Penalty for “Unlicenced Driving” in Melbourne – How Serious is This Charge?
There is a maximum penalty of 4 months imprisonment or a fine of as much as 30 penalty units for anyone found guilty of “Unlicenced Driving”. The penalties vary according to the section of the legislation that is applicable to the particular offending. The Court may further order an immobilisation of the defendant’s motor vehicle for a period of up to 12 months. “Unlicenced Driving” is a moderately serious offence that may carry a prison term and other consequences. Relevant cases are primarily heard before a Magistrate in the Magistrates’ Court.
Section 18 of the Road Safety Act 1986 is the relevant legislative provision for “Unlicenced Driving” and is as follows:
Offence if Driver Not Licensed
(1) A person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway-
(a) without holding a driver licence or permit which authorises the holder to drive such a motor vehicle (unless exempted under the regulations); or
(b) in breach of any condition of a driver licence or permit; or
(c) being a person who is exempted under the regulations from the requirements of paragraph (a) because he or she holds an appropriate licence or permit issued in another State, Territory or country, in breach of any condition of that licence or permit-
is guilty of an offence and, unless subsection (2) or (3) applies, is liable to a penalty not exceeding 25 penalty units or to imprisonment for not more than 3 months.
(2) If the court is satisfied-
(a) that the person has held an appropriate licence (whether issued in Victoria or in another State or Territory) or an International Driving Permit at some time before the commission of an offence against subsection (1); and
(b) that the licence was not cancelled for an offence relating to the driving of a motor vehicle committed by the person in Victoria or in another State or Territory-
that person is liable to a penalty not exceeding 10 penalty units or to imprisonment for not more than one month.
(3) If the court is satisfied, in the case of a person who drove a motor vehicle on a highway in the circumstances referred to in subsection (1)(a), that the person may have been subject to a direction under section 50AAA(1A) or 50AAA(3A) or would have been subject to a direction under section 50AAA(2), 50AAA(2A) or 50AAA(3)(b) had the person applied under section 50(4) for an order as to the issue of a driver licence or permit or, having applied under that section, had the court not refused to make the order sought, that person is liable to a fine of not more than 30 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 4 months.
(4) If subsection (3) applies, the court may, if it considers it appropriate to do so, order that the motor vehicle concerned be immobilised (whether by wheel clamps or any other means) for a period specified in the order of up to 12 months.
(5) An order under subsection (4) may be made subject to specified conditions.
(6) The court may make an order under subsection (4) whether the motor vehicle is owned by the offender or another person.
(7) If the court considers that another person, who is not present at the hearing concerning the making of an order under subsection (4), may be substantially affected by such an order, the court must issue a summons to that other person to show cause why the order should not be made.
(8) On return of the summons, the court may, after hearing the evidence brought before it, make or refuse to make the order.
Pleading guilty or not guilty to “Unlicenced Driving” in a Melbourne Court
Deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty to “Unlicenced Driving” has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there could be severe consequences.
Elements of the charge of “Unlicenced Driving” in a Melbourne Court
For “Unlicenced Driving” to be proven, it is necessary for the accused to have been found driving a motor vehicle on a highway. The accused must not have been licenced to drive or have been driving in breach of any of the conditions of his or her licence.
Defending the charge of “Unlicenced Driving” in a Melbourne Court
Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are factual dispute and sudden or extraordinary emergency. Other defences may be applicable to a case depending on the circumstances.
For more information on “Unlicenced Driving”, you may visit the Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here). Further information can also be found at the Traffic Lawyers Melbourne site (here).
Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne can provide you more detail about this
Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne
Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)
This article was written on Sep. 18 2013 and relates to the law as it stands at this time.