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Police Suspension Appeals

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An immediate police licence suspension is very different to an RMS licence suspension. They are issued on the spot by police only in certain circumstances. Appealing against an immediate police licence suspension is also much more difficult than an appeal against an RMS licence suspension and the test is a lot higher. Despite this, we have a proven track record of success with these cases. You can see our recent results for licence appeals.

Immediate Police Licence Suspension Appeals

In certain circumstances New South Wales Police may issue an immediate suspension notice. If you intend to appeal the suspension it is important that you seek expert legal advice. The test applied by the court in these matters is much higher than in RMS licence suspension appeals. It is also important to act quickly as there are limited time frames to lodge an appeal. Astor Legal can help you appeal immediate police suspensions. We are traffic law experts and regularly appear in licence suspension appeals in courts all over New South Wales. The decision of the court in these appeals is final and cannot be appealed any further. Make sure you give yourself the best chance of success and contact us today.

When can Police issue an immediate licence suspension?

Police can immediately suspend your licence if you have been charged or issued with a penalty notice for the following offences:

  • Drink driving (both PCA and DUI offences)
  • Street racing or aggravated burnout
  • Serious driving offences occasioning death or grievous bodily harm
  • Learner drivers who are driving unaccompanied
  • Learner, P1 or P2 drivers exceeding the speed limit by 30km/h or 45km/h

What is the time limit for an appeal?

Immediate police suspension appeals must be filed within 28 days. The 28 day period begins on the day that police serve the notice. If you attempt to file an appeal outside of the 28-day time frame, it will most likely be rejected. If you are able to file the appeal, the court may determine that it has no jurisdiction for the court to hear the matter and dismiss your appeal.

Steps in an immediate police licence suspension appeal

The licence appeal process can be a difficult one if you are unprepared. It can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. You are served with an immediate police licence suspension for an applicable offence.
  2. Draft and lodge an appeal against the decision of the Commissioner of Police to suspend your licence within 28 days. A court location a date will be allocated.
  3. Attend court and proceed with the licence appeal hearing. After your case is heard the Magistrate will deliver their decision immediately.

There is no avenue of appeal if you are unhappy with the court’s decision. Retaining a lawyer to assist you with your appeal will help to give you your best chance, in all of the circumstances.

How is an immediate police licence suspension appeal determined?

A court cannot allow an appeal against an immediate police suspension unless they are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances for doing so. Courts have interpreted exceptional circumstances to be something that is extraordinary, unusual, and distinguishable from ordinary cases. Exceptional circumstances can be made up of one single factor, or a combination of factors.

Courts have consistently held that loss of employment, inconvenience, and lack of access to public transport are common to almost all licence suspensions and are not exceptional. The law also prohibits the court from taking into account the circumstances of the offence which has resulted in the immediate suspension of your licence.

Possible outcomes of an immediate police licence suspension appeal

The Local Court has ability to exercise the same powers that the police had when they made the decision to suspend you. The 3 main outcomes of a licence appeal are:

That the appeal is allowed:

This means that your appeal has been successful, and you can resume driving immediately.

The appeal is varied:

This means that the court has decided to make an order as they see fit. This may be a period of suspension that is less than the 3 month or 6 month period specified on the notice of suspension.

The appeal is dismissed:

This means that the court has found that you have not shown that there are exceptional circumstances why the suspension should be removed or varied.

You will be required to serve the period of suspension indicated on your notice of suspension. This will be either 3 months, 6 months, or until your matter is heard and determined by a court.

Remember, there is no avenue of appeal if you are unhappy with the courts decision. Retaining a lawyer to assist you with your appeal will help to give you your best chance, in all of the circumstances.

Why choose Astor Legal

Astor Legal are experts in traffic and criminal law. All of our lawyers are experienced in immediate police licence suspension appeals. Our lawyers will take the stress out of an unfamiliar and complex process. We will work with you to prepare your matter and then represent you at court. We ensure that every relevant matter is brought to the attention of the court to maximise the likelihood of a successful appeal. Take advantage of our obligation free case assessment and find out how we can get the best outcome for your matter.

Immediate police suspension case studies

  • Appeal allowed for exceed speed limit by more than 45km/h

    Our client was suspended on the spot by police for 6 months for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km. The client had lodged their own licence appeal, and we only had a very limited period of time to help them prepare for court.

    In order for the court to allow an appeal of this kind, they must find that there are exceptional circumstances requiring a licence. Exceptional means not ordinary. It also means that needs for a licence are the primary consideration, not the reason for the speeding. Legislatively, the court cannot take reasons for speeding into consideration.

    In this case, our client had a disability which meant he requires a wheelchair or disability scooter. Our client did not have the ability to lift himself in or out of a wheelchair alone and his workplace did not have an appropriate toilet facility.

    The client lived 30 minutes from work by car and was the main bread winner in his household. His wife did not have a driver licence and so she could not take him to and from work or assist in the event of a medical emergency.

    Our lawyer assisted the client to prepare subjective and material which outlined our clients specific and exceptional situation. Our lawyer also made submissions on the clients behalf at the hearing of the appeal. Ultimately, the appeal was allowed and our client’s licence was able to be returned to him.