In addition to motor vehicle licence appeals, we are able to provide representation in relation to a broad range of other administrative law appeals whereby the governmental agency that has issued a licence undertake certain activities such as firearms ownership or working as a security officer.
If your licence has been revoked or suspended be it from driving a vehicle or owning a firearm, please contact Sharon Ramsden on 02 4626 5077 to arrange an appointment.
When can my drivers licence be suspended?
The RTA and police have specific powers in order to suspend a driver's licence. Mostly, there is a right to appeal, however this is not always the case.
Suspension following arrest for certain drink driving offences
If a person has been charged by police for driving with the mid or high range of alcohol in their blood (0.08 to 0.150 or above) the police have the discretion to suspend that persons licence. It is not an automatic suspension; however police will exercise their right to suspend nearly every time.
The licence will be suspended until such time as the case has been finalised by a magistrate, or, until such time a magistrate has heard and determined an appeal against that suspension.
It is most important that if a person who has had their licence suspended does not drive during the period of the suspension because the penalty for that offence is an automatic 12 months disqualification.
Right of appeal following suspension for drink driving offence
An appeal against the suspension of your drivers licence can be heard before a Magistrate in the Local Court. The test applied by the court in considering whether or not the suspension should be lifted or not is whether there are exceptional circumstances to warrant lifting the suspension.
When considering the appeal the magistrate must not have regard to the circumstances of the offence that caused the suspension; just whether or not there are exceptional circumstances.
Suspension by Road Transport Authority following offence of speeding over 30-45 KPH
If a person receives an Infringement Notice for exceeding the speed limit in excess of 30 KPH and they pay that Infringement Notice, the Road Transport Authority will send them a Notice of Suspension informing the person of the intention to suspend the person for a period of (3) months and nominating a date for that suspension to commence.
If the person has received an Infringement Notice for exceeding the speed limit in excess of 45 KPH and they pay that Infringement Notice, the Road Transport Authority will send them a Notice of Suspension informing the person of the intention to suspend the person for a period of (6) months and nominating a date for that suspension to commence.
It is most important to remember that strict time limits apply for a person wanting to lodge an appeal. The Notice of Suspension will contain a date by which the appeal must be lodged.
Where is the appeal to be lodged?
The appeal must be lodged with the Clerk of the Local Clerk by the date set out in the Notice of Suspension
The Notice of Suspension will also advise the person of their right to appeal the decision to suspend their licence.
The appeal must be lodged by the date set out on the Suspension Notice otherwise the magistrate will not have any lawful power to hear the case on appeal, even if he or she wants to.
What powers does the magistrate have after hearing the appeal?
Upon hearing the appeal, the magistrate can either dismiss the appeal and confirm the decision to suspend the licence as originally decided by the RTA ; uphold the appeal and order no period of suspension be served or allow the appeal and vary the suspension period as the court sees fit.
Are there types of Road Traffic Authority suspensions that do not carry a right to appeal before a magistrate?
Yes. Where a person who holds a full licence and they accrue too many points, they will receive Notice from the Road Transport Authority providing them with the following options:
- Suspension for (3) months;
- A Good behavior licence for a period of 12 months - (2) points.
There is no right to appeal.
If a person accepts the offer of a good behavior licence and commits a further offence within the period of the period of good behavior, they will have their licence suspended for (6) months without any right of appeal.
Accordingly, it is very important a person considers their option in this regard very carefully.
Firearm / Security industry licence suspension
The Firearms Act 1996 allows the NSW Firearms Registry and the Security Industry Registry in certain circumstances to suspend or revoke a firearms or security officer licence.
There is an appeal process in relation to both that involves internal review by the agency that made the decision to suspend and revoke the licence.
On most occasions (but not all) the law allows for external review of the decision to suspend or revoke by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
Once again, this process can be confusing, not least due to time limits that apply to the process.
Contact Sharon Ramsden on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 4626 5077.