Section 10 Traffic Offences- How to avoid losing points for traffic offences
Traffic offences, however trivial they may seem, almost always result in the loss of demerit points. When you are close to your demerit point limit, these points are often precious and the loss of them can result in the automatic suspension period of 3 months.
When should I take my traffic infringement to court?
You should only take your traffic infringement to court for the following reasons:
- You are not guilty of the offence
If you are simply not guilty of the offence, DO NOT pay the fine!
Once you pay the fine, it is often very hard to reverse the resulting loss of points. Paying the fine will generally trigger the loss of demerit points that applies to that offence. Whilst it is possible to reverse the payment, it can be difficult to convince the RMS to do so.
If you did not commit the offence, it is important that you do whatever you can to challenge it. Your first option could be writing to the RMS and asking for them to conduct a review of your infringement. If this fails, and you are not satisfied with their explanation, you may elect to have the offence brought before a local court. There, you can plead your innocence and challenge the infringement at a hearing.
Remember, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the offence!
2. You admit that you committed the offence, but would like to explain the extenuating circumstances behind your offending
If you feel that you committed the offence under exceptional circumstances, you may elect that the infringement be heard before a local court, where a Magistrate may hear your explanation. If the Magistrate agrees with you that, whilst you did commit the offence, that exceptional circumstances exist, you may be dealt with by way of a Section 10. This means that you will not lose the points, or pay the fine.
Generally, Magistrates will be hesitant to deal with you by way of a Section 10 for traffic offences, however, if your explanation convinces the Magistrate that you deserve a second chance, you may be dealt with by way of a Section 10.
For more information on Section 10, and to see case studies where we have achieved Section 10 for others, click here.
3. You are on your last points, and if you lose those points, you will be suspended
If you are on your good behaviour licence (2 points for 12 months), and commit an offence that carries more than 2 demerit points, you will lose your licence for 6 months if you are guilty and pay the fine. If the RMS refuses to take action on your review, the only way you can save your licence in these circumstances is to elect to have the matter heard before a local court. You will have to convince the court that your traffic offence should be dealt with by way of a Section 10.
What if I am a P plater?
If you are a P plater, you have other options. You can choose to take the infringement to court, and hope for a Section 10, or you can admit to the offence, pay the fine, then exercise your option to challenge the pending RMS 3 months suspension.
For more information on Licence Suspension Appeals, and to see case studies where we have represented others, click here.
Should I get a lawyer to represent me in my court case for a traffic infringement?
As always, it is important that you at least speak to an experienced Traffic Lawyer before electing to take the infringement to court. This is particularly the case if your licence is crucial to your work, and losing it would cause a serious disruption to your life. However, very often the cost of the lawyer would not justify getting representation for a minor traffic offence.
Call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for more information about taking traffic infringements to court.