Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense
Driving with a suspended license is a serious offense in NSW. However, a large number of people still have been charged of the same offense in the recent years.
Suspension of license can occur in two ways:
- when a motorist or driver has incurred 12 demerit points, and
- when an individual has forgotten to pay the fines.
A person is fined because of speeding, parking in the wrong area, or not having the appropriate ticket while riding on a public transport. If a person accumulates traffic violations amounting to 12 demerit points and he was not able to pay fines, the RTA and the Sate Debut Recovery Office may suspend the license of the driver for at least three months, depending on the decision of the court.
During the suspension period, it is presumed that an individual cannot drive either in private or public roads. If he drives while suspended, the offender may be charged with the offence of “Driving While Suspended.”
The penalties for driving while suspended may vary depending on the number of times a person has committed the same offense and the decision of the court. For first time offenders, a maximum fine of $3,300.00, unlimited maximum disqualification period, mandatory disqualification period of 12 months or a mandatory disqualified period of 3 months if the person has been suspended for nonpayment of a fine, may be imposed. However, most first time offenders may not have a record of conviction if the court applies Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.
If a person has been declared a habitual offender for committing the same offense within 5years after a previous conviction, the court can record the conviction and extend the suspension of license for another 2 years and be fined for $5,500.00.
Before the suspension of license, the RTA would usually give prior notice to the driver. Most offenders would reason out an honest and reasonable mistake of fact in order to be acquitted. You can raise the defence that the RTA did not give you prior notice of suspension or cancellation of your licence.
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Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.