Driving Whilst Suspended and Driving Unregistered Motor Vehicle

Our young client was charged with Driving Whilst Suspended and Driving an Unregistered Motor Vehicle. She had no criminal or traffic priors. She was a busy student who was working in shift work whilst studying.

What is alleged to have occured?
The client’s demerit points had accumulated and she believed that she had not received or read a letter to confirm that she was in a period of suspension. Further, she believed that she had paid her vehicle registration. Our client needed her licence. She lives a 40-minute drive from her workplace and had late shift hours, and public transport did not operate services in the middle of the night.

What happened at court?
We acted on her behalf at the Moorabbin Justice Centre.

The client came in to see us with her bank statements and letters from VicRoads to confirm what information she had received regarding her licence and car registration. We advised her about the prospects of raising a defence of honest and reasonable mistake of belief regarding both charges. Whilst in both circumstances, she honestly held the belief that she had her matters in order. It is also a question as to whether it was reasonable in the circumstances.

In respect of her licence suspension, unfortunately our client had not updated her records and therefore was not in receipt of her mail. The inevitable conclusion was that it was not reasonable in the circumstances. We were able to discover that she had made payment of her registration however had incorrectly entered the account details and the funds were not received under her name. They were returned into her account without her even realising.

Therefore we advised the client that she could raise a defence in respect of the registration charge. This required taking the matter to a hearing. Because of the potential risks and costs in a hearing, our client decided on the day to plead guilty to the charges of Driving Whilst Suspended and Driving an Unregistered Motor Vehicle. We explained the circumstances to the presiding magistrate as well as tendered letters in support of her good character.

What was the result?
The client was ultimately granted a financial penalty of $400 for driving whilst suspended. The charge related to the unregistered vehicle was proven and dismissed (with no further penalty). No conviction was recorded against her.

Elements of Driving Whilst Suspended:
  • The accused drove
  • The accused drove a motor vehicle
  • The accused drove on a highway
  • The accused was disqualified
Related case studies
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 26/09/2018