Have you been charged with Improper Use of a Motor Vehicle?
Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers regularly represent clients charged with improper use of a motor vehicle. We have offices in Dandenong, Geelong, Melbourne CBD, Ringwood, Ballarat, Frankston, Moorabbin and Werribee in close proximity to the local Magistrates’ Courts in these localities.
Because we attend these courts everyday we are familiar with the court staff, the prosecutors and the magistrates that sit at these courts. This gives our firm a great advantage in relation to representing clients charged with driving offences.
There are a number of issues to consider if you have been charged with improper use of a motor vehicle.
- Did you cause a motor vehicle to lose traction of one or more wheels?
- What were the circumstances?
- Has the informant laid the alternative charge of careless driving? If so are demerit points important to you? This is an important question when considering which charge to resolve on. There are no demerit points in relation to s65A of the RSA improper use, but there are 3 demerit points that attach in relation to s65 of the RSA, careless driving.
- Have you also been charged with dangerous driving?
It is an offence against the Road Safety Act 1986 (RSA) section 65A to drive a motor vehicle in a manner which causes the motor vehicle to undergo loss of traction by one or more of the motor vehicle’s wheels.
Behaviour relevant to section 65A includes “burnouts”, “doughnuts”, “fishtailing” and “drifting”. The threshold is that you as the driver had lost traction of at least one wheel, and that you did so intentionally.
This offence focusses on driver who drives in a manner that causes loss of traction by one or more of the motor vehicle’s wheels. A driver will not be liable for this offence if it can be shown that the loss of traction was not intentional.
Please read below for more information relating to this charge.
Subsection 65A of the Road Safety Act 1986.
The prosecution must that:
- The defendant was driving or in charge of a motor vehicle; and
- The defendant drove in a manner that caused a loss of traction of one or more wheels.
If found guilty of Improper Use of a Motor Vehicle the maximum penalty is 5 penalty units.
While licence suspension or disqualification is not mandatory for an offence against s 65A, the court has a general discretion to suspend or cancel a driver’s licence pursuant to section 28(2) of the RSA.
Please be aware that no demerit points attach in relation to this offence.
Where will my case be heard?
Improper use of a motor vehicle cases will be heard will be heard in the Magistrates Court.
Questions to consider
Do you have a defence?
Was the act intentional?
If you are pleading guilty, what can you do to minimise your sentence?
What to do next?
Phone Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers, very experienced traffic offence lawyers. Don’t get caught out at court. You need to have a lawyer that is on your side who can properly advocate your position favourably to the magistrate. Don’t take a chance with your driver’s licence, contact our office to make an appointment with one of our lawyers today.
(1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle in a manner which causes the motor vehicle to undergo loss of traction by one or more of the motor vehicle’s wheels.
Penalty: 5 penalty units.
(2) In a proceeding for an offence against subsection (1) it is a defence to the charge for the accused to prove that he or she had not intentionally caused the alleged loss of traction.
(2A) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who drives a motor vehicle in the manner described in subsection (1) on land other than a highway in the course of—
(a) an event or function that—
(i) is conducted at a motor sport venue; and
(ii) is authorised by the operator of the venue; or
(b) an event or function that—
(i) is organised, conducted or sanctioned by a motoring organisation; and
(ii) is conducted in accordance with the rules of conduct of the motoring organisation; or
(c) driver training that—
(i) is supervised by a person for financial gain or in the course of any trade or business; and
(ii) is conducted at a venue designed, or primarily used, for driver training or at a motor sport venue; or
(d) vehicle testing by, or authorised by, a manufacturer of vehicles or vehicle components; or
(e) training activities of Victoria Police.
(2B) In subsection (2A)—
“motor sport venue” means a permanent venue for motor sports that—
(a) has a permanent track; and
(b) is used for 2 or more motor sport events or functions each year; and
(c) is on land the use of which for motor sports and any development associated with that use is lawful.
1 Calder Park Raceway.
2 Sandown Motor Raceway.
3 Winton Motor Raceway.
(2C) Subsection (2A) does not affect any requirement made by or under any other Act.
(3) The Minister may, by notice published in the Government Gazette, declare that the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) and of any regulations (except as specified in the declaration) do not apply to persons—
(a) while the persons are participating in a function or event, or a type of function or event, specified in the declaration and conducted on land specified in the declaration; or
(b) while the persons are participating in an event or function at a motor sport venue specified in the declaration; or
(c) while the persons are participating in an activity, event or function, or a class of activities, events or functions, specified in the declaration.
(4) A declaration under subsection (3)(a) may be made on the application of the owner or occupier of the land on which the function or event is to be conducted.
(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person while the person is participating in—
(a) a race or speed trial specified in a notice published under section 68(3); or
(b) a function or event sanctioned, or organised and conducted, by a motoring organisation the subject of a notice published under section 68(4).