Refuse to Stop

The offence of Refusing to Stop is found in section 64A of the Road Safety Act 1986. It is a criminal offence for a person who refuses to comply with a police request to stop their vehicle.

Have you been accused of Refuse to Stop? One of our experienced traffic lawyers can answer your important questions such as:

  • What happens if I plead guilty?
  • Can I contest this charge?
  • Will I lose my driver’s licence if I plead guilty?
Driver Driving Away Fast

You must receive some guidance on how to proceed with your case.

Police Interview

It is worth remembering that the police will only interview you if they suspect you Refused to Stop after receiving a police direction. The main purpose of the police is to get admissions from you about what you saw and heard. In a case like this, the police will try to establish that you heard or saw their signal to stop, but continued to drive. You must speak with one of our lawyers before you answer their questions so you can receive some information on the questions you must answer and they ones you don’t have an obligation to answer.

Police officers are experienced in asking questions in a way to make you seem as though you are not telling the truth. Do not go into the interview without understanding how the process works.

Pleading Not Guilty

One of our lawyers is here to help if you decide to contest an allegation of Refusing to Stop. Our lawyers approach their job proactively and will look for evidence that may show the police are wrong. Our lawyers will:

  • Look for CCTV footage,
  • Ask police for dash cam footage,
  • Try to find people who may have witnessed the incident.

This information can result in the prosecutors withdrawing this charge or a Magistrate not being satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty.

Pleading Guilty

Before you decide to plead guilty to Refusing to Stop, one of our lawyers will advise you of the possible consequences so that you know what you are agreeing to. The benefit of engaging one of our lawyers to represent you, is that our lawyers have years of experience representing people in Court. Our lawyers know what material will help reduce the penalty you receive.

Which court will the case be heard in?

The offence of refusing to stop is the sort of charge regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

Examples of Refuse to Stop
  • Police are conducting alcohol and drug testing and signal to a bus driver to stop, but they do not.
  • A policeman is conducting a mobile alcohol test in a backstreet and signals to a driver to stop, but they do not.
What is the legal definition of Refuse to Stop?
  1. A person is guilty of an offence if he or she—
    1. refuses or fails to comply with a request or signal to stop a motor vehicle, and remain stopped, given under section 54(3); or
“Have you been accused of failing to stop?”

The legislation for this offence can be found on section 49(1)(D) of Road Safety Act 1986.

Elements of the offence

In essence to prove this charge the Police must show that a request or signal to stop the motor vehicle and remain stationary was made of the accused and the accused refused or failed to comply with this request or signal.

What are some of the possible defences to Refuse to Stop?

Defences to this can include a factual dispute, or lack of intent.

You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

Questions in cases like this
  • Was the policeman uniformed?
  • Where you asked to stop?
  • Could you stop your car in a reasonable time and safe circumstances?
Maximum penalty for section 49(1)(d) of the Road Safety Act 1986

There is a maximum penalty of 12 penalty units for anyone found guilty of Refuse to Stop (s49(1)(d) of the Road Safety Act 1986) a first offence, 12 months imprisonment and/or 120 penalty units as a second offence and 18 months imprisonment and/or 180 penalty units as a subsequent offence.


Sentencing in the higher courts of Victoria

Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Fail to Stop Motor Vehicle When Directed By Police in the Higher Courts of Victoria Between 2017 and 2022

Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Driver Fail to Stop Motor Vehicle When Requested By a Police or Protective Services Officer in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria Between 2018 and 2021

Case studies related to Refuse to Stop