Traffic offences may seem minor compared to other matters appearing before the courts. However, the impact of losing your driver’s licence can be significant, especially if you need your licence for employment.
Penalties for traffic offences can vary depending on the type of offence, the circumstances of the offence and your traffic history.
Some common traffic offences that we regularly represent clients for include:
Our solicitors have represented clients for traffic offences for the last 19 years.
When it comes to traffic offences, our proven track record of delivering results and hands-on approach means that you have the best chance of achieving a good outcome.
We offer you the following benefits:
Not all traffic offences require a solicitor for court representation.
Many people represent themselves at court for traffic offences. With some research and preparation, many people will be able to adequately represent themselves.
If you choose to represent yourself, you should at the very least:
However, there are situations where knowledge of the traffic law and the court process could mean the difference between having a driver’s licence and not.
Freeman Lawyers can assist you by examining the circumstances of your offence, your personal circumstances and recommending practical solutions best suited to you.
An unlicensed driving charge could result from a number of situations including:
If you are convicted of unlicensed driving, in most cases, a court must disqualify you from holding a driver licence. You are also likely to receive a fine.
Assuming that your traffic history is good and there is no risk of imprisonment, in some situations there is not much you can do when you are charged with unlicensed driving.
This is particularly so where the charge arose from you having lost your license due to the accumulation of demerit points.
In other situations, such as unlicensed driving due to unpaid fines, often the police prosecutor will consider your personal circumstances and the offence and may consider reducing the charge. In such case it is advisable to obtain legal advice.
We find from experience that favourable outcomes can be achieved by making submissions to the police prosecutor where the unlicensed driving charge arose from unpaid fines.
If you have been charged with unlicensed driving we recommend you obtain advice regarding the best steps forward. You may not have to be disqualified from holding a driver’s licence.
Too often we see people in court being disqualified for an unlicensed driving charge when their circumstances would have given them a good chance of having the charge reduced and thereby not having to be disqualified.
The main focus here is to make submissions to the police prosecutor to withdraw the charge or reduce the charge to unlicensed simpliciter (unlicensed driving without any aggravating factors). This in turn allows the magistrate to not disqualify you.
You will be disqualified from holding a driver licence for a stated period if you are convicted of:
If you drive a motor vehicle while disqualified by a court order, you could be charged with disqualified driving.
Disqualified driving charges are in a special category in that the minimum penalty is a 2 year disqualification. It is important to be aware of this. For example, you may have been disqualified for 1 month (a relatively short period) due to unlicensed driving or low range drink driving. However, if you are caught driving during the 1 month disqualification period, the court will disqualify you for a minimum of 2 years.
For first-time offenders the main focus is to put forward mitigating factors to support a minimum disqualification.
For repeat offenders more severe penalties could be imposed. The main focus for repeat offenders is to address the underlying cause of the offence and put forward adequate mitigating factors to reduce the chance of a custodial sentence.
Dangerous driving is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code (Qld). It can therefore have serious consequences.
Unlike traffic offences which do not appear on an offender’s criminal history, a conviction being recorded for a dangerous driving charge will appear on a person’s criminal history.
You may be charged with dangerous driving if you operate or interfere with the operation of a motor vehicle dangerously. The maximum penalty for dangerous driving is up to 3 years imprisonment.
There are also a number of aggravating factors which may increase the maximum penalty to 5 years imprisonment. These include, if at the time of the offence:
If you have been previously convicted for dangerous driving this will also be an aggravating factor.
We recommend that you obtain legal advice if you have been charged with dangerous driving.
You may be charged with careless driving if you:
The maximum penalty for careless driving is a $4,000 fine and a prison sentence of 6 months.
This is a lesser charge than dangerous driving. The range of likely penalties varies significantly depending on the circumstances of the charge and your personal circumstances. This is a charge where knowledge of traffic law could significantly assist with the outcome.
When charged with a traffic offence, it is important to obtain legal representation as soon as possible to find out your rights and obligations. In order to exercise your rights you must meet the strict requirements of the law and must do so within a specified timeframe.
There are situations where you may be able to make written submissions to the prosecutor to consider reducing or withdrawing the charge against you. This must however be done in a timely manner.
Freeman Lawyers will guide you through each step of the court process.
We will clearly advise you of the options available to you so that you can make an informed decision. We are proactive in our approach and will take all steps necessary to obtain the best possible outcome for you.
An initial consultation in person with one of our solicitors at our Woolloongabba office or Beenleigh office is fixed at $165. During your consultation you will find out:
Find out what you can do today.