June 13, 2016

Criminal & Traffic

Lake Street Lawyers offer a wide range of services related to criminal law and traffic offences including:

  • Assault
  • Theft
  • Property damage
  • Drug charges
  • IVOs
  • Indictable offences
  • Summary offences
  • Court appearances
  • Drink driving
  • Speeding
  • Infringements (disobeying signs, mobile phone use, etc.)
  • Drug driving
  • Court appearances

Lake Street drink driving

Traffic FAQ

What is a Traffic Offence?

A traffic offence is any offence committed in a vehicle and given to you by the Victorian Police. Offences include speeding, drink driving, driving while suspended or disobeying road rules.

What happens if I commit a Traffic Offence?

You will be issued a notice by the police which may have a number of different requirements. Depending on the severity of the act involved, you may be arrested, you may be issued with a Summons to appear in court or you may be issued with an administrative letter requiring you to pay a fine.

Drink Driving Offences – Will I lose my licence?

Victoria has some of the strictest road laws in Australia, particularly when the offence involves drink driving. Drink driving offences in Victoria attract a mandatory period of licence suspension and these mandatory periods vary depending on the alleged blood alcohol reading and whether or not you have any previous history of drink driving. There are a number of ways to potentially defend a drink driving charge and allow you to keep your licence. The most common defence is operator-error (i.e. the police incorrectly administered the breath analysis test). To find out more about whether you have a defence, how long you will lose your licence for, or whether you might be subject to an alcohol interlock program, you should seek legal advice relevant to your particular circumstances.

Speeding Offences – Can I keep my licence?

In determining the penalty that applies to speeding offences, the court will have regard to the speed you were travelling and the road conditions at the time. If you are alleged to have travelled more than 25km per hour over the speed limit then the alleged speed falls into the category of “excessive speeding”. A conviction for excessive speeding will automatically result in a loss of licence, although the court also has a discretion to impose an additional period of licence suspension. If you have been charged with travelling more than 25km per hour over the speed limit you should seek legal advice as the penalties may be far more severe than the minimum penalty that the law requires.

Will I have a criminal record?

Traffic offences are criminal offences and can result in you having a criminal record. Minor offences which are dealt with administratively will not attract a criminal conviction, although drink driving offences and excessive speeding offences may result in a criminal record.

I have been charged with driving while disqualified, what do I do?

Driving while disqualified is an incredibly serious offence and attracts harsh penalties. If you are charged with driving while disqualified you will be issued with a summons and be required to attend court. A first offence can attract a fine of up to $4,000 or 4 months imprisonment. A subsequent offence can result in a fine of up to $27,000 or 2 years in prison. Your legal counsel will discuss with you a number of potential defences to the charge of driving while disqualified.

I have received a backlog of toll enforcement notices – what now?

It is a common situation when driving in or around Melbourne or interstate to drive on a toll road. Where you have failed to have a valid e-tag or e-pass for the trip, you may be issued with a toll notice, a toll reminder notice and then subsequent toll enforcement notices. Often you may have been unaware of the notices or been unable to financially deal with the notices when they arrived.
These enforcement notices generally carry hefty administrative and enforcement fees in addition to the initial fee incurred by driving on the toll road. If you do not take action, the Sheriff may come and seize your property.
If you have received a number of toll enforcement notices, you may be able to apply for an internal review of the decision and avoid the need to go to court to have your case heard. If the fines are not revoked by an internal review, you must apply to the Magistrates’ Court to have the matter heard by a Magistrate.

I have received an “Options Letter” from VicRoads – What do I do?

If you have incurred 12 or more demerit points within a 3 year period, VicRoads will send you an “Options Letter” asking you if you would like to enter into a demerit point bond, or whether you would prefer to immediately serve a 3 month licence suspension period. A demerit point bond allows you to continue driving, but if you commit any further offences within the following 12 months, you will lose your licence for 6 months. This option is often useful for individuals who require their car to carry out their employment or for other compelling reasons.
You can dispute that you have incurred 12 or more demerit points within 3 years and, if successful, you may be able to avoid entering into a demerit point bond or losing your licence.

Other traffic matters

If you have any other questions on traffic matters you should seek expert legal advice for your individual circumstances. This consult will allow you to know where you stand and whether you have any defences available to you.