Clarity Law

Specialist Traffic Law Firm Queensland
Thursday, 20 July 2023 17:53

Why You Should Never Represent Yourself in Court for a traffic matter

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If you have been charged with a traffic offence in Queensland, you may be tempted to represent yourself in court and save money on legal fees.  You may have taken advice from friends or family who think they know how the Queensland court deal with charges like drink driving, drug driving, unlicensed driving etc who tell you its easy just go to court and say sorry to the magistrate and you will be fine.

However, this is a risky decision that could have serious consequences for your future. Here are some reasons why you should never represent yourself in court and why you should hire a professional traffic lawyer instead.


You may not understand the law or the court process

Traffic law is complex and constantly changing. There are many rules, regulations, and procedures that you need to follow when you appear in court. If you are not familiar with them, you may make mistakes that could harm your case or even result in additional charges. For example, you may not know how to enter a plea, how to present evidence, how to cross-examine witnesses, or how to make submissions to the magistrate. You may also miss important deadlines, file incorrect documents, or say something that could incriminate yourself.

What happens if something goes wrong in court and you are looking at a terrible outcome, its too late then to say you need a lawyer.

A professional traffic lawyer has the knowledge and experience to handle your case effectively and efficiently. They can advise you on the best course of action, prepare your defence, negotiate with the prosecution, and represent you in court. They can also explain the law and the court process to you in simple terms and answer any questions you may have along the way.


You may not get the best outcome possible

The outcome of your case depends on many factors, such as the nature and severity of your offence, your personal circumstances, your criminal history, and the attitude of the magistrate. If you represent yourself in court, you may not be able to present your case in the most favourable light or persuade the magistrate to give you a lenient sentence. You may also miss out on opportunities to reduce or dismiss your charges, such as applying for a diversion program, a work licence, or a special hardship order.

The prosecutor will likely have years of daily appearance in court, that means thousands of hours of experience in the law court, court etiquette and court outcomes.  You will have zero, remember the magistrate and the prosecutor aren’t there to be on your side.

A professional traffic lawyer can help you achieve the best outcome possible for your case. They can analyse the evidence against you and identify any weaknesses or flaws in the prosecution's case. They can also present mitigating factors and character references that could reduce your penalty or convince the magistrate to grant you a non-conviction order. They can also explore alternative options that could benefit you, such as applying for work licence or good behaviour bond.


You won’t know how to negotiate with the prosecutor

Many traffic cases involve case conferencing and negotiations. A seasoned traffic lawyer knows how to negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges or secure more lenient facts. Attempting to negotiate without proper legal training and knowledge could lead to unfavourable outcomes, leaving you with harsher consequences than necessary.

Queensland traffic offences generally have mandatory periods of disqualification.  For example for unlicensed driving charges where a person is demerit point suspended the disqualification period is 6 months.  We have carried out 100’s of success negotiations which resulted in a lower charge and no disqualification at all.


You will already be overstressed

You are the one who has been accused of a crime, you have already been through the offence, talking to police and getting a notice to appear in court.

You are likely to be emotionally invested in your case. This can make it difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions. A lawyer can help you to stay calm and focused on the legal issues.


You may jeopardise your future prospects

A traffic conviction can have serious implications for your future. Depending on the type and severity of your offence, you may face fines, demerit points, licence suspension or disqualification, community service, probation, or even imprisonment. A conviction can also affect your employment opportunities, travel plans, insurance premiums, and reputation. If you have a previous conviction, you may face harsher penalties or lose your eligibility for certain programs or orders.


A professional traffic lawyer can help you avoid or minimise these consequences by fighting for your rights and interests. They can challenge the validity of your charges, seek to have them withdrawn or downgraded, or argue for a reduced sentence. They can also advise you on how to avoid further offences and how to restore your licence if it has been suspended or disqualified.


You get one chance at this

If things go wrong then engaging a lawyer to try and fix what happened in court will likely fail.  Appeals are expensive, have strict requirements and usually don’t result in a higher court changing what occurred.

Better to have a lawyer from the start so something catastrophic doesn’t occur in court.



Representing yourself in court is not worth the risk. You may end up with a worse outcome than if you had hired a professional traffic lawyer. A traffic lawyer can provide you with expert legal advice and representation that could save you time, money, stress, and hassle. They can also protect your future prospects by helping you avoid or minimise a traffic conviction.

You may think that you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, however many lawyers offer fixed fees at fairly reasonable rates. Just don’t assume all lawyers are too expensive to hire.  If you think you cannot afford a lawyer, you should still speak to one about your case. They can give you advice on your options and help you to prepare for court.

If you have been charged with a traffic offence in Queensland, do not hesitate to contact us today. We are a Queensland based traffic law firm that specialises in all types of traffic matters. We have a team of experienced and dedicated traffic lawyers who can assist you with any traffic issue. We offer free initial consultations and fixed fees for most cases. We will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for you.


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;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone

  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  3. Click here to book a teleconference at a time that suits you

  4. Email our firms founder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5. Send us a message on Facebook Messenger

We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide information to assist you, if you want to engage us then great, if not then you at least have more information.

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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