People can have a maximum of 11 penalty points on their licence at any one period, and penalty points remain on your licence for 3 years from the date received. If you reach 12 penalty points or more then you become a ‘totter’ and are liable to a disqualification of a minimum of 6 months unless the court finds exceptional hardship.

A licence can be endorsed with Penalty points for a range of motoring offences, such as speeding/ careless driving etc. They can add up for a number of reasons – unfortunately, people often commit motoring offences in their day-to-day lives without realising they are doing so.

To save you from worrying this winter, we have compiled a list of some of the common motoring offences that you might not even realise you are committing:

• Whilst there is no specific law that makes driving with snow on your car roof illegal, if the snow falls onto your windscreen whilst driving, you can be penalised for driving without due consideration. For this offence, you could receive 3 penalty points on your licence.

• Have you ever driven on a cold morning whilst your window is still misted with condensation? If the condensation obstructs your view, you could be committing the offences of ‘driving without due consideration’ or ‘using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition’ and receive 3 penalty points and/or a fine.

• You could also receive a fine for not having a readable registration plate. For example, if your registration plate is so muddy that it is illegible, you could be committing an offence under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 and receive a fine up to £1,000.

• You are also required to keep your car’s window wiper blades in good condition. If these are not working in heavy rain, you could face a fine of £100.

• Many people use their mobile phone as a sat-nav. When using your phone as a sat-nav, the phone must be fixed to the windscreen or dashboard. If you are caught contravening this law, you could receive a £200 fine and 6 points on your licence, which is enough to ensure that a new driver (who has had their licence for less than 2 years) is disqualified and their licence revoked.

If you receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution, we suggest that you contact a solicitor. We offer a 30-minute fixed fee motoring consultation for £150 plus VAT. In consultation, you would have the opportunity to discuss defending your case and considering your options. We regularly represent clients facing disqualification and can make exceptional hardship applications if relevant on your behalf.

If you wish to discuss your motoring matters in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact our motoring department on 01702 338 338/ 01277 500123 or 0208 049 5888, or on our out of hours number 01702 342525 which is available 24/7.