Drive Whilst Suspended – Honest and Reasonable Belief

This is a case study on a charge of Drive Whilst Suspended using honest and reasonable belief as a defence.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was pulled over by the police for a random intercept. It was discovered that he was driving on a suspended drivers licence and he told the police that he was not aware that he was suspended. Following the intercept, he contacted VicRoads who advised that he was suspended due to an accumulation of demerit points. He told them that he had received several letter from VicRoads, with the most recent advising him that he had the option to elect to keep his licence if he maintained one demerit point for 12 months. VicRoads indicated that they sent that letter to him in error.

Kristina Kothrakis represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for the charge of Drive Whilst Suspended.

What happened at court?
When a person is charged with Driving Whilst Suspended, the defence of ‘honest and reasonable belief’ is available to them. That is, that they had an honest and reasonable belief that they held a valid licence. It is often a very hard defence to successfully mount. In this instance however, Kristina formed the view that the correspondence from VicRoads was so contradictory and confusing that it gave rise to the defence.

Kristina obtained all the relevant material and prepared a comprehensive chronology of the correspondence received. She then submitted these to the prosecution.

What was the result?
During the summary case conference stage of proceedings, Kristina ultimately persuaded the prosecution to agree to withdraw the charge against the client. This was an excellent result and is a good example of how to defend a charge of Drive Whilst Suspended using honest and reasonable belief as criminal defence.

Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ profile.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 14/06/2018