What can you do when your licence is going to be suspended?
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
I have exceeded my demerit points and my licence is going to be suspended- what can I do?
People need a driver’s licence for many reasons- people commute to work, tradies drive their tools to worksites, parents drop off kids at school, public transport may not be available etc.
A licence suspension can have a profound impact on your ability to work and live your day to day life. If you exceed your demerit points, you will receive a Notice of Suspension from RMS.
If you are a P1 or P2 licence holder and you have been suspended for exceeding your demerit points, you are eligible to appeal your suspension to the Local Court. The Court may allow your appeal (that is, you will not be suspended), disallow your appeal (you will be suspended) or reduce the suspension period.
If you have an unrestricted driver licence, you cannot appeal a suspension for exceeding your demerit points.
However, you can:
1. Apply for a good behaviour period
If you have an unrestricted NSW driver licence and you have received a notice of suspension due to exceeding your demerit points, you may elect to have a 12 month good behaviour period.
This means that you will not be suspended and you can continue to drive, however you must be of good behaviour for 12 months.
If you incur 2 or more demerit points over these 12 months, your original suspension period will be doubled. For example, if your Notice of Suspension was for 3 months, you will be suspended for 6 months.
You can elect a good behaviour period online through the Service NSW website. This must be done before your suspension period has begun.
Learner or provisional drivers cannot elect a good behaviour option. If you are already serving a good behaviour period, you cannot apply for another one.
2. Elect to have the penalty notice determined at Court
If you have received a penalty notice for a traffic offence, you can elect to have it dealt with by the Local Court. You will need to plead guilty or not guilty to the traffic offence. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, a Magistrate may give you a section 10. This means that you are not convicted, you will not have a criminal record and you will not incur any demerit points. This may mean that your licence will not be suspended. In determining whether to give you a non-conviction, the Magistrate will consider a number of things, including:
Your need for a licence
Your traffic history
Whether you are of good character
Be aware that if you elect to have a matter heard by the Court, the maximum fine increases to $2,200 therefore it is important to get legal advice as early as possible.
If you require legal advice in relation to a penalty notice, licence suspension or any serious offence, do not hesitate to contact John Vizzone, Partner or Isabelle Worrad, Solicitor at Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Lawyers on (02) 9667 1271.
John Vizzone – Partner
Isabelle Worrad – Criminal Law