I have a hearing tomorrow concerning a traffic violation and the duty solicitor at the court will not see me as it's a

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Customer: Good morning ,I have a hearing tomorrow concerning a traffic violation and the duty solicitor at the court will not see me as it's a traffic infringement, can you give me advise on this matter please??
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Qld
JA: Was a citation issued? Was a court date set?
Customer: Yes, it's tomorrow. I was pulled over 4 years & 10 months ago when I didn't realise my license had expired and they took the plates off my car for 7 days. I lost my job of 3 1/2 years due to Covid in April and have been on Job seeker since. Unfortunately I was pulled over again and my licence has been expired for 2 days on the day that my payments were due & intended paying my renewal , so again they've taken my plates for 7 days and now have to go to court. On that day they also drug & alcohol tested me which showed a trace of cannabis but they could charge me as it was so minimal it wouldn't show a reading. My question is, will they take my license away?
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks
Answered by John Melis in 1 hour 1 year ago
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John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John Melis, solicitor, and I am in Australia.

Based on your comments, you may have a valid argument to raise.

There are various defences that you can raise to assist in minimising the penalty that will apply.

Some of these defences include sudden emergency, provocation by another driver, road conditions, psychological stresses, mental health and so on.

One of the main supporting factors in running your defence is to obtain affidavits in support of your position as a good driver from people who know that you have a licence. These affidavits are character references to your person. The affidavit should detail that the person who signs it, knows, of the penalty against you and that you still hold a good character and the matter in question is an incident that occurred due to unusual circumstances. You should obtain a minimum of three supporting references.

Also, usually, when a traffic event happens, there is always a reason for it to occur. Especially when you are on the defensive side, you can reduce the penalty level or have it entirely withdrawn by providing supporting reports on the road incident through a traffic engineer, who will assess the circumstance and condition of the road relative to the time of the experience. This report will become a key element in your defence.

If you are unable to engage a traffic engineer, obtaining photos of the incident area and then drafting a relevant brief around the incident will help demonstrate what happened as to why you took such action.

However, keep in mind, that where you contest the fine in court, and you are not successful in defending the same, the court may increase the penalty and apply court costs as well for wasting the courts time.

When you decide to contest the fine, the key element is to be able to identify whether there is a legitimate reason on the facts if the offence.

Where there is genuine grievance regarding the fine, then it is worth contesting.

Keep in mind the court will consider some or all of the following points as well.

(a) Offence complete and established in accordance with the standard points of proof;

(b) Admission of offence;

(c) Good driving record as defined;

(d) Poor driving record as defined;

(e) Type of road - dual / divided;

(f) Location (residential / industrial / school / intersection);

(g) Time of day;

(h) Traffic density at time of detection;

(i) Speed zone (e.g. 40 km/h school zone);

(j) Weather conditions;

(k) Safety related offence as defined; and

(l) Previous convictions in the past ten (10) years

Where you choose to contest the fine, this can result in a lengthy and costly process. However, keep in mind where the camera is not faulty; you may be required to pay associated costs with producing the camera and court costs.

Keep in mind that the offences are a ‘direct liability offence’. It means that even if you are 1 KM of the speed limit, you are guilty of the traffic offence. Public policy dictatesDictates the protection of all people that use the roads.

Many traffic incidents are defended well by the driver in question, and it is just a matter of putting together all the supporting evidence and then preparing your case.

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

​I thank you for the question today!

I kindly request that you rate with five stars, as this helps me support the community. You may come back to this post and ask questions without additional charge.

Thank you for supporting the community.

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