Strict conditions apply to probationary licences. Infringement notices involve no court hearing. Drink-drive offences include drinking alcohol while driving and can lead to loss of licence. Drug-driving and excessive speed can also lead to loss of licence. Detection device or speed camera offences involve a fine and possible demerit points. Demerit points can be lost for various offences. The sheriff may suspend licence and car registration for non-payment of fines. Speeding at more than 25km/h over the speed limit incurs a minimum six month loss of licence. Penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) are heavier than for driving with excessive blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing breath or blood tests can lead to two-year licence disqualification. Licence restoration after a drink driving offence will entail tests, courses, reports and a court appearance. Alcohol interlock devices are now more widely used. Drug driving convictions involve fines and disqualification. Heavy fines and possibly imprisonment can follow driving while disqualified. Dangerous driving incurs automatic licence disqualification. Police and courts can order the impoundment or immobilisation of motor vehicles for a variety of offences, apart from hoon driving. Repeat offenders may forfeit vehicles.

Contributors

Peter Lynch

Lawyer

Madeleine Lynch

Lawyer, Fitzroy Legal Service

Traffic offences heard in the Magistrates’ Court

Last updated

1 July 2020

If you have been charged with a traffic offence that is to be heard in the Magistrates’ Court, you have a number of options about your appearance in court:

1 You can represent yourself. However, this can be difficult for people with no legal experience. (See Chapter 2.3: Representing yourself in court.)

2 You can pay a lawyer to represent you in court. This can be expensive (e.g. over $1000 a day).

3 While legal aid is not generally available for traffic offences, a duty lawyer at court may be able to provide free legal advice and representation on the day of the court hearing.

4 You can use Robot Lawyers Australia (see below). However, this technology is in its infancy and should be approached with caution.

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