A driving offence occurs when someone who is driving, or who is a passenger, in a vehicle breaks the law.
There can be serious penalties for driving offences, depending on the seriousness of the offence.
Driving on a suspended licence in Qld is considered driving without a licence, and is an offence. We share what happens if your are caught driving on a suspended licence in Qld, the defences available to you, and the potential penalties that may be imposed.
Why Might My Licence Be Suspended in Queensland?
The Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 governs transport regulations and most related traffic offences in Queensland.
You may find your licence is suspended in Queensland for the following:
- the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) has issued an enforcement order for unpaid fines or penalties
- you have accrued too many demerit points;
- you have been convicted of driving more than 40km per hour over the speed limit
- the Department of Transport and Main Roads or the police have taken action to suspend your licence. This may be as a result of a medical condition that affects your ability to drive safely.
What is the difference Between a Being Disqualified and Being Suspended?
Typically, if you have been disqualified from driving, you will have lost your licence due to conviction for a traffic offence. These offences could be dangerous driving, drunk driving or drug driving.
This differs from a licence suspension whereby your licence is suspended due to one of the reasons above such as an accumulation of demerit points.
What Penalties Can I Face in Qld?
If you are caught driving on a suspended licence in Qld, you will be dealt with by a court for unlicensed driving. The penalties could include a fine, imprisonment, or a further period of disqualification.
The minimum penalty is a further suspension for 1 month, which is the minimum penalty for driving while suspended due to non-payment of fines. The minimum penalty for the remaining instances is 6 months further suspension, while the maximum penalty for all convictions of driving on a suspended licence is 40 penalty units and 12 months imprisonment.
What is a Possible Defence To Driving on A Suspended Licence in Qld
Honest and reasonable mistake is the most common defence you can use when you have been charged with driving on a suspended licence.
In order to be successful with this defence, you must be able to prove and support with evidence that you were unaware at the time of driving that you were suspended, and that this belief was honestly and reasonably held.
If you are attempting to use this defence, but you have a number of traffic infringements, the court may determine that your belief was not reasonable.
Can l Apply For a Special Licence to Keep Driving if I Have Been Convicted Of Driving on a Suspended Licence?
This is a common question we are asked. Unfortunately, while there are some other instances whereby you can apply for a special licence, when you have been convicted of driving on a suspended licence (unlike in some other special instances), there is no special or work licence you an apply for.
Caught Driving on a Suspended Licence in Qld?
If you have been caught driving on a suspended licence in Qld, we suggest you speak to a lawyer as soon as is possible. At Guest Lawyers, we specialise in traffic offences and can assist in advising you on the best steps to take and represent you in court. Our team of traffic lawyers will speak to you to find out all relevant circumstances and present these to the court to ensure you have the best possible outcome for your situation. If you would like to speak to a traffic lawyer from our team, we invite you to contact us today.