Driving Whilst Disqualified/Suspended
Driving while suspended or disqualified are both offences that can attract penalties of imprisonment in NSW. The Courts regard these offences as serious because they are often a clear breach of a Court Order.
However, depending on your individual circumstances, including (but not limited to) your need for a licence, age, health and traffic/criminal record, it may be possible to avoid a fine, imprisonment or further driving disqualification altogether.
It is important to note that the Court will assess and sentence every case on its merits, which is why it is essential that you have an effective advocate to mount your best defence. This could mean the difference between living with or without a criminal conviction, which could affect employment prospects and any visa applications you wish to make in the future.
What is the difference between a suspension and disqualification?
A licence suspension can be made by the Police or the Roads and Maritime Services NSW. Examples of these include expiring all your demerit points, committing traffic offences, excessive speeding and unpaid fines.
A disqualification is Court ordered by a Magistrate or Judge. Examples of these include driving under the influence offences, negligent driving, driving recklessly or in a manner dangerous.
Will I receive a conviction?
It depends. The Court can deal with you in one of two ways:
Conditional release order without a conviction - while the Court will find you guilty on the facts, no criminal conviction will be recorded. You may be required to be of good behaviour for up to 24 months, where any offence during this period will bring you before the Court to be re-sentenced.
Conviction - if the Court records a conviction you will be necessarily disqualified from further from driving (see disqualification periods below).
What are the applicable penalties?
Disqualified, suspended or cancelled driving license — Road Transport Act 2013
What defences are available?
Some of the possible defences you may raise include:
- That you were forced or threatened to drive the vehicle;
- That driving was necessary to avoid serious injury to a person (e.g. rushing someone to the hospital);
- That you drove under a mistaken belief (e.g. you honestly believed your licence was valid, and that it was reasonable for you to hold this belief)
- That you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence.
What does the Court consider when sentencing?
The Court will consider:
- Your character, age, criminal history (if any), health, mental condition: character references are appropriate to support your case;
- The trivial nature of the offence;
- Any extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed, and;
- Any other matter the Court thinks proper to consider.
We are here to help
Having a licence is something most people take for granted until they can no longer drive. Fourtree Lawyers understand that not having a licence impacts personal, family and work aspects of your life.
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients on the Central Coast with matters related to Drive Whilst Disqualified and Drive Whilst Suspended charges. Our lawyers can explain and guide you through the entire Court process and work alongside you to get the best possible result. Instructing a lawyer to act on your behalf will ensure you fully understand your position and your options.
Contact our Traffic Offence Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building the strongest case possible, the higher your chance of getting a good outcome.
Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...
“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today
I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.
Section 10(1)(b) – licence expired & drive motor vehicle while licence suspended – Belmont Local Court
Our client, a 38-year-old male who lives in the Upper North Shore area of Sydney, was charged with licence expired less than 2 years before – first offence and drive motor vehicle while licence suspended – first offence. The maximum penalties for these offences are a $2,200.00 fine, and 6 months imprisonment and a $3,300.00 fine respectively. Our client is an active member in the community as well as a Father and an Uncle. The loss of his licence impacted not only his work opportunities but also his ability to see his family on a regular basis. Solicitor Kevin Vierboom conducted successful negotiations with the Police which led to the first charge being withdrawn. In Belmont Local Court, Mr. Vierboom made extensive submissions with regard to the objective seriousness of the remaining charge and our client’s subjective circumstances. Following consideration of these submissions, the Magistrate dismissed the remaining charge and ordered a Good Behaviour Bond for the term of 18 months pursuant to section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. Our client was extremely grateful for this outcome.
Section 10(1)(b) - Drive Motor Vehicle while Licence Suspended 2nd offence – Wyong Local Court
Our client, a 27-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast with his fiancé and 2 infant children, was charged with Drive Motor Vehicle while Licence Suspended 2nd offence. The maximum penalty for this offence is $5,500 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both. As an apprentice electrician, our client required his licence to carry out his work duties. Solicitor Denise McCarthy argued that the offence was in fact a first offence, not a second offence and made extensive submissions to the Magistrate in relation to our client’s previous good character. The Magistrate ordered a Section 10(1)(b) Good Behaviour Bond. Our client and his family were extremely relieved and grateful for this outcome.
