Traffic Law

When the unexpected happens, only the best will do

Helping you obtain the best result

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.

what we can help you with

We cover a range of services

Drink Driving

Drink Driving Offences are considered "serious offences" with convictions attracting heavy fines, long periods of licence disqualification and possibly a gaol sentence. New South Wales has some of the toughest drink driving laws in the country. Further, upon conviction, there are mandatory licence disqualification periods that apply.

Any reforms that have been made to drink driving laws in New South Wales have always been directed at the severity of penalties and disqualification periods; that is, to increase them. Due to the prevalence of drink driving offences in the community, the law places a greater emphasis on punishment to try and deter the community from committing these offences.

Most drink driving charges are subject to the level of Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (PCA); that is, offences categorised by different blood-alcohol limits. The higher the category of prescribed concentration of alcohol, the higher the mandatory disqualification periods and maximum penalties. It is common knowledge that police employ devices to determine a driver's blood alcohol content and whether they are over the legal limit and if so, to what extent. It is these readings that police rely on to determine a PCA offence, along with levels determined by blood samples, where relevant.

There are also other offences related to drink driving and PCA offences; such as refusing or failing a breath analysis or attempting to alter one's blood alcohol content before a breath test or breath analysis. These offences can also carry mandatory disqualification periods and large fines.

Finally, police can charge someone with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) where it is believed that the person is or has been driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. Police do not need the assistance of any devices or a known blood alcohol content to prove a charge of DUI. Further, they do not require expert evidence as to whether or not someone is under the influence of alcohol. The Court can determine whether someone was driving under the influence based on evidence given by witnesses in the case, particularly police officers.

The overwhelming majority of those charged with drink driving offences plead "guilty". Our lawyers have represented thousands of drink driving clients and we have a reputation for obtaining outstanding results - in reducing penalties, in having charges withdrawn and in persuading the Courts to not impose convictions and disqualifications. We have also successfully defended clients charged with drink driving offences on numerous occasions. If there is a defence available, we will find it.

Drug Driving

There are various offences that fall under the category of "Drug Driving", with some considered more serious than others. With more state funding being invested in policing drug driving, more and more drivers are finding themselves unexpectedly charged with offences that immediately place their licence in jeopardy.
 
The two main Drug Driving offences are driving under the influence of a prohibited drug and driving while there is present an illicit substance in oral fluid or blood. There are several less common yet related offences to the main offences. For all drug driving offences, a driver faces mandatory disqualification periods upon conviction for the offence.
 

Drive Under the Influence of a Prohibited Drug


This offence is the same offence that relates to driving under the influence of alcohol. As with the alcohol related offence, it is not necessary to obtain expert evidence to prove that the driver was driving under the influence of a prohibited drug. Notwithstanding that expert evidence is not required, it is more common for police to rely on expert evidence when charging someone with and prosecuting this offence. Without expert evidence, in most cases, proving the charge would be difficult. Of the drug driving offences, driving under the influence of a prohibited drug is the most serious.

Drive Whilst Present Illicit Drug in Oral Fluid or Blood

This offence is less serious than driving under the influence of a drug, as it is not necessary for police to prove that the person was affected in any way by the drug. All that is required is that a prohibited drug is detected in the person's oral fluid (usually by taking a sample at the roadside) or in their blood (often if a person is taken to hospital after an accident). The powers of police in these circumstances are similar to drink driving, where random "drug testing" is conducted on the roadside. Although less serious than driving under the influence of a drug, upon conviction, a driver still faces mandatory disqualification periods.

Due to the heavy penalties that result from a conviction for a Drug Driving offence, it is important to seek expert legal advice if charged.  

Licence Appeals and Habitual Offender Declarations

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

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...

Negligent, Reckless & Dangerous Driving

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 NSW

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...

Unlicensed Driving

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.

Which offices practise in Traffic Law

We cover a range of locations

Happy Customers

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.

Natalie, Traffic Law Client

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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