Caught Driving Whilst Suspended
Our client is a young TAFE student who was required to undertake a random breath test on a major south Sydney road. He returned a negative result, however, upon further checks, Police discovered that he had been driving with no P plates and had also been driving with a licence suspended due to a serious driving offenve (an excessive speeding infringement). This was a first-time offence to which he also pleaded guilty. Under s54(3)(a) of the Road Transport Act 2013, driving with a suspended licence incurs a maximum penalty of 30 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment or both in the case of a first offence, and 50 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment or both in the case of a second or subsequent offence.
Our client stated to Police that he was aware his licence was suspended but claimed he had lodged an appeal as he was not driving at the time of the speeding offence and thought he was able to drive whilst the appeal was being lodged. This information was not revealed on the driving record. His driving record disclosed multiple prior traffic infringements.
Our submissions to the court outlined that our client was of good character despite his driving record – emphasising his commitment to his work and studies, his early guilty plea, his completion of the traffic offenders intervention program under our advice and an apology letter also written under our advice which the court considered.
Outcome – No licence disqualification
Her Honour imposed upon our client a reduced fine of $500 from $5500, and he did not receive a disqualification which would have had to have been served after the licence suspension period. Our client received a positive outcome, ultimately being discharged without conviction and was issued with an 18-month conditional release order pursuant to s9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure Act) 1999.