Drive Whilst Disqualified

You will be charged for driving whilst disqualified if you are caught driving a motor vehicle when you are serving a period of disqualification that a court has imposed upon you. For example, if you have been disqualified from driving as a result of a drink driving conviction and you are caught driving in that time, then you will be charged for driving whilst disqualified.

Possible defences to a charge of Drive Whilst Disqualified include honest and reasonable mistake of fact. You must prove on the balance of probabilities that you were not aware of the suspension or disqualification. You may have changed addresses at the time the RTA sent you a letter advising of the suspension, or may for some other reason not received the letter. In these circumstances, if the court finds that your explanation was honest and reasonable, the charges will be dismissed. To find out more about the defence of honest and reasonable mistake, click here.

Penalties

There is an automatic period of disqualification for this offence of 12 months. The maximum fine is $3,300, and maximum gaol term is 18 months (for a first offence).

For a second offence the automatic period of disqualification is 2 years. The maximum fine is $5,500.00, and maximum gaol term is 2 years.

Depending on the number of times you have committed this offence, the likely penalty ranges from a fine to full time imprisonment. You can avoid any penalty if the court decides that the matter could be dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Procedure Act, in which case you will not be sentenced to a further period of disqualification. Click here to find out more about section 10.

Our Traffic Lawyers have successfully represented clients who have been convicted of several drive whilst disqualified offences over a short period, ensuring that those clients were saved from serving any jail time for the offending.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Case Study - 5th Drive Whilst Disqualified in 3 years
Our client was charged with her fifth driving while disqualified charge in only 3 years. She had a lengthy record for driving whilst disqualified and drink driving.

Usually in these circumstances the courts deal with these matters by way of a full time custodial sentence.

In exploring reasons why our client developed a problem with alcohol, leading to her original disqualification, our firm instructed a psychologist to prepare a report for court.

The psychologists report outlined how our client’s personal circumstances and death in the family had impaired our client’s decision making capacity.

The court accepted the medical evidence and dealt with this matter by imposing a term of imprisonment but suspended on a good behavior bond pursuant to Section 12.

Case Study – 6th Offence
Our client was charged with his sixth driving while disqualified within a 8 year period. The client had previously been sentence to full time custody for six months for his last driving while disqualified.

There were extenuating circumstances why our client needed to drive on this occasion.

We appeared on behalf of our client at Campbelltown Local Court before Magistrate Guy.

Our court agreed with our submission that our client should be assessed for an intensive corrections order. The matter was adjourned for an intensive corrections order assessment.

Our client was found suitable for an intensive corrections order. The client was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 9 months to be served by way of an intensive corrections order.

Our client, amazingly, avoided a jail term.

Case Study - Drive Whilst Disqualified – Mistake of Fact – Decision to Disqualify Made in Client’s Absence
Our client was charged with a low range drink driving offence. He was advised by police to complete a ‘Notice of Pleading’ form and that the case would be dealt with by the Court in his absence.

His matter came before Kogarah Local Court where he was disqualified from driving for a period of 6 months and received a $600.00 fine. However, our client never received notice from the Court of these orders as he had been excused. Despite contacting the Court to confirm the outcome he was not notified of his licence disqualification or fine.

Unknowingly, our client drove without a licence and was charged with driving whilst disqualified.

At the hearing before the Downing Centre Local Court our solicitor made strong submissions that our client honestly did not know he had been disqualified from driving, that he had contacted the court and tendered evidence that the fine remained outstanding.

The Magistrate, albeit reluctantly, found our client not guilty due to an honest and reasonable mistake.

Case Study – Intensive Corrections Order instead of Full Time Prison for Driving Whilst Disqualified
Our client was charged with his fifth driving whilst disqualified within an 8 year period. He had previously been sentenced to full time custody for six months for his last driving whilst disqualified offence.

There were extenuating circumstances why our client needed to drive on this occasion. Our solicitor was successful in arguing that there was a good reason for our client to drive on this occasion which the Court accepted.

The Court agreed with our submission that our client should be assessed for an intensive corrections order.

The matter was adjourned for assessment.

Our client was found suitable following the assessment and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 9 months to be served by way of an intensive corrections order assessment at Campbelltown Local Court.

The client stayed out of full time custody.

Case Study - S. 10 for Driving whilst disqualified
Our client was charged with drive whilst disqualified. This offence carries a minimum 24 months disqualification period on top of the disqualification period already served.

Our client had a month left on his disqualification period.

It was always going to be tough to get a Section 10, unless there were extenuating circumstances.

Our solicitor drafted affidavits for the client as well as his sister describing the very urgent situation which caused our client to drive.

Our solicitor made strong submissions for our client before Magistrate Van Zuylen at Blacktown Local Court explaining what caused our client to drive, attesting to his good character and the fact that there were no other breaches of the court imposed disqualification.

His Honour dealt with the matter by way of a Section 10 bond which meant that no action was taken on the driving, allowing our client to obtain his license once the disqualification period ended.

The client was extremely happy with the extraordinary result.

Case Study - Only 1 Month Left On Disqualification, Client Escapes Conviction
Our client was charged with drive whilst disqualified. This offence carries a minimum 12 months disqualification period on top of the disqualification period already served.

Our client had a month left on his disqualification period. It was always going to be tough to get a Section 10, unless there were extenuating circumstances. Our solicitor drafted affidavits for the client as well as his sister describing the very urgent situation which caused our client to drive.

Our solicitor made strong submissions for our client before Magistrate Van Zuylen at Blacktown Local Court, explaining what caused our client to drive, attesting to his good character and the fact that there were no other breaches of the court imposed disqualification. His Honour dealt with the matter by way of a Section 10 bond which meant that no action was taken on the driving, allowing our client to obtain his license once the disqualification period ended.

