Q: I have had a free phone consultation and want to start the process – what happens next?
A: After our call we will email you our Engagement Letter and Costs Agreement for you to review and sign. Once you have done this, we will be able to commence preparations on our end. We will also send you our Preparing for Court Checklist which will guide you through everything you need to start getting together for your court date, including providing you with guides for character references and your apology letter (if applicable).
Q: Do you require full payment upfront to commence work?
A: No, we are happy to engage in a variety of different payment plans tailored to suit your situation and we will only require the first part payment to commence work.
Q: If I lose my licence in court, will I receive a conviction? Is there any way I can get no conviction recorded?
A: In Victoria, you can lose your licence and still be able to avoid a conviction. We are only able to do this if the matter is in court, where we can make submissions to the Magistrate in mitigation of penalty, requesting no conviction to be recorded, considering all of your circumstances of the case.
Q: I have just been caught drink driving but I don’t have any papers or charges yet – what happens next and how long will it take?
A: If you did not receive a traffic infringement notice you will be receiving your charges in the mail, as a Summons to attend court. This typically can take from around 3 months and up to 6 months to arrive, but the prosecution have 12 months from the date of the offence to file charges against you.
Q: I was caught drink or drug driving and have been told I will receive a summons to attend court in the mail. Can I drive in the meantime?
A: Typically, yes. You will only be suspended from driving if you are issued with a Section 51 Notice of Immediate Suspension. If you have not been issued this notice, you are able to continue driving until the matter is heard in court.
Q: I have been issued a Section 51 Notice of Immediate Suspension and cannot drive until my matter is heard in court. I intend to plead not guilty, is there any way I can drive until my matter is dealt with?
A: Yes, we must lodge a Section 51(10) Application to Appeal Notice of Immediate Suspension with the court. You receive a mention date to run this application. Note you will need to prove exceptional circumstances why you should be granted approval to drive pending resolution of your matter.
Q: I was convicted in court and lost my licence for a specified period, but I want to appeal. Will I be able to drive pending the appeal?
A: If your licence was disqualified or cancelled in court, you will not automatically be able to drive after you lodge the appeal – you must also lodge an application with the court to stay the disqualification pending appeal. You will be given another court date in addition to your appeal date and you must present the application in court to the Magistrate for approval before you can drive.
Q: I have received a demerit point offence that will mean I will lose my licence and I am guilty of the offence but I need my driver’s license for work, what can I do?
A: The short answer is nothing.
- As traffic offence specialists we get this question all the time.
- If you have accrued to many demerit points and the number of points have been added up correctly over a three year period by Vicroads then if you are accepting guilt in relation to the offence, there is nothing you can do to prevent your driver’s licence from being suspended.
- If you have received an infringement notice for drink driving, drug driving or excessive speeding and you are guilty of the offence then you must incur the suspension/disqualification period off the road specified on the ticket, as it will be the mandatory minimum time that is legislated that you must serve, (be aware you will also incur demerit points after your suspension in relation to excessive speed offences).
Q: If I receive a demerit points suspension, will taking the matter to the Magistrates Court allow me to ask the Magistrate to reduce the time due to family hardship or other factors?
A: Again the short answer is no.
- There is nothing a Judicial Registrar, Magistrate or Judge can do in circumstances where you are pleading guilty but asking the Court to reduce the mandatory minimum time off the road. The Magistrates’ hands are tied, they have no power to reduce the time you have to serve off the road when it relates to demerit point suspensions and you would be wasting your time and actually putting yourself at risk of having the penalty increased.
- You can in certain circumstances request an internal review to the traffic camera office in exceptional circumstances, but only for the individual offence that the recent penalty applies to, and within the 28 day time period from the offence. You cannot request a review of the suspension itself.
- You can also elect to have the matter heard in court if an internal review is not successful, however again, this is in relation to defending the offence in a not guilty contest, and not to seek leniency, as there is absolutely nothing a Magistrate can do.
Q: Can I get a work licence, special hardship or restricted licence in Victoria that allows me to drive between certain times?
A: Unfortunately not.
- In Queensland you might be able to apply for a work licence but in Victoria this is NOT possible.
- We constantly get questions from potential clients asking how they can keep their driver’s licence when accepting guilt.
- If there was a way it could be done we would know about it and advise accordingly, unfortunately there is not.
- This is the law as it presently stands in Victoria.
Q: I only had a couple of wines after work, then blew just over .05% BAC and less than 0.07. It is a first offence and I received a traffic infringement notice from police indicating I will be disqualified for 3 months as of 28 days from the notice. I have a good traffic history and never thought I would be over the limit, is there any way I can challenge the offence and seek leniency?
- Leniency is not available to any drink driving charge, and irrespective of how long you have been on the road without an offence, if you are pleading guilty there is absolutely no alternative to a period of suspension or disqualification.
- The only avenue to avoid time off the road is to engage an experienced traffic lawyer and challenge the reading with a not guilty contest
Q: I have just been charged with a mid-range drink driving offence of .079% BAC and have lost my licence for 6-months. It is a first offence – will I have to have an alcohol interlock fitted afterwards?
- All drink driving offenders in Victoria will now be required to have an alcohol interlock installed for a minimum of 6-months, including for all first offences.
Q: I want to challenge a red light camera ticket, is this something you can help me with?
A: Typically we do not deal with these sorts of matters as the cost of legal services outweighs the cost of the infringement notice.