If you’ve breached a good behaviour licence, you’re probably feeling really stressed out right now. But try not to panic, we may actually be able to save your licence for you.
What I wanted to talk to you about today is what happens if you commit an offence while you’re on a good behaviour licence and how can we avoid the suspension that usually follows?
The first thing to talk about is: What is a good behaviour licence?
A good behaviour licence is issued when an unrestricted licence holder goes over their demerit point limit. When this happens, they’ll get a letter from Transport for New South Wales, and that will give them a choice – either they can serve a suspension, or they can go on a one-point licence for 12 months.
Now if they get through that 12 month period without any more offences, that’s great. Nothing happens to them. The problem is if they commit an offence that leads to the deduction of 2 or more demerit points in that 12 month period, then they have to serve a suspension that is twice as long than what they would have originally gotten.
The difficult thing with that suspension is that we can’t appeal directly against it. So what we need to do is to take a step back, and we have to try and stop the loss of demerit points from hitting your record at all. To do that, we’ll probably have to take your case to court, and when we get there, there’s two ways that we can save the licence:
The first way is if you didn’t commit the offence, then we plead not guilty and we defend it. And if you win, the charge is dismissed and no demerit points are deducted from your record.
The second way is if you accept that you did commit the offence, then we plead guilty and we go before the magistrate asking for leniency. And if the magistrate accepts that we’ve got a special case, then they can give us what’s called a non-conviction. This is sometimes also referred to as a Section 10.
This is an order where the magistrate says, “Yes, you’ve committed the offence, but I don’t think we need to impose any more punishment on you.” The upshot of that is if you get a non-conviction, you don’t get any demerit points deducted from your record, which means that the good behaviour licence is not breached and you just continue along as if nothing happened.
Now, it’s not easy to get a Section 10, particularly when you’re already on a good behaviour licence. But the good news is we’ve won in enough cases and gotten enough people who are on good behaviour licences a Section 10 in the past, so we know it’s possible in certain cases and we know when it’s worth giving it a shot.
So if you found yourself with a new ticket while you’re on a good behaviour licence, give us a call. We’re always happy to have a chat about what we can do to help keep you on the road.