One charge dismissed, 3-month disqualification period – 5 x Driving Offences – Gosford Local Court
Our client, a 29-year-old female who lives on the Central Coast, was charged with five Driving Offences. 2 counts of Drive whilst suspended, Negligent Driving, Not Give Particulars to Other Person and Drive Unregistered Vehicle. The most severe maximum penalty for the offences was 12 months imprisonment, a $5,500 fine and an automatic 12-month Licence Disqualification Period. Once our client was disqualified from driving she had to reject certain work opportunities as she works anywhere between Newcastle and Wollongong. Our client went through a traumatic break-up and was under a lot of financial pressure at the time of the offence. Solicitor Kevin Vierboom made submissions with regard to the objective seriousness of the offences and our client’s subjective circumstances including her good character and unlikelihood of re-offending. After consideration of these submissions, the Magistrate dismissed one of the charges and ordered a 3-month licence disqualification period and $800 total in fines. Our client was extremely grateful for this outcome.
Section 10 (1)(a) + Section 10 (1)(b) – Drive Motor Vehicle with illicit drug present in blood – Ist off & Drive Whilst Disqualified – Ist off. Gosford Local Court
Our client is 35 years of age. She is on a disability support pension. She had previously been convicted in her absence for; Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood where she had been disqualified from driving for 6 months and received a 750 fine. She was subsequently charged with Drive motor vehicle with illicit drug present in blood- 2nd off, Drive motor vehicle during disqualification period and Possess equipment to administer prohibited drug. Maximum penalties for these charges range from an automatic disqualification of licence of 12 months to fines of $2000 or 12 months imprisonment. Principal solicitor, Kevin Vierboom lodged an application to annul the first conviction and had all matters reheard together. Submissions as to our client’s previous good character and mental health issues in relation to a serious assault against her which was currently before the court, the Local Court Magistrate dealt with the matter as follows: The Ist drug drive matter was dismissed pursuant to Section 10(1)(a), for the 2nd drug drive matter, a minimum 3-month licence disqualification and a $500 fine. For the drive whilst disqualified offence she was given a Section 10 (1)(b) good behaviour bond for 2 years pursuant and for the Possess drug equipment charge a fine of $200.
Our client is a 40-year-old male who works as a cleaner and lives on the Central Coast. He is the sole carer of 2 children aged 10 and 12 who have serious behavioural issues. Our client had a traumatic childhood, experiencing periods of abandonment and constant relocation. Our client was riding his motorcycle with a friend one evening when they stopped at a private residence. The police followed them and asked if it was their property, to which they replied no. After a licence inspection and breath test, it was revealed that our client did not hold a valid licence and was above the legal limit of alcohol concentration. Our client was charged with the following: driving a motor vehicle during a disqualified period and driving with low range PCA.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy made submissions to the Magistrate outlining our client’s subjective case and mitigating factors. Ms McCarthy pointed out that, notwithstanding our client’s long criminal record (including dangerous driving occasioning death), he had not offended for 9 years. The Magistrate ordered an Intensive Correction Order.
Our client was happy relieved to be able to serve his sentence in the community and avoid jail time, which was a real possibility given our client’s significant criminal history.
Our client is a 28 year old male who travels around the country for business.
Our client had been traveling interstate when a letter from the RMS was sent advising him that his license was suspended. At the time of the offence, he was unaware that he was in fact driving whilst suspended.
Our client came to us with many questions in relation to his matter as this was an unusual case. He was unsure as to what to do and which way to approach the pending Court matter given he was unaware of the suspension at the time.
The maximum penalty for this offence in the Local Court is a fine of $3,300 and/or imprisonment for six months. There is also an automatic license disqualification period of six months and a minimum disqualification period of three months.
Principal Solicitor Kevin Vierboom attended Wyong Local Court and made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. Our client was sentenced to a Conditional Release Order for twelve months without proceeding to conviction.
The finalisation of the matter was a great relief to our client. He was overjoyed with the outcome.