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Driving whilst Disqualified, Suspended or Cancelled

Driving Whilst Disqualified, Suspended or Cancelled is an offence under Section 54(1) of the Road Transport Act 2013.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You drove a motor vehicle, and
  2. You were disqualified from driving at the time, or your licence was suspended or cancelled at the time

If it is your first major traffic offence in the last 5 years the maximum penalty is:

  1. 6 months in prison
  2. A 6 month ‘automatic’ licence disqualification, which can be reduced by a court to 3 months, and
  3. A fine of $3,300

If it is your second or more major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty is:

  1. 12 months in prison
  2. A 12 automatic licence disqualification, which can be reduced by a court to 6 months, and
  3. A fine of $5,500

However, there will be no criminal record, licence disqualification or fine where the court deals with you by way of:

  1. A Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, or
  2. A Conditional release order without a conviction

The main defence to the charge is that you made an honest and reasonable mistake about the fact that your licence was disqualified, suspended or cancelled at the time you drove.

Other defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress
  2. Necessity, and
  3. Self-defence

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