Could a Licence Appeal Get You Out of Your Driving Offence?
Here at The Defenders, our Criminal lawyers in Parramatta fight criminal offences for learner drivers, as well as P1 and P2-Platers. The following is a helpful guide for new drivers that explores driving offences and their consequences, as well as how criminal defence lawyers can help.
How Do Demerit Points Work?
Demerit points are accumulated when an offence is committed and are added to your driving record. If you do not have any offences, you have zero demerit points.
Depending on the licence you hold, the limit of demerit points you can receive varies until you get a suspension or fine. The demerit point limits are:
- Unrestricted Licence: 13 points
- Provisional P2 Licence: 7 points
- Provisional P1 Licence: 4 points
- Learner Licence: 4 points
For unrestricted licence holders, the period of suspension depends on the number of demerits you accumulate. For learner, P1 and P2 licence holders, the suspension period is 3 months.
Most demerit points remain on your licence for four years from the date of the offence. For more serious offences, such as causing death by dangerous driving or drink driving, the points remain on your licence for a period of 11 years.
If L, P1 or P2 drivers get caught speeding, they will face an immediate licence suspension. The suspension will last for a period of three months, and a minimum of 4 demerit points will be accumulated for any offence.
Speeding more than 30 km/h over the speed limit is considered an excessive speeding offence and may result in larger consequences. Speeding in a school zone or during holiday periods, where double demerit points apply, will also result in more severe consequences.
Drink Driving Offences
All states and territories require all Learner and Provisional drivers to have zero alcohol and zero drugs in their system whilst driving.
First time drink driving offenders can face a fine of $3,300 or 18 months imprisonment or both. For a second offence, you can face a fine of $5,500 or two years imprisonment or both.
If found guilty of driving with an illicit drug in your oral fluid, blood or urine, you could face a fine of $2,200 for the first offence and $3,300 for a second offence.
Common and Unlikely Offences for P-Platers
Can I Use my Phone Whilst Driving?
Learner and P-Plate drivers in NSW cannot use a phone in any way whilst driving. Using phone navigation, Bluetooth music and handsfree car holders, are strictly forbidden.
What Happens if I Don’t Display my Plates?
If your P or L plates are not displayed on the front and rear of your vehicle when you drive, that is an offence. Consequences include a possible fine and loss of 2 demerit points. It is also important to note that when towing a trailer, the plates must be displayed on the rear of the trailer.
What Vehicles are Prohibited?
P-platers are banned from driving vehicles classed as high-performance, as they have characteristics like fast acceleration. Specifically, Vehicles with a power-to-mass ratio above 130 kilowatts per tonne, and vehicles with significantly modified engines, are prohibited.
Can I Drive Barefoot?
You can’t be ticketed for driving barefoot; however, NSW road rule 297(1) says you must have proper control of your vehicle so if a police officer sees fit, you could be held responsible for an accident if they think your barefoot driving contributed to it.
Can I Eat or Drink Water When Driving?
There’s no actual law in Australia that prohibits you from eating or drinking (non-alcoholic drinks) while driving. However, if a police officer believes you are not in control of the vehicle because you are distracted by eating or drinking, you can receive an infringement notice.
How Do I Get Out of my Driving Offence?
An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help you apply for a licence appeal, which may get you off your driving offence. The lodge of an appeal to the Roads and Maritime Service can waive or reduce your driver’s licence suspension.
The appeal must be lodged within 28 days of receiving the suspension notice. This process must be done as soon as possible to enhance your chances of receiving an appeal.
The appeal is conducted in front of a local court. Therefore, it is imperative to get a traffic lawyer in Sydney to speak on your behalf and prepare your case to the highest standard. We will gather evidence that will support your case, such as helping you to complete programs that show you are committed to bettering yourself. Criminal law firms can typically help you get positive references from people who have a good reputation within the community.
When searching for a reputable criminal defence lawyer to defend your traffic offence case, you must find a lawyer who has both experience and a high success rate in helping their clients to achieve positive outcomes. Whether you are facing drink driving penalties, a speeding offence or any other type of driving offence, experience in the field of traffic law is imperative in providing you with the best possible defence.
Benjamin Leonardo is outstanding Driving Offence Lawyers. They understand the strain driving offence cases have on their clients and families alike and provide sympathetic, non-judgemental expert advice and support to their clients. With offices in Sydney and Parramatta, conveniently located near both the local and district courts, they will make the process of your legal defence transparent and manageable. Having defended more than 3,800 cases and with a success rate of over 90%, Benjamin Leonardo Driving Offence Lawyers in Sydney & Parramatta, provide their clients with informed legal advice and flexible payment terms. If you have been charged with a driving offence, please contact Benjamin Leonardo on (02) 9283 3033 for your first Consultation.