Driving Offences – Fine and Wholly-Suspended Sentence

Before he was represented by us, our client was sentenced at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court to four months imprisonment for charges of driving whilst suspended and driving whilst disqualified. He had many prior traffic offences and had breached 3 suspended sentences which were imposed for exactly the same kind of offence.

Our client filed an appeal and was granted appeal bail. Very shortly before his appeal he contacted us to represent him at the appeal. Josh Taaffe acted for our client at the Melbourne County Court. Looking at the papers, it was immediately apparent that the client had a shocking driving history and had breached multiple suspended sentences, and the most likely outcome was a gaol sentence. Our client would have to establish exceptional circumstances to avoid a gaol sentence.

Overall, the charges he faced were:

  • Drive disqualified
  • Drive unregistered motor vehicle
  • State false name
  • State false address
  • Fail to answer bail
  • Drive while suspended by infringements

Josh Taaffe took a detailed history from our client and discovered that he had a difficult history having witnessed his father die in a car accident at age 16. During the period when he committed all of the previous offences, he had been using Ice and was estranged from his wife. He had since turned his life around, had another child, and reunited with his wife. He had commenced treatment with a psychologist.

Josh Taaffe appeared at the appeal and sought more time from the Court so that a report from the psychologist could be put before the Court along with urine drug screens to prove that our client was now drug-free. An adjournment of the appeal was granted.

A report and other material was put before the Court on the return date of the plea. Character references from family and friends were tendered that demonstrated that our client was an extremely hard working man who had moved on from his drug addiction and was building a life for himself and his family.

The Court found that his circumstances were exceptional and re-imposed all of the suspended sentences. The result being that the gaol sentences will only have to be served if our client commits another offence punishable by imprisonment.

The appeal was successful and the orders of the Magistrates were set aside. All 3 breached suspended sentences were re-imposed for the next 12 months. On the new charges of driving whilst disqualified, our client was sentenced to 2 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 15 months. On the other lesser charges, he was fined and given 2 months to pay it.


Josh TaaffeJosh Taaffe

Josh has extensive experience in indictable crime including sex offences, assaults & drug matters.

As an instructing solicitor Josh has specialised in handling complex matters, such as murder and terrorism trials, including State and Commonwealth Supreme Court trials. Josh is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist.

Visit Josh’s profile to read more about his background and experience.

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 25/02/2013