My Driver’s Licence Has Been Suspended – What Can I Do?

Can I appeal the suspension?

Yes, but only if:

(a)   your licence has been suspended by a police officer at the time of the offence;

(b)   your licence has been suspended for speeding more than 30 or 45km/h over the limit; or

(c)   you’re an ‘L’ or a ‘P’ plater who has lost your licence due to the accumulation of too many demerit points.

If you hold an unconditional licence and lose it due to the accumulation of demerit points, you have no right of appeal. That said, there are some proposed amendments to the law that may change this position.

How do I appeal?

You must file your appeal with the local court within 28 days of receiving the suspension notice – although you will be deemed by the court to have received the notice 4 working days after it is dated and issued unless you can prove that you received it later than that. The best option is just to file it straight away. Should you not have a solicitor, staff at the nearest Local Court registry can assist you with this process (although this is not strongly advised).

Once the appeal has been filed, you will be given a court date. The Magistrate will hear your matter and then order one of the following:

(d)   allow the appeal. You win and can drive once the court has notified the Roads & Maritime Service that the suspension has been lifted;

(e)   dismiss the appeal. You lose and the suspension stands; or

(f)   make a different order. Somewhere in between and may result in a reduced suspension.

What are my chances?

Your chances of successfully appealing the suspension depend on a range of factors. Four of the more important factors are:

(g)   what you actually did and why;

(h)   the importance of your licence in your day-to-day life;

(i)   your traffic history; and

(j)   whether or not you pose a threat to the community if you get behind the wheel.

An example of a potentially strong appeal would be:

“I was speeding to get my pregnant wife to hospital. I need my licence for my role as primary breadwinner for my large and young family. I have been driving for 15 years and I don’t have anything on my record. This is the first time I have ever been involved with the law in any capacity.”

An example of a less strong appeal would be:

“I was late for work. I need my licence because I don’t want to catch the bus. I have numerous offences including speeding and negligent driving.”

The above is not intended as legal advice. You should obtain legal advice in relation to your own specific circumstances.

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