Driving Disqualified in Melbourne: What’s the Maximum Penalty and How Serious is This Charge?
There is a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 240 penalty units for anyone found guilty of the charge of Driving Disqualified if it is not their first offence. If a person is found guilty of this charge for the first time, the maximum penalty is either gaol for 4 months or a fine of up to 30 penalty units. The Court will evaluate the particular circumstances of each case and decide whether a maximum penalty is appropriate.
Driving Disqualified is a moderately serious offence which may carry a prison term on a finding of guilt. As of 1 May 2011, the mandatory term of imprisonment for this charge has been abolished however the Courts may still sentence an offender to a gaol term depending on the severity of the offending. Cases related to this charge are primarily heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
The legislation on Driving Disqualified
The relevant legislative provision for Driving Disqualified is section 30 of the Road Safety Act 1986. It states as follows:
Offence to Drive While Disqualified etc.
(1) Subject to section 30AA, a person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway while
the authorisation granted to him or her to do so under this Part is suspended or during a
period of disqualification from obtaining such an authorisation.
Penalty: For a first offence, 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 4 months; for a
subsequent offence, 240 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.
(2) Section 49 of the Sentencing Act 1991 does not apply with respect to proceedings
for an offence against subsection (1).
Pleading guilty or not guilty to Driving Disqualified in a Melbourne Court
Deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty to Driving Disqualified has serious implications for you and should be only be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, the results can be very severe.
Elements of the charge of Driving Disqualified in a Melbourne Court
The prosecution must show to the Court that the defendant was driving a vehicle on a highway despite being suspended or disqualified from driving.
Defending a charge of Driving Disqualified in a Melbourne Court
Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are factual dispute and sudden or extraordinary emergency. It is up to your lawyer to decide whether a certain criminal defence should be used in the circumstances of a case.
For more information on Driving Disqualified, you may visit the Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here). Further information can also be found at the Traffic Lawyers Melbourne site (here).
Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne can provide you more detail about this
Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne
Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)
This article was written on Sep. 16, 2013 and relates to the law as it stands at this time.