What to do if you have been charged with a traffic offence in Victoria
If you have been charged with a traffic offence, you will have to go to Court. You will need to decide whether you are pleading guilty or not guilty, and you should seek expert legal advice. Our experienced team of criminal lawyers have years of experience in both minor and major traffic offences and are here to help.
Types of traffic offences
There are many different types of traffic offences. These apply if you are a driver or a motorcyclist. Some of these include:
- Going over the speed limit; or
- Driving carelessly or dangerously (including hoon driving); or
- Driving if you have been drinking, or using drugs; or
- Being involved in a car accident; or
- P-plate or Learner driver-specific offences; or
- Other minor traffic offences.
Some driving offences carry very serious penalties. It is imperative that you consider consulting an expert team of traffic offence lawyers. Contact us now to discuss your case.
Going to Court for a traffic offence
Depending on your driving offence, the procedural process differs. It can be a highly complex and confusing area of law. Our lawyers have experience and can help guide you through this process.
If you have received a traffic infringement notice, as will be the case in most minor offences, this essentially acts as a fine. The notice will specify the amount, due date, and other conditions.
If you fail to pay an infringement notice, you will be subject to various penalties. You may be required to appear in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. You will also be required to attend Court should you dispute the fine.
For most other driving offences, other than minor offences, you will be charged and you will be required to attend Court, where you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Our lawyers can provide comprehensive advice and represent you at Court.
Traffic offences are largely broken into two categories. Summary offences are heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. The more serious offences, known as indictable offences, are mostly heard before the County Court of Victoria, or Supreme Court of Victoria. Some indictable matters, including some driving offences such as Dangerous Driving Causing Serious Injury, and Reckless Conduct, can be heard summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.
Should you plead guilty, or be found guilty, an appropriate penalty will be handed down by the Court. Some of these penalties are outlined below.
Should you plead not guilty, the Court will assess the merits of your case, weighed against that presented by the Prosecution. If the Prosecution fails to prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, you cannot be held criminally liable.
There are many defences that may apply, or reasons an offence may have occurred. A well-resourced and efficient lawyer will be able to explain your legal options to you, and help you make the right choice, resulting in the best outcome for you.
Traffic offence penalties
The seriousness of the offence, any relevant legislation and Court discretion are all factors that may impact the penalty for a driving offence.
Some common penalties are:
- A fine
- A Good Behaviour Bond, or Adjourned Undertaking
- A temporary suspension or disqualification of your licence
- A criminal conviction
- Mandated participation in diversion programs
- Impoundment of your vehicle
- A Community Corrections Order
What should I do if I have been charged with a traffic offence?
Contact our team of specialised driving offence lawyers now. Our lawyers are highly experienced and regularly represent clients in the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts of Victoria.
How to contact our Office
259 William Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000
T (03) 9200 2533
Shop 9/147-151 Foster Street
DANDENONG VIC 3175
T (03) 9769 2510
Shop 1, 15 John Street
PAKENHAM VIC 3810
T (03) 5941 7990