Hamilton Janke Lawyers specialise in criminal and traffic offences. If you have been charged with driving without a licence or unlicensed driving offences, we can provide advice on your options, including taking the charge to Court and protecting your licence.
Driving unlicensed is a criminal offence set out in sections 53 & 54 of the Road Transport Act 2013.
There are two different types of offences that fall into this category:
Drive while unlicensed/never licensed. Section 53 of the Road Transport Act states:
(1) A person must not, unless exempted by the statutory rules:
(a) drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose, or
(b) employ or permit any person not so licensed to drive a motor vehicle on any road.
(3) A person who has never been licensed must not, unless exempted by the statutory rules, drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose.
Drive whilst suspended, cancelled or disqualified. Section 54 of the Road Transport Act states:
A person who is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver licence must not:
(a) drive a motor vehicle on a road during the period of disqualification
You are required to carry your licence with you any time you drive a vehicle. Section 300-5 of the Road Rules 2008 states:
A driver of a motor vehicle must not drive the vehicle unless the driver is carrying his or her driver licence.
The maximum penalty for not carrying your licence whilst driving is a fine of $2,200.
When driving, you can carry either your plastic driver’s licence card or your digital licence. There are rules surrounding your digital licence, and it is good practice to keep both your physical and digital licence with you when you drive.
You have a right to use your digital licence on your phone when driving, but there are rules surrounding the use of a digital licence.
It is an offence to access your digital licence whilst driving, including when stationary. You must wait until you have been requested to produce your digital licence by a Police Officer.
You also must ensure that your phone screen isn’t cracked, shattered or otherwise damaged, which would make viewing your digital licence difficult and ensure your phone has enough battery for any time you are driving.
If you are caught unlicensed driving, the maximum penalty is a fine of $2,200.00. If you are caught driving whilst never licensed, the maximum penalty is a fine of $2,200.00 for the first offence and a fine of $3,300.00 and/or six (6) months imprisonment for any second or subsequent offences.
Driving without a licence is a criminal offence, and if convicted, it will remain on your criminal record and traffic record. If you have committed a previous major traffic offence in the last 5 years, the offence will be treated as a second/subsequent offence and the penalties increase.
The maximum penalties for driving whilst suspended or disqualified (first offence) are:
The maximum penalties for driving whilst suspended or disqualified (second or subsequent offence) are:
The maximum penalties for driving whilst suspended due to fine defaults (first offence) are:
The maximum penalties for driving whilst suspended due to fine defaults (second or subsequent offence) are:
The Police have to establish that you were driving on a road or road related area as defined by the Act and that you were unlicensed at the time of the offence.
If you believe you are not guilty of driving without a licence, you need to provide a defence. Examples for a plea of not guilty:
Honest and Reasonable Mistake of Fact: You were honestly not aware that you did not hold a license and it is reasonable in all the circumstances. Not receiving your mail as you have not updated your address is not considered reasonable.
If you agree that you were driving without a licence or whilst disqualified, cancelled or suspended, a plea of guilty at the earliest opportunity can demonstrate to the Court remorse for your actions. You will also obtain a 25% discount on your penalty.
Our experienced solicitors can assist you with advice on a plea of guilty and preparing sentencing submissions to obtain the best possible outcome at Court such as a less serious fine, reduced disqualification periods and alternatives to custodial sentences.
Hamilton Janke Lawyers has extensive experience defending traffic matters. For advice or representation for a traffic matter, contact our lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 4038 1666.
If you are being charged with driving without a licence or other unlicensed driving offences, it is vital that you seek legal advice and legal representation. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed and assist you through every step of the process.
Hamilton Janke Lawyers are one of the top rated Criminal Law Firms in the region. We treat every client with the respect and commitment they deserve. This commitment to our profession has earned us a reputation which we are very proud.