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Defending The Charge of Drive While Suspended

Much like the charge of Driving whilst Disqualified, the Courts have a stern approach towards dealing with matters involving drivers who operate a vehicle whilst suspended from doing so.

There are a number of defences available to driving whilst suspended including:

  • Honest and reasonable mistake: You were not aware that your licence was cancelled or suspended because, for example, you were never notified by the RTA. You would need to provide evidence to support this claim.
  • Challenging the legitimacy of the suspension on legal technicalities.
  • Proving to the Court that you were not the driver at the time of the offence.
  • Duress, forced through actual threats to yourself or people close to you to cause you to offend.
  • Necessity, urgent circumstances that caused you to offend.
  • Mitigating circumstances, external events that led up to or caused the incident.

The most common defence is that of honest and reasonable mistake.

It is common for persons charged with this offence to plead guilty, rather than risk receiving a severe penalty if a defence (if applicable) is not accepted by the Court.


If you don’t receive a section 10, the range of penalties available are listed in the table below:

Maximum court imposed fine $3,300 $5,500
Maximum gaol term 18 months 2 years
Minimum disqualification 12 months 2 years
Maximum disqualification Unlimited Unlimited
Disqualification in the absence of a specific court order (automatic period) 12 months 2 years

How can Sydney Traffic Lawyers help?

Our Traffic Lawyers will carefully consider your case, advise you on all your legal options, and recommend the best way forward.

Call us now on 02 8059 7121 or contact us after hours on 0420 998 650 or text 24hrs to book an appointment with one of our solicitors.

The initial consultation is free.