Traffic law is a complex area of law and it is critical that you seek advice from lawyers who have a wealth of experience in this area of law. In this article, we will be talking about ‘Police Licence Suspensions’ in the state of NSW.
Section 266 of the Road Transport Act allows the police to issue an immediate (on the spot) Licence Suspension Notice. This ‘on the spot’ police licence suspension notice can be appealed at the Local Court in NSW!
Section 224 of the Road Transport Act empowers the police to issue an immediate licence suspension if any of the (below) factors apply within 48 hours of the driver being stopped by the police.
It should be noted that the driver must not drive for the entire time which is fixed in the notice of suspension unless that Suspension Notice has been set aside by the Court following a successful Appeal to the Local Court due to the Court’s finding of ‘Exceptional Circumstances.’ (We will delve into this below).
Section 224 When immediate licence suspension notice may be issued by police officer
A police officer may give a driver a suspension notice (an
"immediate licence suspension notice" ) in any of the following circumstances—
(a) if the driver is charged by a police officer (whether or not the same police officer) with an offence involving the death of, or grievous bodily harm to, another person caused by the use of a motor vehicle, being an offence that comprises–
(i) the crime of murder or manslaughter, or
(b) if the driver is charged by the police officer or another police officer with an offence against section 110(4) or (5), 112(1), 115 or 116(2) or clause 16(1)(b), 17(1)(a1) or (2) or 18(1)(a), (b) or (e) of Schedule 3,
(c) if it appears to a police officer (whether or not the same police officer) that the driver has committed an offence against this Act or the statutory rules (other than a camera recorded offence within the meaning of Division 2 of Part 7.3) of–
(i) exceeding a speed limit prescribed under this Act by more than 45 kilometres per hour, or
(ii) exceeding a speed limit prescribed under this Act by more than 30 kilometres per hour but not more than 45 kilometres per hour, as the holder of an applicable learner licence or applicable provisional licence for the class of vehicle being driven or as the holder of a foreign driver licence,
(d) if it appears to a police officer (whether or not the same police officer) that the driver has committed an offence against the statutory rules of being the holder of an applicable learner licence driving unaccompanied by a supervising driver.
For more information, please visit: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rta2013187/s224.html
How Does the Court Determine An Appeal Of A Police Licence Suspension?
When a person lodges an appeal to set aside a police suspension the court cannot set aside the police licence suspension unless there are ‘Exceptional Circumstances.’
What are ‘Exceptional Circumstances?’
‘Exceptional Circumstances’ can be a combination of factors or alternatively they can be a single factor. So this means that when the court is determining whether (or not) ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist the court takes into account the following factors:
· The danger (or potential danger) to the community if an order is made
· The need for a licence; and
· Any other matter the court may consider as relevant.
It should be noted that there is a time limit of 28 days from the date of the issue of the police suspension. This means that if a person does not lodge the appeal in time within the 28-day window then the court will not be able to hear the appeal.
It is very important that you speak with a lawyer so that you can get the appropriate legal advice which you require prior to going to court.
Our team of experienced solicitors are there for you and can help you answer all your questions, so be sure to contact Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers.
*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 19th October 2022.
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