If you drive at a speed exceeding 130km/hour or more than 25km/hour, you may face charges of excessive speeding by the police. Your guilt or innocence will depend on the specific details and situation of your case. To prove your culpability, the prosecution must demonstrate that you were driving the vehicle and doing so above the speed limit.
Is going to court my only option?
A court hearing is held where the prosecutor reads out a statement of alleged facts and the magistrate determines whether you are guilty and what punishment to give. If you agree that you are guilty, you must plead guilty in court.
The magistrate may reduce your punishment if you plead guilty as a sign of cooperation.
Plead not guilty
You must inform the prosecutor before your court date that you plan to plead not guilty if you believe you did not break the law or disagree with the allegations. During the summary case conference, they will discuss your case with you. If you still wish to plead not guilty after the conference, tell the magistrate. The magistrate will reschedule the case.
If you choose to contest, you will need to appear in court again. The magistrate will listen to evidence from both of you as well as the police before making a decision. Your defense should be prepared.
Get legal advice if you are pleading not guilty.
If someone was critically ill in the car, you might have a defence if you were forced to speed for safety reasons. The magistrate will decide if your reason is good enough.
Providing the name and address of the person driving the car is necessary if you weren’t the driver.
In order to prove that the speed detector was inaccurate, you would need to show that it was broken or improperly operated. You would need an expert to explain this in court. You would need strong evidence that you weren’t speeding otherwise.
What is not a defence?
Having a broken speedometer or being late for work is not a defense. Nor is saying you didn’t know the speed limit because there were no signs a defence.
Penalties if convicted?
A magistrate’s penalty and anything said in court will go on your criminal record.
Usually, speeding offenses result in demerit points. The number depends on the speed you were driving over the limit. If you were suspended for excessive speeding, you will not receive demerit points. The number of demerit points depends on your speed. The magistrate cannot change it. VicRoads adds demerit points to your licence from the date the offence occurred, not your court date.
Losing your licence
For excessive speed offences, the magistrate may let you keep your licence. However, for excessive speed offences, the magistrate must suspend your licence for a minimum period.
The magistrate can choose to make that time longer. This depends on the details of your case.
Minimum suspension periods for excessive speed
The magistrate must suspend your licence for at least:
3 months if your speed was between 25 km/hour and 35 km/hour over the speed limit
6 months if your speed was between 35 km/hour and 45 km/hour over the speed limit
12 months if your speed was 45 km/hour or more over the speed limit
3 months if driving 130 km/hour or more.
There are no exceptions to driving when your licence is suspended. You cannot drive to work or to pick up your children. You cannot drive for a limited time. Driving while suspended carries severe penalties.
The maximum fine depends on how much faster than the speed limit you were driving. You can be fined:
- 10 penalty units for driving less than 35 km/hour over the speed limit
- 15 penalty units for driving at 35 km/hour or more but less than 45 km/hour over the speed limit
- 20 penalty units for driving 45 km/hour or more over the speed limit.
If you support a family, you should tell the magistrate about your income and other expenses.
In the event that you cannot afford to pay the fine in one payment, you can ask Fines Victoria for a payment plan.
In the event that you fail to pay a fine in time, Fines Victoria can increase it. The court can also issue an arrest warrant for you if you don’t pay the fine on time.
If you have been found guilty of the following offence, the magistrate may give you an undertaking to behave well for a certain amount of time rather than giving you a fine or impounding (locking up) or immobilising (clamping or locking the steering wheel of your car) your car for a short period of time:
- speeding by 45 km/hour or more
- driving at 145 km/hour or more
- involved in a speed trial or road race
- speeding while being chased by police.