It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road whilst disqualified from doing so – Road Traffic Act 1988.
This is what is known as an “absolute” offence – simply doing the act amounts to a criminal act. There is no need for the prosecution to demonstrate a deliberate intent. The prosecution need only prove that you were driving whilst disqualified in order to secure a conviction. The only available defences are necessity or duress – in other words that you were absolutely forced to drive against your will. This is difficult to prove.
Upon conviction a court has the discretion to imprison for up to 6 months and impose a fine. Disqualification from driving is discretionary but the award of penalty points is mandatory.