Driving while suspended or disqualified
If you have been charged with driving while suspended or driving while disqualified, the same piece of legislation applies. Both are offences against section 30 Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic).
In very general terms, driving while disqualified occurs during a period of Court ordered suspension for another offence (such as drink driving) where as driving while suspended generally occurs during a period of suspension of your licence imposed by VicRoads as a consequence for incurring too many demerit points or similar.
It is important that you understand the difference as the Court outcome can be very different subject to your circumstances. For that reason, while it may seem to be a simple driving matter having a lawyer who understands the law and the nuances of these subtle differences, can make a significant difference to your result.
Elements of the offence
For the prosecution to prove the offence of driving while suspended or disqualified, they must establish the following:
- The defendant was driving or in charge of a motor vehicle; and
- The defendant was suspended or disqualified from driving.
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for driving while suspended or disqualified will be tried summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.
If found guilty of Driving While Suspended or Disqualified the maximum penalties are 240 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.
There is no mandatory licence loss applicable to the charge of driving while disqualified or suspended, however you need to be aware that a Magistrate has the power to both further disqualify you from driving and further impound or forfeit your motor vehicle.
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
You may have a defence of honest and reasonable mistake as to the status of your licence available and/or need guidance on how to ensure you protect your outcome if you are pleading guilty to the charge.
At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in navigating the Court process.
Contact our office today to speak to an accredited criminal law specialist, on (03) 9077 4834 or at firstname.lastname@example.org