In NSW a number of traffic offences carry automatic periods of suspension or disqualification – by a police officer at the time of the offence, on payment of the fine or after court sentencing. RHYGAN WERRETT from RMB Lawyers explains the options for appealing suspensions or minimising your period off the road:
If you are pulled over by a police officer and charged with a traffic offence, the officer may give you a Notice of Suspension. Depending on the offence, your matter may either be listed in the Local Court or your suspension may be given for the legislated automatic period.
It is important to carefully read your Notice of Suspension and/or Court Attendance Notice to determine what rights you have to appeal the suspension.
Your notice will advise you whether you can elect to have your matter heard in Court or, you may receive a Court Attendance Notice but have the right to appeal the immediate suspension. Time may be of the essence with these appeals, many requiring an appeal within 28 days.
Notice of Suspension:
A driver may also receive a Notice of Suspension from Transport for NSW. This may be for an accumulation of demerit points or some speeding offences such as exceeding the speed limit by 30km/h and above. If you receive an infringement notice and notice of suspension you have the following options:
- Plead Not Guilty and elect to have the matter heard in court;
- Plead Guilty but elect to have the matter heard in court to seek leniency under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act (NSW) 1999; or
- Accept the infringement and Lodge a Licence Appeal.
If you lodge a Licence Appeal, the Magistrate will have the option to:
- Grant the Appeal – dismissing the suspension period;
- Deny the Appeal – upholding the full suspension period; or
- Vary the Suspension – Denying the appeal but reducing the suspension period.
It is important to understand what type of suspension you have received and what options you have open to you. If you lodge the incorrect appeal, you may delay your own matter or even lose the opportunity to lodge the correct appeal. You should seek legal advice as soon as possible after receiving any suspension or infringement notice to confirm your rights and potential penalties.
RMB’s experienced lawyers can help you navigate this intricate area of the law. For further information contact us.