Unlicensed driving is a charge that can cover many different types of situations. The charge in its simplest form applies to people who have simply forgotten to renew their licence but at its most serious it covers people who have been disqualified from driving by a Queensland Magistrate and have been caught driving again. How serious the offence is and whether a person’s licence will be disqualified depends on the circumstances of the charge.
Why would I be charged with unlicensed driving?
People are charged with unlicensed driving because for one reason or another at the time of their licence status was checked by the police they were not licenced to drive on Queensland roads.
The typical types of unlicensed driving charges include;
- Unlicensed driving simplicator – applies generally where people have forgotten to renew their licence
- Unlicensed driving (SPER suspended) – applies to people who have a debt with the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) that they haven’t paid and SPER has suspended their licence
- Unlicensed driving (demerit point suspended) – applies to people whose licence has been suspended for too many demerit points. Generally Queensland Transport would have written to a person who exceeded their demerit points and that person has elected a 3 month disqualification or failed to elect a good driving behaviour period
- Unlicensed driving (disqualified by court order) – applies to people whose licence has been disqualified by a court. This is a very serious charge, for more information visit our disqualified driving webpage
What penalty does an unlicensed driving charge carry?
The court will impose a fine for the offence and depending on the severity of the offence may impose a period of disqualification.
Will I incur any demerit points if convicted?
Will I lose my licence?
It very much depends on the circumstances of the incident that lead to the unlicensed driving charge. The table below summaries the disqualification period that may apply
Forgot to renew licence or never had a licence
Up to Magistrate, can be no disqualification in appropriate circumstances
Had SPER debt but didn’t pay
1- 6 months
Was demerit point suspended
Was disqualified by court
If person has previous unlicensed driving charge in last 5 years and was driving because forgot to renew licence or get a licence back
I’m being charged with unlicensed driving and the table above says I will get a disqualification but I need to drive
If the table above indicates a disqualification period then unfortunately the court must impose it. For SPER suspended drivers or those with a previous unlicensed charge in the last 5 years then the court must impose at least a 1 month disqualification but it can be up to 6 months.
If the charge is driving while demerit point suspended then the court must disqualify a person’s licence for 6 months.
Unfortunately people charged with unlicensed driving cannot apply for a work licence or special hardship licence. If driving is absolutely critical then there are limited circumstances when it might be possible to make submissions to the Police Prosecution Service to withdraw the charge. If this is something you need then contact us.
Should I get a Lawyer to represent me for the unlicensed driving charge?
Remember you cannot get a work licence or other similar licence if you are charged with unlicensed driving. If your employment or income is dependent on your ability to drive then it is important to get legal representation to try and ensure the minimum disqualification period possible.
Generally if you simply forgot to renew your licence then you don’t need a lawyer as the court almost never disqualifies a person. Also with a charge of unlicensed driving while demerit point suspended the court must impose a 6 month disqualification and having a lawyer represent you will not change this.
Engaging Clarity Law to act for you
Engaging us gives you the best chance at obtaining the lowest disqualification period and a fine as low possible. We are the leading traffic law firm in South East Queensland, everyday our lawyers are in court getting the best outcome for clients. Just some of the benefits of us acting for you include;
- we know the judges and what they want to hear to give you the best outcome
- we have good relationships with the Police prosecutors meaning we can often have them not object to the court imposing the minimum disqualification period
- we are there to help you through the process and make everything as stress free as possible, in most cases you will not have to say anything in court
- engaging us shows the court you are taking your charges seriously
- your matter will be heard early, often first, you do not have to wait for 20-30 other matters to be heard before you
- you will be fully informed of what is to happen in court and what this means for you after court
- unlike the police or the Judge, we are there to look after you, your privacy and your interests
What courts do you appear in?
We appear in every court in South East Queensland. Just some of the courts we appear in are;
1. Beenleigh Magistrates Court
2. Brisbane Magistrates Court
3. Caloundra Magistrates Court
4. Caboolture Magistrates Court
5. Gympie Magistrates Court
6. Holland park Magistrates Court
7. Ipswich Magistrates Court
8. Maroochydore Magistrates Court
9. Noosa Magistrates Court
10. Pine Rivers Magistrates Court
11. Southport Magistrates Court
12. Toowoomba Magistrates Court
13. Wynnum Magistrates Court
For a full list of Courts we appear in click here.
Will I need to come in to the office to see you?
We have offices in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts but in most cases we can handle everything by email and the phone without you ever having to come into our office. We are also open outside normal business hours for your convenience.
What do you charge?
We charge a flat upfront fee for our services, that means no hidden charges or unexpected bills. We don't charge any travelling fees either; if you are in Maroochydore or Southport you will pay the same price as if you are Brisbane.
We are also upfront with our fees, if you look at other law firms few, if any, clearly list how much they are going to charge you. Clarity Law on the other hand are happy to list our prices as we are sure no other South East Queensland law firm can match our prices and experience. Our prices include;
- full preparation for court including checking for defences and devising strategy to minimise penalty
- negotiations with the police prosecution unit including obtaining traffic history and charge documents
- drafting submissions for the court
- arranging for you to attend a driving course (if appropriate)
- all telephone calls, faxes emails and meetings with you
- detailed information to you on the likely penalty and information on what will happen at court and afterwards
- appearing in the court with you to conduct your guilty plea
To see what we will for a guilty plea on a unlicensed driving charge click here
How do I get more information or engage you to act for me?
If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;
- Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
- Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 8pm