Traffic offences can carry hefty fines and possible jail time for the offender, so it is important to seek legal advice from specialist traffic lawyers. Here is a brief guide from Guest Traffic Lawyers Brisbane on the types of traffic offences you can be charged with, how your penalty will be determined and how our lawyers can help you.
Dangerous Driving Offences
‘Hooning’ is the common word used in Queensland to describe any anti-social behaviour conducted in a motor vehicle. This can include dangerous or carless driving, speeding, driving in any way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke, racing on a public road and evading police.
These offences are now classed as either Type 1 or Type 2 offences, which can result in an arrest, an infringement notice or a notice to appear in court. Penalties for traffic offences vary significantly, from small fines to jail time. As part of the Queensland Government’s commitment to crack down on hooning, new powers for police to impound and confiscate vehicles from drivers who commit hooning offences came into effect on 1st November 2013.
Drink Driving Offences
If you are caught drink driving, you will need to go to court. A magistrate will determine how long your drivers license will be disqualified and whether or not you will be fined or given a jail sentence. Your penalty will be determined based on your blood/breath alcohol concentration at the time of the offence, and whether you have been previously convicted of drink driving. The table below displays penalties that may apply for a first offence. A repeat drink driving offence carries more severe penalties than the ones listed below.
|Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration||Licence Disqualification||Maximum Fine||Maximum Jail Time|
|Over 0.00, but under 0.05 BAC (learner, probationary or provisional licences, and drivers of particular motor vehicles)||3 – 9 months||$1,706||3 months|
|0.05 and over, but under 0.10||1 – 9 months||$1,706||3 months
|0.10 and over, but under 0.15||3 – 12 months||$2,438||6 months
|0.15 and over||Minimum of 6 months||$3,413||9 months|
Drug Driving Offences
If any trace of illegal drugs is found in your system while you are driving or in charge of a vehicle (this means you don’t have to be the one driving), you can be charged with a drug driving offence. Penalties for drug driving range from fines of $1,400 to the loss of your license for up to nine months if this is your first offence. For more information about drug driving offences, have a look at this online resource from the Queensland Police.
Work License and Special Hardship Orders
Despite being charged with a drink or drug driving offence, you may be eligible to apply for a work licence. Guest Lawyers specialises in making such applications. We will prepare all relevant paperwork including the application and required affidavit material.
If you lose your licence due to an accumulation of demerit points or high range speeding you can, if you meet strict criteria, apply for a special hardship order. It is extremely important you contact our specialist traffic lawyers as soon as you receive notification that your licence will be suspended, or you suspect that you may have accumulated your allocated demerit points, as there are strict time limits and other rules associated with making such an application.
A work licence or special hardship order is usually given if you can show that you will suffer extreme hardship without a licence and you are a fit and proper person to continue to hold a licence.
Transport Fare Evasion
If you use public transport or a private service such a taxi, it is an offence if you;
- Try not to pay
- Do not pay
- Do not pay your full fare
- Travel outside your allowed distance
- Do not have proof of your concession (if you are travelling as a concession card holder)
For these offences, you can be fined or have to appear in court. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice as transport fare evasion charges can result in 6 months imprisonment.
How Penalties for Traffic Offences are Determined
When determining a sentence for an offence, the magistrate or judge considers a variety of factors, such as;
- The seriousness of the crime (e.g. whether the offence takes place with aggravation, whether the crime is committed by more than one person or whether a weapon is carried)
- The effect on the victim of the crime
- The offender’s circumstances and criminal history
- Whether the offender has cooperated with police
Fines for a number of traffic crimes in Queensland are based on a system of penalty units. A penalty unit is a specific amount of money used to work out each fine. In Queensland, the penalty unit value is $121.90 (current from July 1st, 2016). For instance, the penalty for driving without due care and attention is a maximum of 40 penalty units. Thus the maximum fine for this offence is now $4,876.
The number of penalty units applied usually comes with an equivalent jail sentence for people unable or unwilling to pay the fine. In some cases, the judge or magistrate may decide a prison term is a more appropriate form of punishment for the offender than a fine. More information about the specifics of penalties and sentencing in Queensland can be found here.
How the Best Traffic Lawyers Brisbane Has to Offer Can Help
If you have been charged with a traffic offence in Brisbane or the surrounding areas, you should seek legal advice from the best traffic lawyers Brisbane can offer you. Doing so will greatly improve your chances of lessening the severity your penalty. Here at Guest Traffic Lawyers Brisbane we act for all persons charged with criminal offences who are required to appear before the Magistrates, District and Supreme Court. We also conduct appeals in the Court of Appeal and High Court. In addition to representing people all over Queensland, we often travel to other states and territories. Our lawyers are admitted to practice all over Australia.
We offer initial consultations (including in prisons) to assist with a number of traffic offence matters. Please get in touch with us either via email or by calling (07) 3211 3007. Our team of experienced Brisbane drink driving, drug driving and traffic lawyers will be more than happy to assist you.