Careless Use of a Motor Vehicle
A conviction on this charge does not necessarily carry with it disqualification. The court can disqualify you if it chooses to do so however. If you manage to get off a drink drive charge at the same time that you’re convicted on a careless use charge then it’s not unknown for the court to hit you hard with several months’ disqualification on that charge of careless use.
Note that there is no 28-day stand down when it comes to getting a limited licence on a careless use disqualification. Also note that if the court does not disqualify you but you have a demerit points problem then a careless use conviction could push you over the 100-point limit and consequently give rise to a three-month suspension.
A conviction on this charge generally carries at least six months disqualification, up to three months in jail and up to $4,500 in fines. With a conviction on dangerous driving there is a 28-day stand down before you can apply for a limited licence. We have plea-bargained dangerous driving charges down to lesser charges on repeated occasions and that might well be an option in your case. Reckless driving is regarded as more blameworthy than dangerous driving but, again, we have successfully plea-bargained that charge as well.
Driving While Disqualified
Getting a conviction for driving while disqualified requires that the police prove three things: that you were driving, that you were disqualified and lastly that you knew you were disqualified. Most defendants on this charge admit to the police at the time of their apprehension that they knew that they were disqualified. So the main rule for these people to remember (like all people spoken to by the police) is ‘Don’t make any statements’. The same all goes for Driving while Suspended defendants.
You can expect a 28-day car impoundment and the law does not allow for a limited licence application to be made where you’ve been convicted on Driving while Disqualified (or Driving while Suspended). While a limited licence is not an option in these cases, there are other ways to stay on the road and it is particularly important that you get in touch with us as soon as you get charged so that we can start setting up those particular options. An option with which we have helped many clients with is known as ‘a section 94 application’, where community work is imposed instead of disqualification.
Sustained Loss of Traction, Unnecessary Exhibition of Speed, Street Racing
These are the so called “Boy-racer” offences and they carry a mandatory period of disqualification (at least six months) upon conviction. Again you can expect a 28-day car impoundment. We have successfully resolved these charges but as ever the golden rule on being stopped is ‘Don’t make any statements’ .
Speeding convictions can carry with them court imposed disqualification but that’s a rare occurrence. More typically our clients have a demerit point problem and a conviction will put them over the top thus leaving them suspended for three months. Defending these charges is a very tactical process and the chances of success are high. For our secrets on dealing with a speeding charge, call us.
In the meantime, please don’t write a letter of explanation to the police infringements bureau. The bureau receives thousands of letters every week and we predict that you will receive back a heart-felt response that their office “has carefully considered your explanation but has nevertheless decided to proceed with this prosecution”. You will have helped them however by making all sorts of admissions in your letter.
If you are facing a demerit point suspension and want a limited licence then we are happy to advise that there is no 28-day stand down period before you can apply.
Logbook, RUC and HMV offences
Logbook, Road User Charges and Heavy Motor Vehicle offences are often suitable for plea-bargaining. Logbook cases can often be resolved without disqualification being imposed. Moreover, you may have a defence that could get you off the hook completely.
The rule is that if you incur 100 demerit points or more within a two-year period then you will be suspended for three months. If you successfully defend a charge, then demerit points do not, of course, accrue. If the points would be more than you can stomach, call us!