Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Cleveland Magistrates Court as he represents a client applying for a Special Hardship Licence. Watch Andrew explain what happened in the courtroom, along with the outcome which he achieved and how he achieved it.
All right. Today I’m at Cleveland Magistrates Court. Client incurred what’s called a high speed infringement. He was intercepted exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 kilometres per hour. Basically, when that happens, two things occur, you get what’s called a six month high speed suspension, so regardless of your traffic history, that is triggered. You get your infringement and then once you’ve paid it, or 28 days after it was issued, if it’s not paid, State Penalties Enforcement Registry pays it for you and you just owe them the money. That will trigger a letter from Queensland Transport. That letter will say that, in generally three weeks time, you’ll be suspended for six months. As I said, if you were to get the infringement today and not pay it or let the 28 day period lapse and then wait for the letter, generally, the suspension will start around seven weeks after the date of intercept.
In addition to that, you get eight demerit points and depending on your traffic history, you may or may not run out of points because of that. If you don’t run out of points, you’ve only got the high speed suspension to deal with, but if you do run out of points, you’ll get a separate letter saying, “Right, you’ve run out of points. You need to choose between an entirely separate three month demerit point suspension,” or what’s called a 12 month good driving behaviour period.” You must, if you want to continue driving during the high speed suspension, elect that 12 month good driving behaviour period. If you don’t, you’ll automatically get a three month demerit point suspension, which will make you ineligible to do anything about the six month high speed suspension.
That was basically the situation my client found himself in, so he elected that 12 month, good driving behaviour period and we applied for what’s called a special hardship licence to overlap the six month high speed suspension. And if successful, such an order, a special hardship order, permits you to keep driving for work purposes only during the six month high speed suspension. A number of things need to be done in order to achieve that. If you’re employed, meaning not self-employed, we need to draught about an eight page affidavit up for you as the client to sign, covering a number of things basically showing that you’re going to suffer with extreme financial hardship if you lose your licence.
If you were employed, we need to do a separate affidavit up for your employer to sign. Four pages generally, saying a number of things, but ultimately you’re going to lose your job if you lose your licence. If you are self-employed, meaning you don’t have an employer, we need to go in a lot more detail on your affidavit. Specifically, we need to embed your most recent profit loss in there, so the magistrate can see the expenses that won’t be met if you are unable to maintain your income due to a loss of licence. There’s a reformatory course we’ve got to get all of our clients to do and we’ve got this client to do it. That can be done online and we got him to get some references based on a template with all of our clients.
As I said, we drafted the affidavits a couple of months back. Filed them at the court jurisdiction within which he resides, which is Cleveland. On the first day of the suspension, the documents were then filed at Queensland Transport. They gave him his licence back until the court date, so when they were filed at the court, they gave us a court date, which was obviously today. When the documents were given to Queensland Transport, they reinstated his licence until midnight on the day before the court date, midnight last night. He’s been able to drive right up until midnight last night. Suspension resumed, obviously midnight last night. This morning, he couldn’t drive today, so he got a lift to court.
We went in, I argued the application and given the detail and effort that goes into our affidavits and the verbal submissions that I made, I reasonably, comfortably persuaded the magistrate to grant the application. Given what he does for a living, I won’t go into it, but there’s a lot of changing hours. He was granted a 24 hours a day, seven day a week, special hardship licence. He can carry clients, subcontractors and employees as passengers. He can keep driving for work purposes only throughout the next six months, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Client’s obviously relieved. I’m Andrew Wiseman at Cleveland Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.