What do Traffic Lawyers Do?
Many traffic offences are harmless and not likely to get near a Courtroom – you pay a fine, lose some points, and get on with your life.
But occasionally, the type of incident or your driving history means that you’re going to get put through the ringer of Court proceedings to determine just how much of “the book” should be thrown at you.
And when that happens, there’s a good chance that your licence is on the line (not to mention a pretty hefty fine to pay or even imprisonment). Think what happens if you lose your licence or it’s suspended – convenience, the ability to work and your family duties can all suffer, even with only a short disqualification.
When facing such uncertainty, you’re going to want traffic lawyers on your side, arguing your case or applying for a work licence to the Court.
Below are some of the traffic offences that we deal with on a regular basis. Generally, if you’re using TWC as your traffic lawyers you can expect this to happen:
- You’ll call us to arrange a free initial consultation;
- We’ll get some details from you about your history and the incident in question;
- We’ll give you a fixed fee quote, so you’ve got no surprise bills at the end;
- You’ll get realistic advice on what’s likely to happen, the best and worst case scenarios and our recommendation based on experience so you can give us instructions about how you want to do things;
- We’ll put your instructions into action.
You might be surprised what a big difference having someone who knows the traffic law system inside out, working for you will make.
Drink Driving UIL and DUI
One of the most common, but still serious, traffic law matters is getting caught by a random (or not-so-random) breath test and being found over the limit.
Believe it or not, the starting point is probably that your licence is going to be disqualified. There’s also a potential for imprisonment (yes – even if you’re “just a little bit” over the limit).
Given the impact on your life, what you need to know is that we will attempt to minimise the impact of the offence, mitigate the circumstances, and argue your case – ALWAYS!
In Queensland there is a zero-tolerance system for drug driving – which means that if you are found to have any drugs in your system at all while driving a motor vehicle you’re going to get charged.
Random drug tests conducted by the police can pick up trace amounts of common drugs including cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines.
There are two main categories of drug driving:
- Driving while a relevant drug is present in your system or saliva – this is the more common charge and simply requires there to be a positive test result, irrespective of whether or not you are affected by the drug in question; and
- Driving under the influence of drugs – this is where your ability to drive has actually been affected by drugs.
Each drug driving charge has possible minimum disqualification periods and potential fines or imprisonment time. Generally, there will also be a period of immediate suspension from driving.
It’s important to get advice about drug driving charges as soon as you are charged so that we may provide you with guidance, and certainty before making any Court appearances.
DUI, Drug Driving Work Licences
In each case of drink driving (except high range drink driving) and drug driving charges, it’s possible to apply for a work licence to allow you to continue driving for the purpose of getting to and from work or if losing your licence will cause financial hardship.
Without trying to sound dramatic, getting a work licence can mean the difference between a disqualification ruining your life or not.
For many, if they cannot get a work licence then their spouse, their family, their lifestyle and their freedom may suffer considerably.
What we’ll do is get as much information from you as possible. We do this to ascertain if you are eligible for a special driving licence to try and persuade the Court that without the ability to get to work the consequences will outweigh the seriousness of the alleged offence.
That’s not always easy, and if you need a work licence you should get traffic lawyers on board to help you out rather than trying a DIY solution.
Dangerous Driving and Careless Driving
If you’re in a serious accident or believed to have been negligent and caused serious injury to someone or property, then you might be charged with driving with undue care and attention or dangerous or careless driving.
Dangerous driving is the more serious (compared to “careless” driving) and has a maximum penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment.
The outcome is going to depend on all the factors: your driving history, the road conditions, the behaviour of others on the road, and anything else that might have impacted on your ability to safely drive the vehicle.
In any case, our job as your traffic lawyers is to get as much information from you or potential witnesses as possible that might show that you weren’t operating the vehicle dangerously and hold discussions with police on your behalf.
Dangerous operation of a vehicle
In addition to the many traffic law options, a more serious charge involving a motor vehicle is “dangerous operation of a vehicle”.
As the name suggests, this is where a person drives a vehicle dangerously. The charge can be made whether or not somebody has been killed, but carries a higher penalty in that case.
The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.
If there are drugs or alcohol, significant speeding or you flee the scene of the incident then the maximum penalty increases to 14 years.
Unlicensed Suspended or Disqualified Driving
As you’d expect, the Queensland Police Service don’t appreciate it if you drive without a licence, or continue to drive when suspended or disqualified.
The question is usually going to be “why”?
With our help, you might be able to satisfy the Court that there were special circumstances which should be considered in order to minimise the consequences you might otherwise face.
Special Hardship Licences
If you’ve had your licence suspended for driving more than 40kph over the speed limit or racking up too many demerit points, then you might be eligible to apply for a “special hardship” licence.
There are some restrictions on who can apply, mostly related to whether or not your history within the last 5 years includes certain serious findings or events.
To apply you’ll need to lodge the appropriate paperwork together with supporting affidavits that set out your case and why you should have your licence reinstated.
We can help you prepare for your special hardship licence application and hearing, to give your application the best shot at success and ensure that the conditions imposed are not setting you up to fail.
Need a Traffic Lawyer?
If you’ve got concerns about anything we’ve commented above, or any other traffic law matter in Queensland then give us a call for a free initial chat and we’d be happy to discuss it further with you.
To make a free appointment and get a quote, get in touch.
TWC Lawyers provide legal services for criminal law, traffic law, franchising law, commercial law, family law and property and conveyancing matters. We bring practical, sensible and fixed fee solutions to your legal problems. Learn more about us here.