The client was extremely happy with the result.

Case Study - Fourth DWD Offence, Appeal Against Full Time Jail Successful In District Court
Fourth DWD- Severity appeal to Parramatta District Court

Our client was sentenced at Liverpool Local Court in early 2014 for her 4th Drive Whilst Disqualified charge.

She was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment in the Local Court.

She then hired Adam from LY Lawyers to lodge a severity appeal at Parramatta District Court, in an attempt to keep her out of jail.

Our client was 5 months pregnant, had a good job, and was a productive member of our community.

The case appeared before Parramatta District Court before Delaney J. in early April 2014. After preparing an entirely new case for our client, the Judge agreed with us and allowed the appeal, handing our client a suspended sentence, in lieu of a sentence of full time jail.

A deserved sentence.

Case Study - S.9 bond for 21 year old with lengthy criminal history
Our client pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified. He was only 21 years old and had a poor driving record starting with speeding, driving whilst licence expired, drink driving, driving whilst licence cancelled and another driving whilst disqualified in addition to a number of driving whilst unregistered and uninsured offences.

Our client was looking at community service or worse.

The matter was heard before His Honour Magistrate Brydon at Manly Local Court.

Our solicitor argued that given the already lengthy period in which our client was already disqualified for, the court should impose the minimum and automatic period of disqualification.

Our solicitor argued that given our client’s youth, being 21 years of age, a lengthy disqualification period was going to have a profound impact on his future, particularly in his chosen trade as an electrician.

Our solicitor was able to convince the court that this would more than likely be the final traffic offence on our client’s record. He had sold his car had undertaken the traffic offenders program. His Honour found that although our client has a short traffic history with multiple offences each year that our client could be adequately punished by imposing the minimum period of disqualification and a section 9 bond for 2 years.

This was a good result for our client. Especially given that all these offences occurred before he had even reached his green P plates.

Case Study - Intensive Corrections Order for 4th offence within 2 years
Our client was charged with two driving whilst disqualified offences within a period of two weeks. Our client had 3 prior convictions for the same offence. Our client was facing the real possibility of a full time custodial sentence. Our client had a significant problem with drug use.

The matter proceeded before Magistrate Hyatt at Mt Druitt Local Court. It was submitted on behalf of our client, that a full time custody sentence would not adequate address our clients drug use.

It was submitted that our client should be assessed for an intensive corrections order (ICO) which would not only address our clients rehabilitation but also adequately punish our client for his conduct. The court agreed and adjourned the matter for an ICO assessment.

Our client was found suitable for an ICO. The court imposed a term of imprisonment of four months but directed that it be served by way of an ICO order.

Case Study - 17 year old P-plater caught driving while disqualified- keeps licence.
Our client was a 17 year old P-plate driver charged with driving whilst disqualified. It was alleged that our client was seen driving on Christmas day 2015. Police also indicated that there was CCTV footage of the incident. However this footage was not obtained for the court hearing.

Our client denied the charge and his father was able to give his evidence to the effect that our client was with him at the time of the alleged incident.

The matter was heard at Liverpool local court before magistrate Walsh. Magistrate Walsh agreed with the submissions made by our solicitor and agreed that the supporting statements of the client’s father as well as the fact that the CCTV footage was not available made it impossible to uphold the charges on the client.

The case was dismissed and our client was able to keep his licence rather than facing a possible two year automatic disqualification.
Case Study -Drive Whilst Disqualified. Breach of four section twelve bonds. Home Detention.
A breach of section 12 bonds is very serious and unless the breach is trivial the Court must revoke the bonds. Our client came to us having driven whilst disqualified. His traffic history was not large, however he was in breach of five section 12 bonds, pursuant to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. There was no particular excuse why our client had been driving whilst his licence was disqualified which afforded him a Defence. Our client was driving to the shop to get food for his children who he was looking after because his ex-partner was ill. He was stopped close to his home.

Driving whilst disqualified being a serious offence, our solicitor had to concede that the breach was not trivial. Our client had a history of domestic violence and breaching Apprehended Violence Orders which earned him the section 12 bonds.

The Pre Sentence Report did not help our client as he was found unsuitable for Community Service and therefore unsuitable for an Intensive Corrections Order. In Parramatta Local Court our solicitor made strong submissions to Magistrate Brown citing that our client deserved one last chance to avoid incarceration, Magistrate Brown agreed and had the bonds revoked and our client was given one last chance to remain out of custody by being sentenced to a Home Detention Order.
Case Study -Drive Whilst suspended- 12 month good behaviour bond.
Our 22 year old client came before Sutherland Court having an appalling driving record (including negligent driving). Having obtained his learners licence at the age of 16, his licence had been suspended on 3 separate occasions due to speeding offences.  In this matter our client had been charged for driving whilst disqualified.

Our client had provided numerous documents regarding the circumstances of his offending. Our experienced solicitor worked tirelessly to negotiate the police facts sheet and reduce our client’s culpability.

Our client was advised about and successfully completed the traffic offender’s program. He also obtained numerous reference letters from his employer, mother and father and best friend.

Our dedicated solicitor prepared submissions and argued that although our client didn’t have the best driving record, he had a specific need for his licence and was apologetic for getting into his car and driving a very short distance due to a medical emergency.

Magistrate Trad  took into account his personal circumstances and the fact that there was no aggravating factors regarding the offending.

Our client was facing a six month court disqualification. Without proceeding to a conviction, the sentencing Magistrate placed our client on a good behavior bond for 12 months. He was ecstatic with the effort and preparation put into his case by our dedicated solicitor.