Driving whilst disqualified
Maximum penalties for driving disqualified
The maximum penalty for driving whilst your driver’s licence is disqualified is 2 years imprisonment or 240 penalty units or both. Before 2018 the penalty for a first offence was 4 months, this was changed with the introduction of the Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety, Rail and Other Matters) Act 2017 No. 68 of 2017. It is no longer relevant to the maximum penalty whether it is your first or second offence.
Licence Loss for driving disqualified:
This offence does not carry a mandatory minimum disqualification period. This means that it is entirely discretionary. Magistrates are not bound by law to disqualify an offender’s driver’s licence. They may, however, choose to do so depending on the circumstances of the offence and the persons prior traffic history.
If the person is found guilty at court, police may also make an application to impound or to forfeiture of your motor vehicle.
What is the likely penalty for a first offence for driving disqualified?
Most people that come before the court on a first offence will receive a financial penalty without conviction. The real question will be how long the magistrate is inclined to further disqualify you from driving. This is where a good traffic lawyer comes into the equation, proper representation can make all the difference.
What is the difference between driving whilst disqualified and driving whilst suspended?
Driving whilst disqualified and driving whilst suspended fall under the same section in the legislation namely, section 30 of the Road Safety Act 1986 and carry the same maximum penalty. There is however a great distinction between the two when it comes to the reason you are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle.
Driving whilst disqualified will often relate to driving during a court imposed disqualification period. Upon the conclusion of the disqualification period, the person needs to reapply for a driver’s licence either through the court or VicRoads. It is also possible to have a court imposed period of suspension, magistrates are not bound to disqualify in all circumstances.
Driving whilst disqualified is generally more serious when compared with driving whilst suspended. The reason is because disqualifications are often court ordered whereas suspensions often relate to an accumulation of demerit points and are more often than not will be initiated by VicRoads. A driver’s licence is automatically reinstated upon the conclusion of a suspension period.
Magistrates tend to take a sterner approach in relation to driving whilst disqualified charges when the person has not obeyed the direction of the court by continuing to drive while disqualified.
See here for more information in relation to the driving suspended and for further information in relation to things that need to be considered before Court.
Possible defences in relation to driving disqualified?
- The most common defence is the defence of Honest and Reasonable Mistake of fact. Running this defence should only occur after a detailed conversation with a specialist traffic lawyer. It is important to remember if you are successful in running this defence it is open for a magistrate per s30A of the Road Safety Act to further disqualify you from driving, even when you successfully defend the charge. This is not to say that we cant get the matter withdrawn prior to a contested hearing proceeding.
Do I need a traffic lawyer for court?
If you have been charged with driving disqualified, then you should obtain advice from a law firm that has extensive experience handling these types of cases.
We regularly appear at the Melbourne CBD, Dandenong, Ringwood, Moorabbin, Frankston, Werribee, Geelong and Ballarat Magistrates’ Courts representing clients facing driving offences, and we have offices at all of these localities.
If your driver’s licence is important to you, it is crucial you speak to one of our specialist traffic lawyers to assist you to achieve the best possible outcome at court. Don’t leave your ability to drive in Victoria to chance. Contact us for a discussion.’