominic sorted Everything out. I’m absolutely delighted by the outcome. And would recommend him to anyone needing a road traffic lawyer.

Penalty Points & Totting-Up
Speeding Driving Charge – 1st Class Service

Recently hired Dominic for a speeding charge I recieved. My experience was first class from start to finish upfront cost no hidden charges and communication from Dominic at all times was amazing only a phonecall away.

Speeding
Speeding Driving Charge – Falkirk JP Court

Many thanks for all your efforts in getting the speeding charge against me dropped.  I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of you and your firm.  From the outset you were very clear about the process and procedures … Continued

Speeding
Dangerous Driving. Dumfries Sheriff Court

I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Sellar for the way in which he represented me when faced with a dangerous driving charge or alternatively speeding charge. He came across as knowledgeable and professional with his advice that … Continued

Dangerous Driving
Charges Dropped

My brother recently used the services of Dominic Sellar & Co for a road traffic offence, and we’re very glad he did! The charges against him were dropped, in no small measure down to the expertise of Dominic. Wouldn’t hesitate … Continued

Speeding
Traffic Charges

I would like to thank Dominic and his team for a great outcome in court. I would highly recommend him to anyone facing traffic charges. His fee was also very reasonable.

Speeding
Speeding Charge

From the start to the end Mr Sellar came Cross as a highly intelligent man and it wasn’t until in the courtroom the real level of his intelligence and knowledge for road traffic law shone through. The end result is, … Continued

Speeding
Drink Driving & Failing to Provide at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Thank You so much for representing me in my court cases. I am more than happy to provide a recommendation…

Drink Driving
Careless Driving Case, Hamilton Justice of the Peace Court

I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for the care and attention you showed to my mum when you recently represented her in court. This was an extremely anxious time for my mum and your professional yet … Continued

Careless Driving
Speeding and Careless Driving at Glasgow JP Court

Thank you for getting the very best result for me today. I truly appreciate the expertise and knowledge that you have and how this has enabled me to retain my very precious driving license. I will have no hesitation in … Continued

Speeding
Careless Driving and No Insurance at Lanark JP Court

Thank you so much for all your help and representation with my case at Lanark Sheriff Court. My license is essential, your expect advice and representation at trial saved my licence and my job. Thanks again, I would highly recommend … Continued

Careless Driving


Put in its simplest form Special Reasons can be described as a reasonable explanation for why the offence took place which justifies the court from not imposing the usual penalties.  There is no legal definition, but a number of cases have established that Special Reasons must:

Be a mitigating or extenuating circumstanceNot amount to a legal defenceBe directly related to the offence itself andBe one which the court ought to properly take into consideration when imposing a sentence.

Special Reasons can arise in a variety of circumstances and each case will be decided on its own unique facts.  A Special Reason is not a legal defence to the charge in question, and it will only apply where the driver either accepts he has committed the offence or where he has been convicted of an offence after trial.  Special Reasons must be directly related to the commission of the offence and cannot refer to the personal circumstances of the driver.  This means that the consequences of penalty points or disqualification on the driver cannot amount to Special Reasons.  Therefore the loss of employment and consequent hardship to the driver or his family cannot amount to Special Reasons.


Special Reasons can apply to most road traffic offences, including:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light
  • Dangerous driving
  • Careless driving
  • Vehicle defects
  • Drink driving
  • Driving without insurance


An application for Special Reasons must be raised by the driver at the time of sentence.  This should happen at the point at which he is convicted or where he accepts he committed the offence and pleads guilty.  In the normal course of events, once an application for Special Reasons has been made the court will fix a date for a hearing which is called a Special Reasons Proof.

The onus or responsibility is on the driver to prove that Special Reasons exist and that these would justify the court from not imposing penalty points or disqualification.  In practice the driver will give evidence and lead other evidence to establish that there are Special Reasons.  Defence witnesses may also be called to support the application for Special Reasons.  If this evidence is not accepted by the prosecutor the driver will be cross-examined and the evidence he relies on will be challenged.  Conversely, the prosecutor may accept what is said by the driver.  In this situation, the court can simply hear submissions in the absence of evidence.

The Court’s Decision

Some of the issues that a court may look at when considering special reasons include:

how far the vehicle was driventhe manner of drivingthe condition of the vehiclewhether the driver was intending to go furtherroad and traffic conditionsthe possibility of danger to other road users.

At the conclusion of the hearing the court will make a decision that Special Reasons have or have not been established.  Where Special Reasons are established the court can order that no penalty points are endorsed on the licence.  If the offence carries disqualification, the court can reduce the period of disqualification or impose no disqualifiaction at all.

Medical emergency or some other emergencyThe shortness of the distance drivenEscaping danger or threatening behaviour

Special Reasons & Driving without Insurance Offences

Special Reasons may apply if the driver or owner of the vehicle can establish that:

there was a genuine and honest belief that insurance cover was in placethe genuine and honest belief was based upon reasonable grounds

Special Reasons & Drink Driving Offences

With drink related offences Special Reasons might apply if the driver can establish that:

his drink was spiked or laced he was escaping violencethere was some other emergency

How we can help

If you think you may have an argument for Special Reasons that will avoid penalty points or disqualification then we can help. Our experience and expertise in this area will quickly determine the merits of your case and all other options that might be available to you. Early expert advice can save time and expense. We can prepare your case, arrange for supporting documentation and make forceful representations at court. We pride ourselves in offering a service that is friendly, reliable and honest. As specialist road traffic lawyers we believe that we will offer you the right advice. For free advice that is without pressure or obligation simply contact us:

E-Mail Us Today or Tel: 0141 255 1519

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