Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

rrvidas
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:51 pm

Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby rrvidas » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:12 am

Hello Sean. I have also sent this message as an email as I'm not sure as to which will be seen first, and I'm deeply anxious over this matter.

My 79-year-old mother has been charged with driving on a suspended licence on 12 October 2019 and due in court on 3 February 2020. She was only aware that she could be suspended if her requested Medical Review was not submitted by a set date and unaware that she had been, and had received no notification from VicRoads of that fact. Staff at the VicRoads Medical Review Centre told us that they do not notify a driver if their licence is suspended, as the original request for a Medical Review contained the date that a driver would be suspended if they do not receive the report (in our case, 17 July 2019).

The circumstances leading to her suspension arose following a minor traffic incident (28 May 2019) when she was requested by VicRoads (5 June 2019) to send in a Medical Review by 3 July 2019. This occurred after both she and her husband experienced sudden medical crises (Dad was diagnosed with cancer and she experienced a serious heart attack), and in the stress and confusion of the time, the completed form was mislaid.

After discovering she had a suspended licence, she found and submitted the report, and the suspension was lifted. Unfortunately, due to the stresses involved with the last stages of Dad’s life (he died on 13 November 2019) and amidst her continual health concerns (following her heart attack she had an operation on a possibly cancerous cyst), she subsequently failed her driver’s test and must resit it while this court case is pending. (VicRoads have subsequently pushed the date for this back due to a lack of staff availability, although this has not yet been confirmed in writing to us.)

Legal Aid recommended to us to get the Duty Lawyer on the day of the court hearing to request diversion and no contest to the charge with no conviction or bond, to tell the magistrate that she accepts that she was driving while suspended and that this would not occur again.

We feel it is unreasonable to expect a senior citizen with no criminal record and a very good driving history in the midst of enormous pressures to be treated in this manner for a genuine mistake, especially when VicRoads have been so poor in their communication with us.

Is there anything you can suggest that we should do?

Hardy
Site Admin
Posts: 8232
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 10:00 am
Location: Melbourne Victoria
Contact:

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Hardy » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:37 am

She has a court case, so she needs to get advice about whether to plead guilty or not guilty.
She might have a defence - it is too hard to tell without going over the case properly. A diversion is also a possibility, but in most cases like this the client will present a plea of guilty and try to get the minimum penalty possible.

oscar
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:00 am

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby oscar » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:50 pm

Don't waste your money getting a Solicitor / Barrister. This one definitely doesn't need another yacht or $10000 road bike.

Your mum should simply attend court and plea guilty. She should attend with you and any other available family members. She should also bring paperwork from every medical practitioner she can lay her hands on.

VicRoads have everything they need to 'win', but that's not relevant.

She should explain the circumstances that lead to her oversight. She should not 'blame' VicRoads for anything. They have done everything that they are legally required to do.

You should ask for the matter to be proven and dismissed.

She will either get ...
a) a finding of guilt, without conviction and no financial penalty (apart from court costs)
b) a finding of guilt, without conviction and a $200 fine as well as court costs

Hardy
Site Admin
Posts: 8232
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 10:00 am
Location: Melbourne Victoria
Contact:

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Hardy » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:24 pm

Police always assume defendants will be found guilty, but I would never advise anyone to plead guilty to a charge unless the opportunity to be acquitted has first been considered and assessed, which costs about $350. I find most of my clients would rather be acquitted of an offence than be found guilty of it.

oscar
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:00 am

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby oscar » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:01 pm

Perhaps you should clarify to the OP that it is very likely, that the fine at court, on a finding of guilt, will almost certainly be equal to or less than your $350 fee. So OP's mum is likely $350 worse off.

And if, as you suggest, the OP's mum is found not guilty, then there will be no fine whatsoever, which is considerably less than the $350 for 30 mins of your special time.......just saying

If you are saying that OP's mum should pay you $350 (which you are), then you assess the possibility of a win as being somewhere between 10% and 50%, but only if she pays you $4500 for the contest, that would still likely be lost.......

