I’m about to loose my license due to demerits for 6 month. What can I do? Victoria, No steps received the letter from

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Customer: Hi, I’m about to loose my license due to demerits for 6 month. What can I do?
JA: What state/territory are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Victoria
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: No steps received the letter from Vic roads on Saturday
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not sure, I probably will loose my job , I’m 64 and the result isn’t good
Answered by John Melis in 7 mins 2 years ago
John Melis
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John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John, solicitor, and reviewing your post, and may need to ask a few questions a long the way to assist you.

A diversion program is a way to deal with your matter out of the court system and give you a chance to avoid a criminal record.

If the magistrate agrees that you are eligible for diversion, you will be put on a diversion plan. You must follow certain conditions in this time. You might have to:

  • write a letter of apology to the victim
  • get counselling (anger management, drug or alcohol treatment)
  • do an education course (defensive driving course, drug awareness program)
  • make a donation
  • do community work.

If you follow the conditions of your diversion plan, the police drop the charges and there will be no finding of guilt. That means no criminal record.

A diversion plan usually goes for a year.


You will be eligible if:

  • your offence can be heard in the Magistrates’ Court
  • your offence does not have a minimum or fixed sentence or penalty
  • you agree that you were responsible for the offence.

Other factors

If you are eligible, the informant (usually the police officer who charged you) will need to give you a diversion recommendation. Then the magistrate will need to decide to grant diversion. As a general rule, they will do this if:

  • this is your first offence
  • the offence is not too serious. For example, it might be criminal damage, shop theft, minor drug or careless driving offence.

You cannot get diversion for driving offences such as:

  • excessive speed
  • drink or drug driving
  • refusing to do alcohol or drug testing.

Demerit points

If you are accepted for diversion you will still get any demerit points for any driving offences. VicRoads looks after the demerit points system, not the Magistrates’ Court.

How to ask for a diversion when you go to court

Accept responsibility

Before doing anything, you must accept that you were responsible for the offence. This does not mean that you are pleading guilty. But it does mean that you are going before the magistrate saying that you know you did something wrong.

If you are granted diversion and you stick to the conditions, there will be no finding of guilt. That means no criminal record.

Tell the counter staff that you are asking for diversion

Go to the court counter and tell the staff there that you are going to ask the magistrate to adjourn your case so you can ask the informant for a diversion recommendation. The staff will send your file into the courtroom. This lets the magistrate know that your case can be heard.

Stay close to the courtroom or go in there and wait for your name to be called. This may take a while. Make sure you bow to the magistrate as you go into the courtroom.

In court

When your name is ***** ***** to the bar table. Go to the opposite end of the table from the police prosecutor. Stand when you speak to the magistrate.

The charge is read and you make your request.

The court clerk calls out your name you stand at the bar table. Tell the magistrate that you would like to ask for a diversion.

The magistrate may adjourn the case so you can ask the informant for a diversion recommendation.

This is not the same thing as being granted diversion. There are still a few steps to go.

Write to the informant for a diversion recommendation

This is very important. The informant must agree to recommend you for diversion. If the informant has not already made a diversion recommendation you or your lawyer can write a letter asking for this.

The details of the informant should be in the charge sheet.

Note: sometimes the informant will serve a diversion notice on you at the same time as you were served the police brief. If the informant is at court, they will have a copy of the diversion notice and your matter can go straight to a diversion hearing. Go to the diversion counter and ask for your matter to go ahead for a diversion hearing.

What should I put in my letter to the informant?

It may be helpful to include:

  • an introduction saying who you are and what your offence was
  • that you are writing to ask the informant for a diversion recommendation
  • whether you have already apologised to the victim
  • a bit more about yourself. For example, what job you are doing, where you are living
  • that you have already paid or are willing to pay for any loss or damage suffered by the victim
  • that this behaviour is out of character. For example, you were affected by drugs, alcohol or both at the time of the offence
  • if you have no prior convictions and you are unlikely to break the law again
  • that you understand that there may be conditions like drug education or anger management counselling and you are confident you will stick to these conditions
  • that a criminal record would have a very bad effect on your future. For example, you are young and a criminal record would make it harder to get jobs in the future.

