You will be charged for driving whilst disqualified if you are caught driving a motor vehicle when you are serving a period of disqualification that a court has imposed upon you. For example, if you have been disqualified from driving as a result of a drink driving conviction and you are caught driving in that time, then you will be charged for driving whilst disqualified.
Possible defences to a charge of Drive Whilst Disqualified include honest and reasonable mistake of fact. You must prove on the balance of probabilities that you were not aware of the suspension or disqualification. You may have changed addresses at the time the RMS sent you a letter advising of the suspension, or may for some other reason not received the letter. In these circumstances, if the court finds that your explanation was honest and reasonable, the charges will be dismissed. To find out more about the defence of honest and reasonable mistake, click here.
There is an automatic period of disqualification for this offence of 6 months, but it could be reduced to a minimum of 3 months. The maximum fine is $3,300, and maximum gaol term is 6 months (for a first offence).
For a second offence the automatic period of disqualification is 12 months, but it could be reduced to a minimum of 6 months. The maximum fine is $5,500.00, and maximum gaol term is 12 months.
Depending on the number of times you have committed this offence, the likely penalty ranges from a fine to full time imprisonment. You can avoid any penalty if the court decides that the matter could be dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Procedure Act, in which case you will not be sentenced to a further period of disqualification. Click here to find out more about section 10.
Our Traffic Lawyers have successfully represented clients who have been convicted of several drive whilst disqualified offences over a short period, ensuring that those clients were saved from serving any jail time for the offending.
Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are: