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TRAFFIC OFFENCES AND THE ROLE OF THE LOCAL COURt

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

The Local Court of New South Wales is responsible for hearing a wide range of traffic offences. These offences can be serious and may result in fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. It is important for drivers to understand the types of traffic offences and the penalties associated with them to avoid committing any offences and to drive safely on the roads.


Speeding Offences

Speeding is one of the most common traffic offences in New South Wales. It occurs when a driver exceeds the posted speed limit on a road or highway. The severity of the offence depends on the speed at which the driver was traveling and the location of the offense. In general, the higher the speed and the more dangerous the location, the more severe the penalty.


In some instances, a P-plate or full license holder may appeal to the Local Court if they have exceeded the speed limit (by a certain threshold and will lose their license). In some instances, the Local Court can overturn a license suspension, or reduce the period for the license suspension.


Drink Driving Offences

Drink driving is another common traffic offence that may be heard in the Local Court. Drink driving can include low range, mid-range, or high range driving. It is imperative that you speak to a solicitor prior to attending court for drink driving. Drink driving offences can result in a sentence involving imprisonment.


It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For example, you cannot drive if you have certain drugs in your system, such as cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis, and so on. These drugs can be detectable in your system for a significant period (including in the saliva for several days).


The severity of the penalty depends on the level of alcohol or drugs in the driver's system and the driver's previous driving record, criminal history and so forth.


Driving Without a License / Driving whilst suspended or disqualified

Driving without a license is another traffic offence that may be heard in the Local Court. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license. The severity of the penalty depends on the circumstances of the offence and the driver's previous driving record.


Reckless and Dangerous Driving

Reckless and dangerous driving is a serious offence that can result in fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. It occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle in a way that puts other road users at risk. This includes speeding, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic.


Mobile Phone Offences

Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in New South Wales. This includes texting, making phone calls, and using social media. The penalty for mobile phone offences can include fines and demerit points.


How we can help

Our solicitors regularly appear in Local Courts around Newcastle, the Hunter and Gunnedah for clients in license suspension appeals, traffic matters and criminal matters involving drink driving, speeding, and driving without a license (disqualified/suspended).


If you have a question, license, or traffic matter, please do not hesitate to contact our solicitor, Katie Jolliffe on 6742 2122 or email office@mcallanlegal.com.au.


Gunnedah & Newcastle in office, and visits are available in Muswellbrook, Singleton, Scone, Murrurundi, and Tamworth.

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