Posted on: 22 February 2017
Many people need to drive on a daily basis in order to get back and forth to work or to otherwise go about their business. They may understand that this is not a right but a privilege and that they have to conform to various laws as they do so. However, some people think that they have the right to drive on Australian roads, no matter what, even if they'd been disqualified from doing so. What are the potential ramifications of doing so, and what are the alternatives?
What the Law Says
A variety of different laws determine how everybody should behave when driving a vehicle on a public road. Punishment for infringing these laws can range in severity, and in certain circumstances, you may not be aware that you have in fact broken them. In other cases, however, you may be found guilty of a serious motoring offence in a court of law and have your licence taken away from you. In this case, you will certainly be aware of what has happened.
If you decide to drive while disqualified, there are potentially serious consequences. If, however, you drive when you didn't realise that you were disqualified, the situation may be different.
How can it be possible to "not know" that you're banned from driving? This may be an administrative situation, where you've racked up a certain number of points, perhaps by speeding or another relatively minor offence and one day tip over the limit. Usually, when you get past a certain number of points there is an automatic ban, and this is triggered administratively. While you may have been notified through the mail, you may not have received that post for whatever reason.
Aware or Not Aware?
If you're stopped for driving while disqualified and honestly were not aware that you had been banned, then you could present this defence to a court for consideration. However, if you were fully aware that you were not supposed to be driving but did so anyway, the court can take a very dim view of this. If they believe that you were driving with a total disregard for the law in this case, they can impose a prison sentence. In legal terms, this is known as being "contumacious."
If you've been charged with driving while disqualified, you definitely need to get in touch with a solicitor as soon as possible. It may be possible to defend your position in a court.Share