Speeding is one of the most common types of traffic offences in NSW.
If you’ve been caught speeding, a range of different penalties can apply, from fines and demerit points to licence suspension.
Below we have answered some of the most common questions we get asked in relation to speeding offences.
Q: What are my options if I receive a speeding ticket?
If you receive a speeding ticket, you have three options:
- Pay the fine (and therefore accrue demerit points)
- Request a review of the fine by Revenue NSW
- Elect to take the matter to Court.
Q: I have received a speeding ticket. How do I elect to go to Court?
You can elect to go to Court any time up until the due date on the penalty reminder notice.
If you’ve already paid the speeding fine you can still elect to go to court, so long as the election is made within 90 days of the penalty notice being issued.
Once Revenue NSW receives your court election, you will be sent a Court Attendance Notice (CAN). This means you will have to attend Court on a later date for your matter to be determined by the Court.
Once you elect to go to Court, you cannot reverse this decision.
Q: If I elect to go to Court, what penalty can the Court impose?
The maximum penalties that can be imposed by the Court, are greater than the fine issued at first instance for the offence. For example, if police stop you for speeding >10km/h the ticket amount is $280, and carries 3 demerit points (for an unrestricted licence holder). If you elect to take this infringement to Court, the maximum penalty the Court can impose is a fine of up to $2,200.
If you elect to have the matter heard in Court you will be required to enter a plea. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, the Court may record a conviction. The Court also has the power to disqualify a person from driving who has been convicted of a traffic offence. If you are convicted of the offence the demerit points will also be recorded.
The only way to avoid a fine, the demerit points and a possible disqualification period, is to:
- Court elect and be found not guilty, or
- Court elect, plead guilty and have the offence dismissed pursuant to section 10(1)(a) or be dealt with by way of a conditional release order without conviction.
Q: Can my licence be suspended for speeding?
Yes. If you are caught driving more than 30 km/h over the speed limit, your licence may be suspended.
If you are caught speeding by police, your licence can be suspended on the spot. If you are caught speeding by a camera, Transport for NSW may send you at Notice of Suspension.
It is important that you do not drive while your licence is suspended, as this is a separate offence which carries significant penalties including fines, disqualification periods and the possibility of imprisonment.
Q: How do I appeal against my driver licence suspension?
If your driver licence has been suspended and you want to appeal, you need to make an application to the Local Court within 28 days of receiving the ‘on the spot’ suspension or the Notice of Suspension.
Your application will need to explain why the Court should overturn the suspension and include evidence in support of your appeal such as references or a letter from your employer.
To successfully appeal an immediate licence suspension the Court needs to be satisfied that ‘exceptional’ circumstances exist.
Q: When will demerit points show up on my record?
If you choose to pay the fine, the relevant number of demerit points will be added to your driving record after payment is made to Revenue NSW or when an Enforcement Order is made. However, demerit points are taken to be accrued at the time of the offence, so delaying payment will not help you avoid a suspension if you have accrued too many points for your class of licence.
If you elect to take the matter to Court, demerit points will only be added to your record if you are convicted.
If you have been issued with a speeding fine and would like to discuss your options, call us on (02) 9696 1361 to make an appointment to speak to one of our lawyers via phone, Zoom or FaceTime.
By Karen Epiner