Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 11:50

Licence Disqualifications in the Children’s Court

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This short guide aims to outline how licence disqualifications are dealt with in the Children’s Court in Queensland.

There are a variety of offences under Queensland law which attract mandatory and discretionary licence disqualifications.

To name some:

  • Dangerous driving
  • Drink driving
  • Drug driving
  • Careless driving
  • Evading police.

For example the law states an adult charged with high range drink driving must lose their licence for at least 6 months, the court has no power to reduce this period of disqualification. If an adult is charged with careless driving than the court has a discretion whether to disqualify the licence or not.  The court however recognises that people under 18 who are charged with traffic offences must be treated differently than adults in court.


How the Youth Justice Legislation Treats Disqualifications

Under the Youth Justice Act, which governs how the Children’s Court deals with child offenders, the legislation says that if a child if found guilty of an offence which would leave them liable, if they were an adult, to a period of disqualification, then the child must be disqualified to the same extent.

There are, however, multiple ways this outcome can be avoided.


Ways to Avoid Disqualification (as a Child)

If police caution a child in relation to an offence for which they could have been disqualified, then there will be no disqualification.

If police refer a child to restorative justice in relation to an offence for which they could have been disqualified, then there will be no disqualification.

If the child is less than 17 and a conviction is not recorded for a disqualifiable offence, then there will be no disqualification.

If the magistrate refers a child to restorative justice for an offence which the police did not, but should have, referred to restorative justice, then there will be no disqualification.


What is Restorative Justice?

restorative justice conference is a meeting between a child who has committed a crime and the people most affected by that crime to discuss what happened, the effects of the offence, repairing the harm caused to the victim.


How Can Clarity Law Help?

We have recently achieved an excellent result for a client by our intimate knowledge of the legislation and cases around children’s court disqualifications. We had a client who was charged with dangerous driving and drink driving. He was staring down the barrel of a 9 month licence disqualification and probable loss of his tradie job. We were able to convince the magistrate to refer him to restorative justice and avoid any disqualification of his licence whatsoever.

This is a result he simply would not have been able to achieve without our representation.

Last modified on Thursday, 13 July 2023 17:05
Steven Brough

Steven Brough is the Founder of Clarity Law.  He is one of the most experienced traffic lawyers in Queensland having appeared in court many thousands of time throughout Queensland since 2010.  He has authored over 100 articles about every aspect of traffic law in Queensland.

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