Traffic Law - Common Offences and Penalties
Written on the 11 March 2015 by Matthew Carney
A List of Traffic Law Common Offences & Penalties - NSW
Traffic Law in NSW is a complex and an extensive system of Rules and Regulations. It is not uncommon for an individual charged with an offence under one piece of legislation to be sentenced by a penalty prescribed under different legislation. A summary of the most common offences and their penalties as at March 2015 are listed below.
When a person appears before the Court for a Traffic Offence a copy of their NSW Criminal Record and NSW Roads and Maritime. Traffic History is tendered to the Court by the Prosecution. If an individual has been convicted of a major traffic offence within the last five years they will be sentenced to the second offence penalty. If a person has been charged with the same offence or any other major offence and were convicted of that offence more than five years ago the second offence penalties will not apply and they will be sentenced under the first offence penalties.
The Statutory Disqualification period is the period that the Court will disqualify a person unless there are mitigating circumstances that would warrant a reduction in the disqualification period. If the Court finds mitigating circumstances are present, the disqualification period can be reduced but only to the minimum disqualification period.
The fines and periods of imprisonments noted above are the maximum amounts for each offence. The personal circumstances of the offender, the circumstances of the offence and the offender's prior traffic and criminal history will all be relevant in determining what penalty will be imposed.
The Court is bound to impose a sentence pursuant to the guidelines above unless an individual is dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing and Procedure) Act. Commonly referred to as a Section 10 dismissal, even when a person has committed an offence and pleads guilty, the Court has the power not to convict the person and not to impose a disqualification period, fine and/or period of imprisonment. Since 1 December 2010 if an offender is dealt with pursuant to section 10 an individual will not lose any demerit points connected with the offence.
Traffic offences can be complicated and the punishments imposed can vary greatly depending on the representations made before a Court. There are many other factors relevant to Traffic Offences such as educational programs and testimonials that may be tendered in support of an offender that will have an impact on the penalty imposed.
Author: Matthew Carney