Driving Suspended in Victoria
Driving suspended in Victoria is the result of a driver’s licence being suspended for a variety of reasons including:
- Accumulation of demerit points
- Speeding over 25km/h
- Non payment of fines
- Immediate suspension following a drink driving offence
It is illegal to drive on a road or road related area in any vehicle that the suspended licence relates to. For example, suspension of your licence while driving a car, also suspends you from driving a motorbike or any other vehicle your licence usually entitles you to drive. It may be in your best interest to contact a traffic offence lawyer for accurate legal representation and advice.
Driving whilst suspended
Driving whilst suspended frequently relates to driving during a demerit point suspension. The suspension is often initiated by VicRoads, whereby VicRoads send the driver a letter alerting them to the fact that their points have been exceeded and a suspension is pending.
If you are caught driving during a period of suspension you will be charged and required to attend court.
If you didn’t know that your licence was suspended or disqualified then you may have a defence. This is provided your belief was honest and reasonable in all the circumstances. The question of reasonableness is a question that can only be answered after speaking to an experienced legal practitioner who routinely handles these types of cases.
First time offenders can receive up to four months imprisonment. Second time offenders face a maximum of two years. Typically driving whilst suspended or whilst disqualified is considered more serious and will be dealt with as such by the Magistrate.
It is however unlikely that a first time offender will receive a term of imprisonment. And on most occasions discretion will be exercised by the Magistrate to impose an additional suspension or disqualification. a fine is also likely to be issued.
Can I defend the charge?
The most common defence in relation to driving whilst suspendedis that of “honest and reasonable mistake”. Other available defences include Duress, Necessity, Emergency or Factual Dispute.
If you didn’t know or believe your licence was suspended or disqualified then you may have a defence. Whether that belief was a reasonable one to have in all the circumstances is a question that can only be answered by a traffic lawyer.
If you did not receive the notification of your suspension as a result of failing to update your address with VicRoads within the required period. This will not be a defence so it is important that you speak to a lawyer who can formulate a proper submission on your behalf.