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HABITUAL TRAFFIC OFFENDER

To be declared a habitual offender in NSW curtails negative record and reputation. It does not only affect the future job prospect of the person declared as habitual offender but will also affect one’s overall credibility.

A person can be declared a habitual offender if he or she has committed a relevant offense after being convicted of two other relevant offenses in the last five years. The relevant offenses are mostly composed of violations or omissions of the traffic law. These include drink driving, reckless driving resulting to injury or death of another person, over speeding, driving while suspended or disqualified, and refusal to subject into a series of test needed to confirm driving under the influence. Murder or manslaughter is also considered as a relevant offense under the Australian Law.

The habitual offender scheme in NSW generally imposes penalties to individuals who have repeatedly committed relevant offenses. Thus, when a person is declared as a habitual offender, the RTA can have the discretion to disqualify him for another 5 years (Road Transport (General) Act ss.198–203.

The declaration of habitual offender may not immediately take effect and can be quashed upon an application. A person who moves to quash the charge or reduce the disqualification period should establish that the condition is disproportionate and unjust in relation to the driving record and exceptional circumstance of the case.

If the application is granted, the court can either cancel the declaration or reduce the disqualification in a period not less than 2 years. It should be noted that the decision of the court is final and binding.

Setting aside the declaration of a habitual offender entails a good representation before the court to succeed. If you have been charged of several offenses making you a candidate for a habitual offender or if you have been declared a habitual offender, consult an experienced traffic lawyer to settle your case. 

Drink driving offences are considered "Major Offences" under the law and thus attract heavy fines, periods of licence disqualification and possibly terms of imprisonment.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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