What is Fail to Stop?

Failing to stop when directed to do so by police can land you on the wrong side of the law in NSW. Police can direct you to pull over if they reasonably suspect that you – or your passenger – are breaking a law. If you do not comply with a police direction, you may face charges.

In order to establish whether you are guilty of this offence, the police will need to prove that they asked you to pull over or provided some other direction that you disregarded or failed to comply with fully, despite their reasonable request.

What are the penalties for a fail to stop offence?

If you are found guilty of the offence of failing to stop in NSW, you may face the following penalties:

Maximum fine $5,500
Maximum prison sentence 12 months

You may also be disqualified from driving for a certain period of time, as assessed by the court.

How severe is the charge against you?

Although this doesn’t sound like a particularly severe offence, it can be quite serious depending on the circumstances. Not pulling over if you were driving 10kms above the speed limit is one thing, but it’s quite another if police try to pull you over because they suspect you of being involved in an armed robbery and you engage in a high speed pursuit in your attempt to escape.

Other complicating factors include whether there was a lot of traffic on the road at the time, whether there were passengers in your vehicle, and the type of law the police allege you broke.

Traffic Offender Intervention Program

If you have been charged with the offence of failing to stop, a court may reduce your sentence if you participate in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program, which aims to provide an education on safe driving practices and the risks of infringing traffic laws.

More information about the Traffic Offender Intervention Program.

It’s important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible if you are facing a fail to stop charge. Our traffic lawyers can advise you on possible defences and whether you may be able to seek leniency under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.