If the informant agrees

The informant will file a diversion notice with the court. This lets the court know that the police have recommended diversion and that the court can book you in for a diversion hearing. At this hearing, the magistrate decides whether they agree with the police and will agree to grant you diversion.

Before coming back to court, get any paperwork that you can to back up what you have said in your letter. Bring this to court.

Going back to court

A diversion co-ordinator will interview you before the diversion hearing. They may talk through some things that you may be asked to do if you are on the diversion program.

When you go into the courtroom for the hearing, the magistrate or registrar reads the statement of alleged facts. Usually they will decide whether to grant you a diversion ‘on the papers’. This means that you will not need to be there while they read the paperwork.

The magistrate also reads any supporting materials such as:

  • receipts showing you have paid for any damage you caused
  • reports from doctors or counsellors you have seen
  • certificates or awards that show how well you have done at work, at school or in a sports or recreation activity
  • character references from your employer, family or people who know you well.

If the magistrate agrees to grant you diversion, they will tell you the conditions of your diversion program.

If they decide not to grant diversion, you may get a chance to talk to them directly in a hearing. If you have a lawyer, they may be able to talk for you.

If there was a victim

A victim could be someone who was injured or someone who had something stolen from them. The diversion staff will have written to the victim to find out if they want you to get diversion. If the victim does not want this, you may not get diversion. If the victim does not say anything, you may still be granted diversion.

If the informant or the magistrate do not agree

Your matter is put back into the court system. This means you have to go back to court for another hearing. You will need to think about pleading guilty or pleading not guilty.

If you do not stick to the conditions of the diversion program

Your matter is put back into the court system. You will have to go back to court. The magistrate may put you back into the diversion program if you can show that you have now completed all parts of it.

If the magistrate does not agree to put you back onto diversion, then you must decide if you are pleading guilty or not guilty.

​Thank you for reaching out today.

You have a legal right to protect your interests in this important situation.

I am a user like you in this chat forum to assist in your important question today.

Thank you kindly for rating me with 5 stars, which helps me support the community.

You can come back to this post any time to ask questions without additional charge.

I hope I have assisted with answering your important question today, and thank you for supporting the community.

Hi John, thank you for all this explanation and a way how to avoid the loss of my driving license.
After reading all your recommendations, I am totally confused, I have never been at court, nor have I ever been in front of a judge. Most is , please excuse, Chinese to me.
Is there any way I could have support and guidance or been spoken on my behalf?
I have no issues to stand in front of the Magistrate, but I will be lost without support.
My “offence” is that I reached too many demerit points within 3 years for driving a bit too fast ( never more than 8km/h) 1 red light with my daughter driving under “L” plate, the last was 3 points on a Sunday morning in a side road driving 10km over the speed limit.
If I loose my license, I will loose my job because I’m a salesperson, without car nothing worth.
If I loose my job my live will go into free fall, no income, loose my rental flat, being on the street.
With 64 I can’t expect a job without a license or at all. In times of Corona even worse.
If you could give me an idea to have support at court, that would be better.
Kind regards

John Melis, Expert

You may be entitled to legal aid, and it's worthwhile giving them a telephone cool tomorrow

Here are some legal aid contact details for you

Legal AID Victoria



Melbourne VIC 3000

GPO Box 4380

Melbourne VIC 3001

Tel: 1300 792 387

Suburban offices


North-western suburbs

Level 1, Building 1

Broadmeadows Station Centre

1100 Pascoe Vale Rd

Broadmeadows VIC 3047

Tel: (03) 9302 8777



Dandenong VIC 3175

Tel: (03) 9767 7111


Peninsula region

Cnr O'Grady Ave & Dandenong Rd

Frankston VIC 3199

Tel: (03) 9784 5222


Outer-eastern suburbs


Ringwood VIC 3134

Tel: (03) 9259 5444


Western suburbs

1/474 Ballarat Rd

Sunshine VIC 3020

Tel: (03) 9300 5333

You are welcome, and thank you for supporting the community.

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