do I need representation?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Dianne Horvath, 31 July 2019.

  1. Dianne Horvath

    Dianne Horvath Active Member

    9 November 2015
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    Hi, and thanks for your time reading my question.

    I was pulled over by an unmarked police car in February on my way home from work. (this was approx' 30 km from my home) I was told that the reason I was pulled me over, was because my car flagged their computer system and then he asked me my name. When I told him, he asked why was I driving on a suspended license. I was horrified, because I had no idea, and then I turned red with embarrassment.

    I told him I didnt know that I lost it, and asked how could that be anyway, I never received a notice etc.
    After further investigation back in his car, he returned to tell me that my car was caught on camera last November doing 25km over the speed limit and that I ahould have received something in the mail, and because of the speed, my licence was automatically suspended for 3 months.

    On the date of the ticket in November I wasn’t even driving. That week my car was left at work for a service and any one of four people could have been driving it on that day.

    Had I received a notice in the mail I would have nominated another driver (I’ve seen the photo from Vic roads and you cannot see the driver in the vehicle)

    Had I been aware that I had a suspended license, there is no way on earth that I wouldve be driving making me an unregistered driver and risk a potential death or injury to any other person including myself and my family.

    Of course that day when he pulled me over and now marked car he told me that I had to make my way home another way which to me meant carrying to resuscitations on his first aid supplies defibrillators as I’m a first aid trainer and assessor and I knew then and there I would be losing my job immediately as I travel all over Victoria for work another reason why I never would’ve risk driving on a suspended license.

    We did have a span of approximately six months of having some of our mail stolen from our mailbox including two credit cards that were used without our authorisation, and on two occasions I’ve had to cancel those cards. Because of this, I did change my address to a parcel collect address at Australia post for any bank correspondence etc but I did not change the address on my license, I’m guessing that the fine was taken with some other mail that was stolen around the same time.

    The next day, I called Vic roads to see if I could nominate a driver but it had been too many months past the original date for me to do that, so I had to incur the fine and the points myself which I paid the very next day.

    I’ve recently received a charge sheet and summons to appear in court this Friday in relation to the matter of driving on a suspended license.

    I called the legal referral service and received three names of lawyers I could contact regarding the matter. As this is the first time Ive had to appear in court Im very anxious about the proceedings and what to expect, and I dont know whats expected of me. I just wanted advice on how to proceed, but with the first two calls I made, I was told the same thing, that I could use the excuse that I didnt receive the letter otherwise everyone would use that excuse, and that I should be able to handle this myself without a lawyer, and that I would have to cop whatever the magistrate dealt. I was too embarrassed to call the third.

    As I did lose my job, I don’t have the finances to find representation. All I need is some advice, I don’t know whether I can just stand up in court and tell the story, or what’s expected of me, so if there’s anyone that can offer any advice I would truly appreciate it.

  2. Tony Danos

    Tony Danos Lawyer
    LawTap Verified

    29 November 2016
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    You could have applied to nominate that driver who was speeding. Probably too late now. Otherwise if you plead guilty to the drive whilst suspended then a fine and license suspension is always possible.
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  3. Adam1user

    Adam1user Well-Known Member

    5 January 2018
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    If I were in your situation, this is what I would do:
    1- Obtain all the paper documentation to support that the mail was stolen at that time, any correspondence or letters: you mentioned canceling the credit cards, (new credit card application), any info that will support this event such as the change address or application for the parcel collect address , you need to note that it was in the same period estimated to receive the infringement,
    2- If you can try to get any supporting documents relating to your car was in service: such as the invoice, any email correspondence, anything to support that your vehicle was in service at that day (what you can do, is call and get a copy of the invoice from the service centre if you have lost your copy). Also, try if possible to find out who was driving your vehicle.
    3- Mention in your statement (the prosecutor will have a copy of your driving record) that you have a good driving record [good driving record means no infringements in the last ten years]. It is worth to obtain a copy of your driving record for your self.
    4- Write your statement, stating "guilty with explanation", then explain the above as you mentioned with providing all supporting documents.
    5- If you have someone who represented him/herself in court will assist you in writing your statement, that will be an advantage.

    Hopefully you may not get off (very slim possibility that you would) but you may get a lesser infringement. In my personal view, if you have good driving record and provide the supporting documents to support your story, I think you will be let off, but please note, that I am not a lawyer and this is my opinion only which can be wrong. Talk a lawyer/solicitor for better advice.

    Just a note: did you receive a reminder of the infringement: usually, you will receive a reminder, that happened with me, if you have not received a reminder, try to find out why, call the entity responsible for that and see when the second reminder (if as in NSW) is sent. that can help. Also, I am writing my experience in NSW, I am not sure if the same applies in VIC (example: Guilty with explanation).

    Good luck.
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    #3 Adam1user, 2 August 2019
    Last edited: 2 August 2019
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