Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations

Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations were orders of the court or Roads and Maritime Service that disqualified people for up to five years in addition to other penalties imposed by a court. When someone’s driver’s licence has been disqualified for decades it is usually on account of Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations.

The courts and RMS no longer impose Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations. Thankfully, it is relatively easy for one of our experienced traffic lawyers to remove Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations from your driving record.  

How was I declared a Habitual Traffic Offender?

A Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration will be ordered by the Roads and Maritime Service or court where a person has committed three or more major traffic offences within a 5-year period.

For every major offence that follows the first three, an additional Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration will be ordered (so long as there are at least two other offences in a 5-year period). Hence, where someone commits five major offences in five years, they will have 15 years of disqualifications attributable to Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations.

What are Major Traffic Offences?

Major traffic offences include:

  • A conviction of murder or manslaughter arising out of the use of motor vehicle.
  • A conviction for wounding, causing actual bodily harm or inflicting grievous bodily harm arising out of the use of a motor vehicle.
  • Predatory driving, Involvement in a police pursuit and failing to stop after an impact causing grievous bodily harm.
  • Driving recklessly, furiously or in a manner or speed dangerous to the public.
  • Negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.
  • Menacing driving.
  • Drink driving, Refuse breath analysis or Wilfully alter concentration.
  • Prevent medical practitioner or nurse from taking blood.
  • Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Refuse sample of blood or urine or wilfully introduce or alter amount of drug in blood or urine.
  • Failing to stop and assist following impact causing death or injury.
  • Failing or refusing to provide oral fluid sample.
  • Refusing or failing to submit to the taking of the sample of blood in accordance with the directions of a medical practitioner, registered nurse or prescribed sample taker.
  • Refuse or fail to supply sample of urine or blood (fatal accident).
  • Drive more than 45 km over the speed limit.
  • Drive unlicensed (2nd offence).
  • Drive/make application for licence while disqualified, suspended or cancelled.

How do I get rid of Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations?

You can apply to any local court for this declaration to be quashed. The court must be satisfied that the declaration/s are a disproportionate and an unjust consequence having regard to:

  • Your total driving record; and
  • The special circumstances of the case.

Where someone has been declared a Habitual Traffic Offender, common sense dictates that they will not have a great traffic record, although some records are much worse than others. Therefore, what is important is the length of time in which you have not offended, and when the Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations commence in relation to court-imposed disqualifications.

Special circumstances is widely construed, but usually focuses on:

  • Demonstrated change in character since the Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration was made e.g. employment, changes in family circumstances, maturity attributable to age, rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol, etc.
  • Your need for a licence e.g. for employment, because the area you live in has limited public transportation, responsibility for children, or health issue affecting yourself or someone in your care, etc.
  • Hardship suffered due to not having a licence e.g. loss of employment, geographic isolation, unusually long public transport trips, etc.

What needs to be done to prepare my case?

To prepare your case to the highest standard and speak on your behalf, evidence of the factors supporting your application is usually supplied to your traffic lawyer and then tendered to the court. Examples of evidence that may assist in an Appeal includes:

  • References from employers, family members and health professionals stating why you have a need for a driver’s licence e.g. for work, to pick up and drop off children from school, a chronic back condition, etc.
  • Employment contracts stating that having a driver’s licence is a condition of employment.
  • Medical documentation about any medical conditions.
  • Trip planner documents showing geographic isolation or unavailability of public transport from your residential address to your place of employment.
  • A letter of apology or affidavit stating what happened.
  • Certificate of completion of the Traffic Offenders Program.

Do I need references?

We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court. To find out more about how to write a good reference, click here.

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group?

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for licence appeals. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record, losing your licence or keeping it, and freedom or jail. To read more about Australian Criminal Law Group, click here.

To discuss your licence appeal, call Australian Criminal Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, and Blacktown offices, or make a website inquiry today.


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