Have you been charged with Driving Unlicensed?
Dribbin & Brown Lawyers regularly represent clients charged with driving offences including unlicensed driving. We have offices in Dandenong, Geelong, Melbourne CBD, Ringwood, Ballarat, Frankston Moorabbin and Werribee. Our offices are all in close proximity to the local Magistrates’ Courts in these localities.
We are familiar with the Courts, the court staff and prosecutors. This gives our firm a great advantage in relation to representing clients charged with driving offences like unlicensed driving. It is important to not get unlicensed driving confused with driving whilst suspended or driving whilst disqualified, these are more serious offences.
When looking at an unlicensed driving charge there are a number of issues to consider;
- Can the prosecution make out their case?
- Do you hold a valid driver license or leaner permit?
- Was it valid for the vehicle you were driving?
It is an offence against the Road Safety Act 1986 (RSA) section 18 to drive a motor vehicle on a roadway without a valid license or authorisation of some kind.
Please read below for more information relating to this charge.
Section 18 of the Road Safety Act 1986.
The prosecution must show that:
- The defendant was drove a motor vehicle on a highway; and
- The defendant was not authorised to do so.
If found guilty of unlicensed driving the maximum penalty for a person who does not hold a valid authorisation on Victoria or anywhere else and has not held a licence is 60 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment. The penalties increase if the magistrate is satisfied that the person was in fact disqualified from obtaining a drivers licence under the Sentence Act 1991, but this would be very rare.
If the guilty person has held an appropriate licence, issued in Victoria or elsewhere at some time before the commission of the offence and that the licence was not cancelled for an offence relating to the driving of a motor vehicle committed by the person in Victoria or in another State or a Territory the person is liable to a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units or to one month of imprisonment.
Can I lose my Licence?
It is open to the magistrate per section 28 of the Road Safety Act 1986 to suspend or disqualify a person’s drivers licence in relation to this charge, depending on whether the person has since become licensed. It is important to understand that just because you are unlicensed doesn’t mean that a magistrate cannot disqualify you from driving. It is possible for a magistrate to disqualify a person from obtaining a driver’s licence even if they are unlicensed which is important to understand if your licence is important to you. Our traffic lawyers are well versed in making submissions to magistrates why discretion should be exercised in favour of an accused person.
Where will my case be heard?
Unlicensed driving cases will be heard will be heard in the Magistrates Court.
Questions to consider
Do you have a defence?
If you are pleading guilty, what can you do to minimise your sentence?
What to do next?
Now is the time to make sure that you have a lawyer who can give you sound advice; help you prepare your evidence and discuss what is to be addressed in this matter.
Preparation is critical to the success of any matter, ensure that you prepare appropriately by seeking quality legal advice. If you have been charged with unlicensed driving call our office on (03) 8644 7333 and make an appointment to see one of our lawyers today. A Magistrate can exercise their discretion in your favour, it is important to discuss all relevant matters with an experienced traffic offences lawyer so that they can provide you with the best defence to achieve the best outcome for you.
The police and the courts take driving offences very seriously to avoid severe penalties you need to be represented; Dribbin & Brown Lawyers are experienced in handling these types of matters. We regularly appear in court to represent people charged with driving offences
Section 18 Offence if driver not licensed
(1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless the person—
(a) holds a driver licence or learner permit which authorises the person to drive that category of motor vehicle; or
(b) holds a licence or permit issued in another State, a Territory or another country and is authorised by the regulations to drive that category of motor vehicle; or
(c) is otherwise authorised by the regulations to drive that category of motor vehicle.
(1A) Unless subsection (2) or (3) applies, a person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable to a penalty not exceeding 60 penalty units or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months.
(2) If the court is satisfied—
(a) the person has held an appropriate licence (whether issued in Victoria or in another State or a Territory) or a licence issued in another country at some time before the commission of an offence under subsection (1); and
(b) the licence was not cancelled for an offence relating to the driving of a motor vehicle committed by the person in Victoria or in another State or a Territory
the person is liable to a penalty not exceeding 10 penalty units or to imprisonment for not more than one month.
(3) If the court is satisfied—
(a) that the person was disqualified under this Act or the Sentencing Act 1991 from obtaining a driver licence or learner permit; and
(b) that the person has ceased to be disqualified from obtaining a driver licence or learner permit; and
(i) the Magistrates’ Court would have had power to give an alcohol interlock condition direction had the person applied for a licence eligibility order or, having applied for such an order, had the Court not refused to make it; or
(ia) the Magistrates’ Court has made a licence eligibility order in relation to the person and the person has not been granted a driver licence or learner permit by the Secretary; or
(ii) the person is a person to whom section 31KA or 31KB applies and, had the person applied for and been granted a driver licence or learner permit, the Secretary would have had power to impose an alcohol interlock condition on the driver licence or learner permit—
the person is liable to a penalty not exceeding 60 penalty units or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months.
(4) If subsection (3) applies, the court may, if it considers it appropriate to do so, order that the motor vehicle concerned be immobilised (whether by wheel clamps or any other means) for a period specified in the order of up to 12 months.
(5) An order under subsection (4) may be made subject to specified conditions.
(6) The court may make an order under subsection (4) whether the motor vehicle is owned by the offender or another person.
(7) If the court considers that another person, who is not present at the hearing concerning the making of an order under subsection (4), may be substantially affected by such an order, the court must issue a summons to that other person to show cause why the order should not be made.
(8) On return of the summons, the court may, after hearing the evidence brought before it, make or refuse to make the order.