Habitual Traffic Offender Declarations
Section 217 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) declares a person to be an habitual traffic offender if:
- A Court in this State convicts the person of a relevant offence after the commencement of this Division; and
- The person, has, in the period of 5 years before the conviction, also been convicted of at least 2 other relevant offences committed on different occasions.
If a person is declared by section 217 to be an habitual traffic offender, the person is disqualified by the declaration (and without any specific order of a Court) for a period of 5 years from holding a driver licence, except as provided by this Division.
If the Court that convicts the person of the offence giving rise to the declaration thinks fit, the Court may order a longer period of disqualification (including disqualification for life).
If the Court that convicts the person of the offence giving rise to the declaration determines that a 5-year disqualification is a disproportionate and unjust consequence having regard to the total driving record of the person and the special circumstances of the case, the Court may order a shorter period of disqualification (but not shorter than 2 years).
If a person is declared an habitual offender, a Court that convicts the person of a relevant offence may quash the declaration at the time of the conviction or at a later time if it determines that the disqualification imposed by the declaration is a disproportionate and unjust consequence having regard to the total driving record of the person and the special circumstances of the case.
You can apply to the Local Court to get an habitual traffic offender declaration quashed.
A Form will need to be completed and filed with the Court together with a filing fee. The Court will list the matter and on that date the Court will deal with your application.
You will need to present your case to the Court and provide evidence in support. The Court may determine that the length of the disqualification is unfair in relation to your circumstances, and that the extra disqualification period if out of proportion to the seriousness of the offences.
In determining your application, the Court will consider your driving history, need for a licence and any other relevant special circumstances.
Evidence that may assist your application include character testimonials, evidence of medical conditions, your need for a licence, or for example a letter from your employer if you need your licence for work.
If the magistrate does not quash the declaration you cannot appeal their decision, but you may make an application to the Local Court at another time.
Before your file your application, you should seek legal advice in relation to your prospects of success and the matter in general.