Licence Suspension Appeals
APPEALING YOUR SUSPENSION
If your drivers licence has been suspended by the RTA or the police, you may be able to appeal that suspension in the Local Court. Generally, the following most common suspensions can be appealed:
- A decision by the RTA to suspend your licence following speeding of over 30km/h or 45km/h
- A decision by a police officer to suspend your licence immediately after speeding of over 30km/h or 45km/h
- A decision by the RTA to suspend a provisional licence holder (P plate licence) for exceeding demerit points.
Notice of Suspension
Once you have paid a fine following the issue of a Penalty Notice for speeding (over 30 or 45 km/h), the RTA will then normally issue you with a separate Notice of Suspension advising that your licence will be suspended for 3 or 6 months. The Notice will also advise when your licence suspension will commence.
If you are a provisional licence holder, once you have paid the fine for the offence that takes you over your demerit point limit, a similar Notice of Suspension will be issued.
Lodging an Appeal
If you wish to appeal that decision to the Local Court, you then have 28 days to lodge the appeal in the Local Court. It is important that the appeal is lodged within 28 days as there is no provision for an extension of time.
Once the appeal has been lodged, you will be given a future date to attend the Local Court and have your appeal heard before a Magistrate. On that date, there will also be a representative from the RTA attending the Local Court. You or your lawyer will be given an opportunity to explain to the court why your licence should not be suspended.
What can the Court do?
The Court has wide powers and can confirm the decision of the RTA to suspend your licence, disallow the suspension, or vary it. It can also “make any such order in the circumstances as the Court seems fit”. This means that the court can quash the suspension, reduce it down to as little as one day, or confirm the suspension and dismiss the appeal. The court’s decision is final. There is no appeal against a decision of the court.
Will my appeal by successful?
Whether or not you have good prospects of having your suspension reduced or quashed will depend on a number of factors, but primarily:
- the reason you were speeding or, in the case of a provisional licence, incurred the demerit points
- your driving record
- your need for a licence
The weight given to each factor will vary, and you shouldn’t assume that just because you have a substantial need for a licence, the court will uphold your appeal. The court will consider all of the factors relevant to the application.
In the case of a suspension of your licence by a police officer, it must be demonstrated that there are “exceptional circumstances” before the suspension will be varied or lifted by a court.
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