The loss of a driver's licence can be much more than an inconvenience; it can have an impact on your employment, your social life, your relationship and your assets. Our Traffic Lawyers have extensive experience representing people charged with all types of offences such as speeding, drink driving, dangerous driving and other serious traffic offences.
Our Traffic Lawyers work from our head office in Sydney and several other convenient locations in NSW, servicing Courts throughout the Sydney Metro, Parramatta and Greater Western Sydney, Sutherland Shire, Wollongong and beyond.
Our assessment of your case will help you determine whether to plead guilty or challenge the charge. If the former, we will appear before the Court and make careful submissions on penalty and often, argue that a conviction should not be recorded. If you wish to challenge the allegations, then you will be expertly defended by us, applying our extensive knowledge of the law and years of practical experience to give you the best chance of winning your case. We can help you obtain the best result.
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Most drivers require their licence for one important activity or another. Whether it is for the purposes of employment, education or family commitments, losing the ability to drive can impact greatly on a person's ability to maintain daily commitments.
Many traffic offences attract suspension periods and often, drivers are unaware that upon payment of a fine they will be facing a period of suspension. Fortunately, some suspensions can be appealed, but it is important to act quickly once a notice of suspension is received.
For drivers who find themselves coming before a Court multiple times for major traffic offences, additional sanctions, such as Habitual Offender Declarations, can be imposed. We can help you navigate through this complex area of traffic law and, where permitted, help you maintain your privilege to drive or assist you in getting back on the road sooner.
Licence Suspension Appeals
The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has been given certain legislated powers that relate to placing sanctions on driver's licences. Most of the RMS decisions that relate to driver licensing can be appealed to the Local Court. These sorts of appeals are administrative appeals that previously could only be made to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. When appealing an RMS decision to the Local Court, the appeal is made to the administrative jurisdiction of the Court, where the Court can only review the decision that is made or penalty imposed by the RMS.
The decisions that are appealed to the Local Court are decisions to suspend a driver's licence, under certain circumstances. These appeals are known as licence suspension appeals. Similarly, police have the power to suspend a driver's licence when certain offences are alleged to have been committed. Drivers are able to appeal all police licence suspensions, however, the matters that are to be taken into account by the Court are a little different to RMS appeals. There is a higher threshold to be met before the Court can review the suspension.
Habitual Offender Declarations
In addition to appealing licence suspensions, drivers are also able to make an Application to the Local Court to have an Habitual Offender Declaration quashed. An Habitual Offender Declaration is where a driver receives an automatic, additional 5 years' disqualification for committing 3 or more relevant (major) offences within a 5 year period. This means that in addition to any penalty that the Court might impose for the third offence, the driver will automatically receive a disqualification period of 5 years. This is often a severe penalty that can all but cripple the advancement of some people, given the importance of a driver's licence when trying to obtain employment.
Our traffic lawyers have years of experience successfully appealing to the Local Court to review a licence suspension or having an habitual offender declaration quashed. We understand the importance of retaining your driver's licence or having it reinstated sooner.
Menacing and predatory driving offences generally involve using a motor vehicle to cause another person to fear some harm. They are serious driving offences, with predatory driving being one of the most serious driving offences that can be committed. Read more...
There are several driving offences that relate to the manner in which a vehicle is being driven. Some of the offences are directed at the manner of driving itself. Other, more serious offences, take into account the manner of driving and actual consequences that follow; such as injury to another.
The more serious driving offences carry lengthy disqualification periods and all offences, but negligent driving, attract a term of imprisonment as the maximum penalty. It is not unusual for someone to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for the more serious offences.
Offences in this category include: negligent driving offences; reckless driving, furious driving or driving in a manner dangerous; police pursuit; causing injury by furious driving; and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm or death.
The less serious of these offences are dealt with to finalisation in the Local Court. Some of the offences can be dealt with in the Local Court or the District Court; however, dangerous driving causing death can only be finalised in the District Court and carries the highest maximum penalty. The most likely result on conviction for dangerous driving causing death is a full time gaol sentence.
