What Are The Dangers Of Driving In Australia While Disqualified?

March 22, 2023    Traffic lawyers Perth
What Are The Dangers Of Driving In Australia While Disqualified?

It is important for everyone to drive legally on the road. Only a valid licence will allow you to get your vehicle on the road, drive to work, run errands, etc.

Driving is regarded as a privilege and not a right. Thus, driving while disqualified or suspended is considered a serious crime.

This article will give you informative insights into the dangers of driving in Australia while your licence is disqualified. Please stick until the end of the article to learn some potential defences.

Let’s get rolling!

What Do You Understand By Driving While Disqualified?

According to section 91(5) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA), driving on a public road in Australia without a credible driver’s licence is illegal. And if you continue to drive with a disqualified licence, you might be guilty of an offence. This means if you are caught and found guilty by the police, you’re very likely to get punished.

However, in order to be convicted of driving with a disqualified licence, there must be sufficient evidence to prove the following:

  • The convict was driving a motor vehicle on public roads in Australia
  • The convict did not possess a credible or valid driver’s licence
  • The convict’s driving licence was disqualified or suspended earlier

The driving licence of anyone in Australia might be disqualified or suspended for any of the following reasons:

  • The person has accumulated 4+ demerit points as a learner or provisional diver.
  • He/She might have accumulated more than 12 demerit points within three years of acquiring their driving licence.
  • The person has mistakenly breached a condition of good behaviour on their licence.
  • He/She might have knowingly/unknowingly exceeded the speed limit by 10 Kmph or more on a provisional licence or learner’s permit.
  • The person has been found guilty of drinking and driving.
  • He/She might have failed to pay any outstanding road fine.

You’ll be penalised if you are found guilty and convicted of driving while disqualified WA. However, the extension of your punishment will depend on certain circumstances, including aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty For Driving While Disqualified

Anyone convicted of driving on a disqualified or suspended licence in Australia is charged with similar penalties as those convicted of driving without a credible licence. If you are found guilty for the first time, you might end up spending at least a year in jail. Sometimes, you might also be asked to pay a fine of $4,400 as a penalty for driving while disqualified.

Nevertheless, you can avoid going to jail if you haven’t committed a similar offence within the past five years. It’s because the police offer some kind of discretion in such circumstances. But if they desire, they can issue a maximum fine of $4,400.

On the other hand, these matters are usually heard by the Magistrates Courts but don’t provide any leeway regarding disqualifications. If you’re found guilty of driving with a disqualified licence, your driving licence might be confiscated. And you might not even get your licence back before six months.

It doesn’t matter whether you have been penalised for your offence. While the offence is extremely serious, the penalties associated with driving while disqualified are also severe. At the very least, you might have to pay hefty fines and end up behind bars for up to 18 months. In fact, your driving licence might also be confiscated for 2-5 years.

Hire Experienced Lawyers if You Plead Guilty

If you’ve been found guilty of driving whilst disqualified in Australia, you need the best traffic lawyers to defend you. When you hire experienced lawyers, they will quickly assess your situation and provide an effective defence on your behalf.

Taking your circumstances into consideration, your hired lawyers might argue the following:

  • You possessed a valid licence during the time of the offence.
  • You were suspended from driving on valid grounds, and there is a significant dispute regarding the validity of your driving licence.
  • You weren’t driving on a public road in Australia during the time of the offence.
  • You were forced to drive with a disqualified licence since you were under significant duress or being threatened with violence.
  • You had no option other than driving since you were in an emergency or a similar situation.

What Are The Potential Defences For Driving While Disqualified?

Some of the potential defences that your lawyer can state for driving while disqualified are as follows:

  • You Weren’t Driving on a Public Road in Australia

    The traffic law of Australia states that you must never drive a vehicle on a public road without a valid licence. A public road is defined as an area developed for and used by the public for driving motor vehicles. You might have a defence if your lawyers can prove that you were driving your vehicle on your private property.

  • You Weren’t Behind the Wheels

    In certain cases, the wrong person is penalised for driving while disqualified. There are several reasons why such situations occur. It can be an administrative error on behalf of the prosecutor. There might also be a mistake as the offender might have been carrying your identification that they reported to the police.

    Irrespective of what the situation was, these can work as a valid defence to the charge of driving while disqualified. Thus, your lawyer can seamlessly prove that you were not the one who was driving the vehicle.

To Conclude

When it comes to imposing a sentence or penalty for driving while disqualified, courts have numerous options. Instead of imposing actual imprisonment, the court might also order a specific period of home detention. They might also order a hefty fine as a bond to be of good behaviour. Please note that the court holds the discretion of imposing further disqualification of your driving licence.

So, it is advisable to seek legal advice from the best traffic lawyers Perth WA, while you are charged with driving while disqualified. And if you are pleading guilty, you should seek legal advice. This will help in advancing your best interests during your sentencing procedure.

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