What to do if your Driver’s Licence is at risk
Did you know that in certain circumstances a driver of a motor vehicle, who may otherwise have their licence suspended or possibly cancelled, may be able to apply to a Court for a good behaviour licence?
And did you know that it may be possible to have a Court review a decision by the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS – formerly the RTA)? The Court may still impose a penalty but it might be more lenient than the current penalty. In short it pays to get advice if you are confronting this.
What is a good behaviour licence?
For unrestricted licence holders who accumulate 13 or more points in a three year period a good behaviour licence may be a welcome solution for you. Rather than having your licence suspended at this point, you may apply to RMS for a good behaviour licence. This licence runs for a 12 month period and during this time you are only entitled to accumulate 2 demerit points.
When do you need to apply?
If you have exceeded your demerit point limit you will be issued with a Notice of Suspension by the RMS. The suspension notice will state the date on which your suspension will start. It is essential that you apply for a good behaviour licence prior to your licence suspension commencing.
When Can You Appeal a Licence Suspension?
You can appeal against a Licence Suspension in the following circumstances:
• RMS suspension for exceeding the speed limit by 30kph or 45kph. In these circumstances you will receive a suspension letter after paying the infringement notice.
• On the spot suspensions for offences such as mid-range drink driving, high range drink driving, driving in a manner dangerous, speed dangerous, street racing, burnout to name the most common offences.
• A decision by the RMS to suspend a P1 or P2 provisional driver’s licence for loss of demerit points
Note you cannot appeal a Licence Suspension for drivers with a ‘full licence’ as a result of demerit points exceeding the limit.
No second chances
There are no second chances with Licence Appeals, it is important to be properly prepared the first time as the Court’s decision is binding.
You will need to know the Court process and should expect to be giving evidence. In addition it is likely that you will need to gather supporting evidence. You will need to seek legal help from a lawyer with experience in this field.
Time limits apply
You only have 28 days to lodge an Appeal after you receive the RTA notification letter or find out that you are suspended.
Section 10 Orders
In general terms when a judicial officer makes an Order under this section it has the effect of the offence being proven in Court against you but there is no finding against you.
In these circumstances the RMS is not to impose demerit points where a Court orders that a person not be convicted of a traffic offence under Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. This means that you can elect to take a traffic infringement notice to Court and ask the Court not to convict you.
If you are successful in persuading the Court to order a section 10 you will not accumulate demerit points for the traffic offence and therefore your licence will not be suspended.
Do you know a driver who needs assistance?
Appealing decisions should not be taken lightly. Any applicant should ensure that they have received fully informed legal advice as to how they should plead and how best to maximise their chances of success with an application.
These matters require the assistance of a legal specialist who can not only advise as to the merits of the application but also prepare the necessary documentation. For any assistance call us on 02 6542 5566 or email [email protected].