The prosecution have 6 months from the date of the alleged offence to charge a driver with the less serious offences whereas there is no time limitation on bringing charges for the more serious driving offences. Sometimes, police will charge a driver with a less serious offence, such as negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm and later, charge them with the more serious version of the offence, being dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.
Experience in negotiating with the prosecution can be vital when charged with these offences, as it is possible to have the more serious charges "downgraded" to the less serious charges, which can result in avoiding a term of imprisonment. Our criminal and traffic lawyers are very experienced in dealing with these serious forms of driving offences, negotiating with prosecutors, defending charges and obtaining reduced penalties on sentence.
Speeding offences make up the majority of traffic infringements in NSW and as is well known, raise a large amount of state revenue. Every speeding offence attracts demerit points and some offences attract suspension periods. We can advise you on the prospects of defending a speeding fine or, if it is considered better to pay the fine, the effects of doing so and what else is required if a suspension period is likely. Read more...
There are various offences that fall within the broad category of "Unlicensed Driving". The usual offences are the result of someone driving after the Court, RMS or the Police have imposed either a disqualification period on them or suspended their licence. It is also an offence to drive without having obtained a licence in the first place.
The sanctions for driving whilst disqualified, suspended or cancelled are quite severe and many are surprised when advised that terms of imprisonment may apply.
For many people, the importance of holding a driver's licence cannot be overstated. Many rely on their driver's licence for employment purposes or to meet family commitments. Having a licence suspended or disqualified can have serious repercussions and for some, the consequences of not being able to drive places them at risk of further offending and driving when the law does not permit them to do so. If detected for unlicensed driving, they will then be facing the almost inevitable prospect of being charged with drive whilst suspended or drive whilst disqualified and face the strong likelihood of a lengthy disqualification period and in some circumstances, a term of imprisonment.
Drive Whilst Suspended
A suspension period can be imposed on a driver's licence by either the police or the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). This is not a Court order but an administrative decision made by an authority (although some suspensions can be appealed to a Local Court for review). The driver's licence is not taken away, however, it is suspended for a period of time, depending on the circumstances giving rise to the suspension or the offence that has been committed. Examples are where someone is detected exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h or they have exceeded their allowable demerit point limit.
Drive Whilst Disqualified
A disqualification period is imposed on a person by a Court upon conviction for certain offences. Most serious offences attract mandatory disqualification periods upon conviction. Examples of offences that carry mandatory disqualification periods are drink driving offences and other forms of dangerous driving. When the Court disqualifies the driver, the licence is also cancelled and must be renewed at the expiration of the period of disqualification. The disqualification is an Order made by the Court in its criminal jurisdiction.
Drive whilst suspended and drive whilst disqualified are considered serious driving offences and expose the offending driver to criminal sanctions. Gaol terms are available penalties for both offences and it is important to seek expert legal advice from experienced traffic and criminal lawyers if charged with any of these offences. Despite the heavy penalties that can be and are often imposed, our lawyers have experience persuading Courts to not impose convictions (and therefore disqualification periods) for certain offenders. We have also successfully defended these types of charges, obtaining "not guilty" dismissal of the charge.
Thank you for representing my daughter. I would just like to take this opportunity to say that, under very difficult circumstances, the result was excellent. It was quite evident that you would need to be very skilful in your delivery of the case to get a good result from this belligerent Judge.
I felt that you read the Judge perfectly and handled the case with confidence & considerable finesse. I would highly recommend your services to anyone who needs legal representation.
Being charged with a traffic offence can be a daunting experience for most. Most clients come to our firm with the prospect of losing their licence or facing a criminal conviction and possibly imprisonment. We thoroughly prepare for every one of our cases; the particular facts and circumstances unique to each are analysed to first determine the strengths of a defence to the charge and where this is not possible, careful and meticulous submissions are made to the Court on sentence. It is only when this approach is taken to traffic matters that a client can be assured that we have done all we can to obtain the best result."Emmanuel Apokis - Managing Partner, Accredited Specialist
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