DRIVING WHILST LICENCE CANCELLED, SUSPENDED OR DISQUALIFIED

Driving Whilst Licence Cancelled

The offence of driving while licence cancelled is committed when a person drives on a public road after Transport NSW has cancelled their driver’s licence. This is an offence against section 54(4) of the Road Transport Act 2013.

The penalty that can be received for this offence will depend on whether it is a first or second or subsequent offence of this nature within a five-year period.

For a first offence the maximum penalty is 6 months imprisonment, a fine of $3,300 and an automatic period of licence disqualification of 6 months which can be reduced to 3 months.

For a second or subsequent offence the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 12 months, a fine of $5,500 and an automatic disqualification of licence for 12 months which can be reduced to 6 months.

Driving Whilst Suspended

The offence of driving while suspended occurs when a person drives on a public road after Transport for NSW or the police has suspended their licence. This is an offence against section 54(3) of the Road Transport Act 2013.

In some circumstances police can issue a police suspension notice which suspends a person from driving from the moment they receive the notice until the matter is determined by a court. Circumstances where police can do this include where a person has been charged with murder or manslaughter alleged to have been committed using a vehicle, dangerous driving, a high-range drink driving offence or refusing to submit to a breath test. Police can issue an immediate suspension notice within 48 hours of a charge being laid.

The maximum penalty for a first offence of this type upon a conviction is imprisonment for six months, a fine of $3,300 and an automatic disqualification of licence for 6 months which can be reduced to 3 months.

For a second or subsequent offence upon a conviction, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 12 months, a fine of $5,500 and an automatic disqualification for 12 months which can be reduced to 6 months.

The defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact is open to a person charged with this offence. This defence will succeed if the person can show that they were unaware that their licence had been suspended. The burden is on the accused to establish as such.

Driving Whilst Disqualified

This is an offence against section 54(1) of the Road Transport Act 2013. The difference between suspension and disqualification is that the court disqualifies and Transport NSW or the police suspend. This offence occurs when a person drives on a public road after their licence has been disqualified by a court.

For a first offence upon conviction the maximum penalty is imprisonment of 6 months, a fine of $3,300 and an automatic disqualification of licence for 6 months which can be reduced to 3 months.

For a second or subsequent offence the maximum penalty is imprisonment of 12 months, a fine of $5,500 and an automatic disqualification for 12 months which can be reduced to 6 months.

Penalties

The above offences will be dealt with by the Local Court.

The court has available a variety of sentences which it can impose for the above offences including:

  • Sentence of full-time imprisonment;
  • Intensive Corrections Order;
  • Community Corrections Order;
  • Fine;
  • Conditional Release Order with a conviction;
  • Section 10A (conviction with no further penalty);
  • Conditional Release Order without a conviction;
  • Section 10 dismissal.

The sentencing court will take into account factors it considers relevant when sentencing an offender for the offences of driving whilst licence cancelled, suspended or disqualified, including:

  • The seriousness of the offence;
  • The manner of driving;
  • How the offence was detected;
  • An early guilty plea;
  • The offender’s traffic history;
  • Whether the offender can demonstrate prior good character;
  • Whether the offender has completed a traffic offender course;
  • The offender’s need for a licence;
  • The offender’s subjective circumstances including their age, occupation and mental health conditions;
  • Other factors the court considers relevant.

If you have been charged with driving while licence cancelled, suspended or disqualified, call Karnib & Co Lawyers at any time on 0450503696 or email us on [email protected] to arrange a free consultation. For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skype, Zoom and FaceTime anywhere around the world.