Disqualified driving is an extremely serious charge in Queensland. Courts are particularly hard on these types of offences as to be charged with disqualified driving you must have been disqualified by a court but still chosen to drive. Magistrates often feel a personal affront that you have disobeyed their orders. Disqualified driving is the leading traffic offence that sends people to prison. Since 2010 we have been dedicated to helping Queenslanders charged with traffic offences like disqualified driving.
What is disqualified driving?
Disqualified driving is a type of driving charge where at the time you were arrested you were disqualified from driving by a court order.
The charge is different to unlicensed driving or driving without a licence as there must be a previous disqualification by the courts still in place at the time the offence was committed.
What penalty will be imposed for disqualified driving?
The penalty can range from a fine and 2 year disqualification up to imprisonment and a 5 year disqualification.
The factors that determine the penalty include
- How long ago your licence was disqualified
- Your traffic and criminal history
- Whether you committed other charges at the same time like drink driving
- The reason for driving
Will I receive a jail sentence?
Jail is often imposed by the courts for disqualified driving, even on some occasions for first time offenders although first time offenders are generally not sent to jail. If you have had previous disqualified driving charges or a bad traffic history it is vital to try and convince a Magistrate that jail is inappropriate and that a more appropriate penalty is community service or probation.Although any jail sentence that might be imposed may be short (generally under 6 months) the financial and emotional impact will be severe.
We have had great success in the past convincing courts that the driver should not be sent to jail but instead should serve community service or that the jail sentence should be wholly suspended. Often we have been able to convince the court to simply impose a fine and a further disqualification period without any further penalty.
This is not the type of offence you should attempt to undertake on your own as very specific submissions need to be made to the court to avoid jail. It is also important to note that you may appear before the same Magistrate that originally disqualified you from holding or obtaining a drivers licence. About 10% of people charged with disqualified driving receive a prison sentence as part of the sentence.
How long will I be disqualified for?
The court will impose a further disqualification of your licence, generally a further 2 years which is the minimum but it can be up to a further 5 years. We note that there seems to be some confusion as to the minimum disqualification period, although in New South Wales it is 1 year, in Queensland it is 2 years.
The courts will look at how long ago the previous disqualification occurred and what were the circumstances of this current offence in setting a penalty. It is critical that all the relevant facts and circumstances of the offence and the person’s private and work history are placed before the court. We have all of our client’s complete references in a form the courts will accept.
Is there a defence to a disqualified driving charge?
In certain limited circumstances a defence of necessity or emergency may be available e.g. driving a person to a hospital to receive emergency care. We have also acted for clients who have driven for reasons such as attending a chemist to obtain Panadol for sick family and been able to have the Police Prosecution Service drop the charges against our client. We are one of the only law firms to have had this success. If you engage us we will check your circumstances to ensure any possible defence is explored. We have an article on this topic that you might find interesting to see in click here
Do I need a lawyer?
Do not attempt to represent yourself in the court on a disqualified driving especially if this is not your first disqualified driving charge as the risk of a jail is too high.
Engaging Clarity Law to act for you
Engaging us gives you the best chance at obtaining the lowest disqualification period avoiding a jail sentence if this is not your first offence. We are the leading traffic law firm in South East Queensland and have helped hundreds of people charged with disqualified driving. We appear every week in the courts with people charged with disqualified driving, it is this experience that allows us to get the best result for clients. Other law firms simply don’t have the experience that we do and don’t know the Magistrates like we do. Just some of the benefits of us acting for you include;
- we know the Magistrates and what they want to hear to give you the best outcome for a disqualified driving charge
- we have good relationships with the Police Prosecutors meaning we can often have them not seek a jail sentence
- 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 Magistrate, 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 from the Gold Coast to Maryborough. Just some of the courts we appear in for disqualified driving charges are;
- Beenleigh Magistrates Court
- Brisbane Magistrates Court
- Caloundra Magistrates Court
- Caboolture Magistrates Court
- Gympie Magistrates Court
- Holland park Magistrates Court
- Ipswich Magistrates Court
- Maroochydore Magistrates Court
- Noosa Magistrates Court
- Pine Rivers Magistrates Court
- Southport Magistrates Court
- Toowoomba Magistrates Court
- Wynnum Magistrates Court
For a full list of Courts we appear in click here.
We have offices at;
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.
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 charge for a guilty plea on a disqualified 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 7pm
Remember we are a no pressure firm. If you ring you will get immediate advice and guidance from experienced experts and given a quote for our services. We wont bother you or try and scare you into using our firm though we hope you will engage us.