Represented by a criminal defence lawyer and traffic law expert
The Facts of the Case: Previously disqualified for High Range Drink Driving; caught driving within the disqualification period for the 4th time
The Result: Community Service Order 250 hours; disqualified for a further period of 2 years; habitual offender declaration quashed.
Driving while disqualified carries the risk of imprisonment for 12 months on a first offence and up to 2 years on a subsequent offence within a 5 year period. A person who has 3 or more relevant offences within a 5 year period is automatically declared a habitual traffic offender and disqualified for an additional 5 years. The fines for second or subsequent disqualified driving offences are up to $5,500 each time.
In this case, the client had been in trouble on prior occasions and was facing the real prospect of gaol, 2 years disqualfication and a further 5 years habitual offender declaration. We were able to provide the client with some insight by referring them to the Traffic Offender Program. They obtained some good references that showed the court that they were starting to turn their life around. On this basis, the court imposed a community service order so that the client could still go to their new job but also perform some unpaid work in the community. An additional disqualification period of 5 years would have been unjust and disproportionate to the offence and the habitual offender declaration was quashed.