Traffic Law

Unlicensed Driving

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.

If you have been charged with an unlicensed driving NSW offence and require legal assistance, we invite you to contact your nearest Prime Lawyers office.

We have offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Sutherland and Wollongong.    

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