Driving suspended is a criminal offense. If you have been caught doing so, you should immediately seek legal advice from a professional lawyer and follow these steps to avoid maximum penalties and severe consequences.
Understand the details of the charge sheet
You should be aware of the details of the offense you have been charged with. The police officer who caught you driving suspended will have written specifics about the event and offense in the details of the charge section of the charge sheet given to you. Familiarise yourself and understand what exactly the alleged offense is.
- Prepare a defense
It is in the best interest of the accused to seek out legal representation to help with preparing an appropriate defense. In court, the magistrate considers the seriousness of the offense, external circumstances and if you have re-offended. These are the things to consider that may better prepare you for your defense, whether you are guilty or not, so gathering references about your character and your special circumstances is imperative Your lawyer will prepare you for the possible outcomes and how best to pre-empt extreme penalties.
- Request a section 10
Section 10 can be considered in conjunction with external factors such as; the nature of the offense, extenuating circumstances, health, age and individual character. When requesting a section 10, you may be able to avoid a criminal record, imprisonment, loss of license or hefty fines. If your offense of driving suspended was an honest mistake and you can demonstrate to the magistrate that you were unaware your license was suspended, you may be able to follow this defense.
- Understand Your Fine
If you are issued a fine with penalty units, it’s important to understand how much you are expected to pay. Penalty units are used to calculate the amount – one penalty unit is equal to $140 – a first offense can be up to 30 penalty points, while a second offense can be up to 240. The amount of the fine issued may be decreased or increased by the Magistrate on the day, so make sure you know the fine issued, and provide your lawyer with your circumstances so they can submit for a reduction where possible.
- Do not continue to drive until your license suspension is over.
It is an offense to drive with a suspended license. If you have been caught driving suspended, do not continue to drive or there could be further serious consequences beyond fines and lose demerit points.
If you have been caught driving suspended and require legal assistance, contact Drink Driving Defence Sydney for more information and find out how our driving lawyers can help you with your case.