Traffic Offences & Licensing Appeals

Traffic Offences & Licensing Appeals

If you have committed a driving offence and have been served with a Court Notice, you may wish to contact us and obtain legal advice. This is a very complex area of the law and we can assist you with:

  • Traffic Matters
  • Driving Charges
  • Drink Driving
  • Speeding
  • License Appeals

License disqualifications

If you are disqualified from driving by a Court, you may find that your license is automatically suspended for a period of time. If this occurs, you are prohibited from driving during your disqualification period. The penalties for driving whilst your license has been disqualified or cancelled are significant and can even include a custodial sentence. Significant penalties also apply when you drive unlicensed.

Immediate license suspensions

Your license may be immediately suspended and confiscated by Police either on the spot or within 48 hours of receiving your Penalty Notice for the following offences:

  • A serious driving offence causing death or grievous bodily harm;
  • Speeding in excess of 45 km/h over the speed limit;
  • Middle or high range prescribed concentration of alcohol or committing other serious alcohol-related offences;
  • A street racing offence;
  • An aggravated burnout offence;
  • Speeding in excess of 30km/h over the speed limit whilst the holder of a learner or provisional license; and
  • Driving unaccompanied by a supervising driver whilst the holder of a learner license.

If you are charged by Police for an offence, your license will remain suspended until your matter has been heard by a Court. If you are convicted of the offence that you have been charged with, and your license is disqualified by the Court, the Court may take into account the period you have already served, when imposing a disqualification period.

If you are issued a Penalty Notice for speeding in excess of 45 km/h over the speed limit, you will be faced with a 6 months license suspension period. 

If you are a learner or provisional license holder or you are a learner driver driving unaccompanied by a supervising driver and have been issued with a Penalty Notice for speeding in excess of 30km/h, but not more than 45km/h over the speed limit, you will face a 3 months license suspension period. 

Demerit points and fines also apply to speeding offences.

A person has the right to appeal the suspension of their license at a Local Court. The appeal must be lodged with the Court within 28 days of being issued with the suspension notice. Unless the court in the meantime orders otherwise, you must not drive unless the Court upholds your appeal to retain your license.


If you are caught speeding and a Penalty Notice is issued, you will incur a fine and license demerit points. Learner and P1 license holders will have their license suspended for at least 3 months for any speeding offence.

There are license suspension periods, similar to the minimum disqualification periods applied by a Court, for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/h (3 months), and by more than 45 km/h (6 months).

If police catch you speeding by more than 45km/h over the limit you may have your license immediately suspended and confiscated at the roadside for 6 months.

In addition to the suspension and disqualification periods, these offences also carry demerit points which are added to the license holder’s record. If the license holder reaches or exceeds their demerit points limit, these points may contribute to an additional suspension.

Traffic offenders program

This program is designed to help you understand the responsibilities of drivers and the risks associated with dangerous driving. Contact us to see for assistance.

Habitual Offender

A Habitual Offender is a person who has committed and been convicted of 3 serious offences within a 5 year period. A serious offence includes a situation where a vehicle is involved in the crime of murder or manslaughter,  driving at a dangerous speed or in a dangerous manner, driving recklessly, or at speed or in a dangerous manner while engaged in a police pursuit, furious driving, reckless driving, menacing driving, negligent driving where death or grievous bodily harm is occasioned, drink and drug driving offences, failing to stop and give assistance in an accident involving death or injury, driving whilst disqualified, cancelled, suspended or refused, or a conviction for an offence of exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h or a conviction for unlicensed, never licensed.

A Habitual Offender will be disqualified from driving for 5 years unless a court rules otherwise (minimum 2 years). This will be in addition to any disqualification resulting from the third major offence. The court may order a longer period of disqualification, includingdisqualification for life. The court may also, at the time of conviction, or at a later time, quash the declaration if it determines that the disqualification imposed is disproportionate and unjust having regard to the total driving record of the person or special circumstances of the case.

Prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA)

In NSW there are different blood alcohol concentrate (BAC) limits that apply at different times. NSW has three limits:

  1. 0.00;
  2. 0.02; and
  3. 0.05

In NSW there are four categories of PCA (drink driving) offences:

  1. Special range PCA applies to special category drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.02 and 0.049 g/100 mL
  2. Low range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.05 and 0.079 g/100 mL
  3. Mid range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of between 0.08 and 0.149 g/100 mL
  4. High range PCA applies to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.15 g/100 mL.

The limit that is applicable to an individual depends on the classification of an individual’s license and the type of vehicle that is being driven. Therefore, an individual may have a number of applicable blood alcohol limits depending on what vehicle they are driving at any specific time.

The 0.00 limit applies to:

  1. All learner drivers;
  2. All Provisional 1 drivers; and
  3. All Provisional 2 drivers.

The 0.02 limit applies to:

  1. Drivers of vehicles of ‘gross vehicle mass’ greater than 13.9 tonnes;
  2. Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods; and
  3. Drivers of public vehicles such as taxi or bus drivers.

The 0.05 limit applies to:

  • All other licences not subject to a 0.00 or 0.02 limit.

When individuals drink and drive it increases the risks of having an accident. An individual with a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 (low range) doubles the risk of having an accident. An individual with a blood alcohol reading of 0.08 (mid range) is 7 times more likely to be involved in an accident and an individual with a blood alcohol reading of 0.15 (high range) is 25 times more likely to be in an accident.

MERIT – Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment

Local Courts have a special program called the Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment Program (MERIT). It offers adult defendants with drug problems the opportunity to work, on a voluntary basis, towards rehabilitation as part of the bail process. You can be referred to the program by police, by us or by the Magistrate.

If you think you will have trouble paying your fine within 28 days, speak to court staff before you leave about making a ‘time to pay’ arrangement. If you do not pay the fine within the time set, the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) can impose a range of penalties against you.

Can you appeal?

You can appeal to the District Court if you are not satisfied with the Magistrate’s decision. You should seek legal advice before lodging any appeal. The appeal must be lodged within 28 days and there is a fee payable.

This is a complex and lengthy process and our firm can assist you to make the process as pain free as possible.

Contact us today…

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