Driving Whilst Suspended.
The client’s driver’s licence was suspended by VicRoads due to an accumulation of demerit points. She was then caught by police driving her vehicle during the period of the suspension. The client claimed that she had never received the notification, although since she had been living at the same address for the previous four years, this seemed unlikely.
After looking at the materials a number of things became clear. The demerit points that let to her suspension were from 3 years prior. At that time the client had been suspended from driving by the Courts. As VicRoads and the Courts operate separately, VicRoads did not act on their suspension until the Court suspension had concluded.
Further, we obtained a letter from Australia Post confirming that there had been a problem with the mail service at the client’s address. This was enough to convince a prosecutor that we could successfully defend the matter on the basis that the client had made an honest and reasonable mistake as to the status of her licence. The prosecution withdrew the charge.
What can be considered an ‘honest and reasonable mistake’ is assessed on a case by case basis. This was an excellent outcome for the client as the matter was finalised at the second Court appearance and she was not required to go through the stress of a Contested Hearing.