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You will be charged for drive whilst suspended if you are caught driving a motor vehicle during the time in which you have been suspended by the RMS.

However, just because you drove whilst your licence was suspended by the RMS, this doesn’t mean that you are automatically guilty of the offence!

If you were not aware that you were suspended by the RMS, you may be NOT guilty of the offence.

The law recognises this defence as an ‘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.

Penalties

The maximum fine for drive whilst suspended is $3,300. The mandatory disqualification period for drive whilst suspended is 12 months, unless the matter is dealt with pursuant to Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act in which case you will not be disqualified from driving. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

If it is the case that you were suspended because you did not pay your fines, the mandatory disqualification period is 3 months.  If this is the case, the courts will quite often deal with you by way of a section 10.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Our client was driving whilst his licence was suspended. The RTA suspended his licence following unpaid fines. He was adamant that he did not know that the RTA suspended him, and did not receive any letters from the RTA saying so. The case proceeded to hearing at the Downing Centre Local Court.

Our client instructed us that his registered home address was the same address the RTA had on their records, but he moved out of that home on several occasions following a troublesome period in his marriage.

He would often stay at his brother’s house, and wasn’t sure if all of his mail was kept by his wife. We obtained, as part of his defence, evidence of his mobile phone bills during the time which the RTA said that notices were posted out to him.

The phone bills showed phone calls being made to his wife’s mobile phone number late at night, and quite often in the early hours of the morning. These calls seemed to last for at least a half hour. The calls were also listed as being made from a cell tower close to his brother’s house.

Our client and his brother also gave evidence at the hearing, both with rock solid versions stating that our client lived at his brother’s house for at least a few weeks at the time the notices of suspension were sent out.

The Magistrate found on the balance of probabilities that our client did not receive the suspension notice from the RTA, and therefore did not know he was suspended. He had made an ‘honest and reasonable’ mistake.

Our client defaulted on the payment of a traffic fine which led the RTA to suspend his licence for a period of 3 months. During the 3 month period our client was caught driving in Croydon, Sydney and charged with driving whilst suspended.

Our client argued that he never received the letter from the RTA notifying him that his licence had been suspended. During the time the letter was said to be sent, our client had moved house and the letter was sent to his previous address.

Our client gave evidence at the hearing at Burwood Local Court of his move and called his housemate as a witness who also confirmed the time of the move.

Our solicitor tendered our client’s phone records showing numerous phone calls were made to the suburb which he had moved to at the time the letter was sent.

Her Honour Magistrate Barkell found our client not guilty due to an honest and reasonable mistake of fact because he was unaware his licence had been suspended.

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Highly recommend! Joseph handled my case and got the result he said i would, communication was great and his advice on what to do to help my case was great, dont hesitate to give them a call if you ever need legal help.

Todd Hurring

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:46:32+00:00

Todd Hurring

Highly recommend! Joseph handled my case and got the result he said i would, communication was great and his advice on what to do to help my case was great, dont hesitate to give them a call if you ever need legal help.

Achieving results one case at a time

Want to say a big thanks to Adam and the team, was looking at jail without a doubt, already had 2 other common assaults, a GBH, and a fair few other charges on my record and facing another GBH. Never done jail before and thought this was my time for sure. Great service from them, Adam always answered my calls and step me through everything the whole way. Managed to stay out of jail with a ICO order, big win, thanks again, highly recommend

Breno T.

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5.0
2017-06-25T22:53:27+00:00

Breno T.

Want to say a big thanks to Adam and the team, was looking at jail without a doubt, already had 2 other common assaults, a GBH, and a fair few other charges on my record and facing another GBH. Never done jail before and thought this was my time for sure. Great service from them, Adam always answered my calls and step me through everything the whole way. Managed to stay out of jail with a ICO order, big win, thanks again, highly recommend

Achieving results one case at a time

I just wanted to say a big thank you to LY Lawyers. My husband just got his sentence at Parramatta District Court last week, expecting to be in jail a lot longer. He was charged with supplying commercial drugs. LY Lawyers represented him with great passion and commitment, all of their staff chipping in to get a short sentence. Only a year to go before he gets out!

Kim Smith

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:53:58+00:00

Kim Smith

I just wanted to say a big thank you to LY Lawyers. My husband just got his sentence at Parramatta District Court last week, expecting to be in jail a lot longer. He was charged with supplying commercial drugs. LY Lawyers represented him with great passion and commitment, all of their staff chipping in to get a short sentence. Only a year to go before he gets out!

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It was a pleasure to work with LY Lawyers. They got me off from my charge. Could not thank them enough!

William Song

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5.0
2017-06-25T22:54:34+00:00

William Song

It was a pleasure to work with LY Lawyers. They got me off from my charge. Could not thank them enough!

Achieving results one case at a time

Joseph was amazing and did a fine job representing me in my case. He got the job done and got me the result I wanted.

Habib Rahman

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:55:09+00:00

Habib Rahman

Joseph was amazing and did a fine job representing me in my case. He got the job done and got me the result I wanted.

Achieving results one case at a time

Joseph you did an amazing job representing me at Sydney District court . My prior lawyer didn't do anything for me in the local court, but u guys were great in the district court. Thanks for being patient with me too.

Josh Tyler

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:56:43+00:00

Josh Tyler

Joseph you did an amazing job representing me at Sydney District court . My prior lawyer didn't do anything for me in the local court, but u guys were great in the district court. Thanks for being patient with me too.

Achieving results one case at a time

I just wanted to say thank you for helping me with my case and THANK YOU for the section 10!

Craig H

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:57:53+00:00

Craig H

I just wanted to say thank you for helping me with my case and THANK YOU for the section 10!

Achieving results one case at a time

The team at LY Lawyers were great to deal with, after getting charged with a minor offence. The costs were upfront and affordable. Communication was great and I felt like they really cared about me. If I was ever in trouble again they would be my first point of call for help.

Sarah Davies

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5.0
2017-02-01T00:09:03+00:00

Sarah Davies

The team at LY Lawyers were great to deal with, after getting charged with a minor offence. The costs were upfront and affordable. Communication was great and I felt like they really cared about me. If I was ever in trouble again they would be my first point of call for help.

Achieving results one case at a time

What a result from a great team!

Adam handled my case and put everything he had into it. He's a great lawyer at affordable fees. Would highly recommend.

John L.

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-02-01T01:38:38+00:00

John L.

What a result from a great team! Adam handled my case and put everything he had into it. He's a great lawyer at affordable fees. Would highly recommend.
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