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Nick Freeman warns drivers could escape penalty points by using 'special reasons' argument


Drivers will be automatically issued with six penalty points and a fine for failing to give information about who was driving their vehicle at the time of an alleged offence. However, in some cases, the registered keeper may not be the driver and may not even be aware a penalty notice requesting the information has been issued.

Williams was found guilty for failing to provide information after his father was caught speeding in a Mercedes registered under the player’s name.

Williams was sent a form regarding the offence which was completed by his father admitting he was driving over the limit.

The prosecuting lawyer claimed a reminder had been sent to Williams who failed to respond.

The player argued his father deals with his post and he was unaware that the notice had been sent to his home address and was therefore unaware he was required to complete it. 

However, the court agreed with Mr Freeman’s legal submissions and found there were “significant mitigating circumstances” in the case which allowed the player to leave without penalty points.

Mr Freeman told Express.co.uk: “There are four criteria that all have to be satisfied. Number one is a mitigating or extenuating circumstance. Number two, it’s not a defence in law.

“In other words, you can’t argue a special reason. To give you an example of that you cannot say I wasn’t speeding because that’s a defence.

“Then the third thing is it’s something that is relevant to the commission of the offence.

“And the final thing is it should be something which the court should take into consideration when sentencing.”

Mr Freeman confirmed anyone could argue “special reasons” when charged with a whole range of road traffic offences including speeding and failing to give information. 

He added: “The burden of proof is on the defence on the balance of probabilities.

“Those are the four criteria, you have to give sworn evidence, it’s basically another trial involving sworn evidence.

“Relying on doing it on your own is ill-advised because ideally you need to be an experienced advocate cognizant of the law. But of course, you could argue it.”


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