What is a Habitual Offender Declaration (HOD)?

A person who has 3 or more convictions for ‘relevant offences’ within a 5 year period will automatically (with or without the order of the Magistrate) be declared to be a Habitual Offender and given an additional 5 years disqualification period on top of the original disqualification period imposed by the Court.

Can you Appeal against a Habitual Offender Declaration?

Yes. We can assist you in having the declaration set aside (‘quashed’) – in other words reduced from 5 years to 0. The Magistrate can decide to reduce the declaration rather than set it aside entirely. If that occurs, the disqualification period will be not less than 2 years. Obviously, you are better off having the declaration set aside!

Time Limits On Appealing Against HOD

There are no time limits. You can apply for the Habitual Offender Declaration to be quashed when you are facing sentence or at any time afterwards. Unlike Licence Appeals, you can actually apply again if you are unsuccessful in your first attempt.

What We Will Do For Your Habitual Offender Declaration

The law on Habitual Offender Declarations is messy and complex, just like most road transport legislation. Believe it or not, some people are given HODs for 10, 20 even 30 years into the future! We have successfully represented people facing lengthy disqualification periods by having those periods set aside.

What is a Habitual Offender Declaration?

If you are convicted of 3 or more relevant offences within a 5 year period, you will be declared a habitual traffic offender and your licence disqualified for an additional period of 5 years – even if the Court forgets or fails to make the declaration. A habitual offender is sometimes known as a HTO (Habitual Traffic Offender).

Can I Appeal Against A Habitual Offender Declaration?

You can apply to have the Habitual Offender Declaration quashed altogether or reduced to no less than 2 years. It seems like a ridiculous law that you can have the declaration quashed, yet if it is to be reduced instead of quashed, it cannot be reduced to less than 2 years. Go figure!?

The application can be made at the time of facing sentence. Sometimes it is a better tactical decision to make the application at a time after being sentenced – particularly if you have a terrible record and may be facing severe penalties.

How Do I ‘Appeal’ Against A Habitual Offender Declaration?

Simple – lodge an application and pay the prescribed fee in the Local Court where the declaration was made. However, you should be prepared to argue the application – that is where our traffic lawyer specialists can help you. We travel to courts all over NSW so no matter where your application is to be heard, our specialists can help you prepare and give you professional representation.