Be totally honest with the OP Sean, financially, OP's mum would be better off pleading guilty and turning up with what I suggested, but that's not really on your radar is it? ;)

Hardy
Site Admin
Posts: 8232
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 10:00 am
Location: Melbourne Victoria
Contact:

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Hardy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:49 pm

See http://trafficlaw.com.au/30

The defendant seeks advice to remedy what she perceives is an injustice and your response is to accept she stuffed up and assume no one else made any error, and then you claim it is unimaginable that she would get anything worse than a $350 fine even though it is rare to see fines under $500. Anyway, for 99% of my clients it is not about the fine. It is about the licence loss, the conviction, the desire to achieve justice, and the risk of community work/jail. And it is often about not wanting to go to court on your own to deal with a charge and then having to engage lawyers to lodge appeals because you are not happy with the outcome. Your posts are full of misrepresentations about what lawyers charge. I get it that you don’t like lawyers helping criminals and making a living from that. I never suggested she come and see me - I just answered the question posed. Anyway, I don’t do half hour conferences because it always takes an hour to do the job properly. If anyone thinks I’m too expensive they should ring around and see if any other lawyers do it for less - she might find a barrister with 29 years experience who is cheaper than me.

Gravy
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:25 am

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Gravy » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:15 pm

oscar wrote:Be totally honest with the OP Sean, financially, OP's mum would be better off pleading guilty and turning up with what I suggested, but that's not really on your radar is it?
Strewth oscar; it's clear you don't have any respect for lawyers, but you could at least go about discussions on a lawyer's own free forum without assuming bad faith.

Not that Sean needs or wants me to defend him, but the stickler in me can't let your post go without challenge:
Hardy wrote:A diversion is also a possibility, but in most cases like this the client will present a plea of guilty and try to get the minimum penalty possible.
So yes; clearly what you are suggesting is indeed on Sean's radar. It mustn't have made it through your confirmation bias.

The difference between what you and Sean are suggesting is that your advice is generic whereas Sean is coming from the position that generic advice for a specific case is irresponsible and not in the best interests of the accused. The history of your posts suggests that the position from which you come is that a person charged with an offence is certainly guilty of that offence and must be punished. In which case, why the hell should the OP's mum consider a single word you have written?

LEO
Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:33 pm

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby LEO » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:58 pm

Gravy wrote: In which case, why the hell should the OP's mum consider a single word you have written?
Because the advice is pretty spot on if the OP doesn't want to pay a lawyer to "see" if they have a small chance of winning.

Hardy first post is also correct.

Hardy
Site Admin
Posts: 8232
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 10:00 am
Location: Melbourne Victoria
Contact:

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Hardy » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:06 pm

You don’t need to pay a lawyer to realise every case has got at least a small chance of winning.
The goal is to find the cases that have a high chance of winning. It is not possible to do that while assuming people have no hope. Every second day a client brings a case that I conclude is unlikely to win and does not warrant any legal representation. So half the conference is spent giving the client a tutorial in how to represent themselves. But almost none of those clients sought legal advice because they wanted to plead guilty at court without legal representation. They actually wanted to win.

LEO
Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:33 pm

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby LEO » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:46 pm

Hardy wrote:You don’t need to pay a lawyer to realise every case has got at least a small chance of winning.


This is a false-consensus bias, as demonstrated by the OP, most people don't have a clue about how the law works.

Hardy wrote: The goal is to find the cases that have a high chance of winning. It is not possible to do that while assuming people have no hope. Every second day a client brings a case that I conclude is unlikely to win and does not warrant any legal representation. So half the conference is spent giving the client a tutorial in how to represent themselves.
Ok given the information at hand what chance (percentage) do the OP have of winning, ie a finding of not guilty if you represent them and what would the cost be?

Yes I am aware your defenses are mostly based on procedural matters, but let's assume the procedural matters are 100% spot on.

And in your opinion given the information at hand, what would outcome be if they followed oscars advice?

Hardy
Site Admin
Posts: 8232
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 10:00 am
Location: Melbourne Victoria
Contact:

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Hardy » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:59 pm

The defendant has already been advised by legal aid to plead guilty (what other outcome would you expect from legal aid?) but the defendant thinks that is unreasonable so she’s looking for a better way through this. I’m expected to suggest options that are realistic. The obvious option is to see a lawyer - not legal aid - and have the case looked at properly. It is really that simple. Legal aid does not handle traffic law cases save to plead guilty for people who have a high likelihood of being imprisoned, so I doubt anyone there has the experience to assess all the options properly. There are all sorts of defences that could be available but without seeing the file it is impossible to guess how the case should be handled.

Gravy
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:25 am

Re: Driving on a suspended licence without proper notification from VicRoads

Postby Gravy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:11 am

LEO wrote:...let's assume the procedural matters are 100% spot on.
Given VicRoads' involvement, that's an unreasonable assumption.


Return to “Driving when unlicenced, suspended or disqualified”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests