Based on the Road Transport Act, a repeat offender is one who has committed three or more serious driving offences within 5 years immediately preceding the current driving offence.
Repeat offenders are disqualified from driving for 5 years on top of the penalty that they will receive for the current driving offence.
As a repeat offender, the driver is no longer entitled to the benefits of Section 10 which is the no conviction order if the driver has been afforded such leniency in his previous offences. However, this does not preclude the driver from applying for a shorter disqualification period or reduced penalties.
Classifying an offender in traffic matters is crucial to sentencing and there is a difference between a first or repeat offender. Most traffic offences have specific penalties that apply to them which include instant licence disqualification. If a person is a repeat offender then the penalties are particularly harsh.
A person is a classified as repeat offender if he or she has a second conviction within a 5 year period. As repeat offenders lose their entitlement to leniency under a section 10 non-conviction order, they will have a conviction so licence disqualification is a certainty and often additional penalties. However, if a person comes before a court for a major traffic offence for a second time he or she will not be seen as a repeat offender if from their first major offence they are in receipt of a section 10 non conviction order.
It is not always the case that someone who has been accused then charged of an offence that they have always been treated and charged correctly by the police officer who apprehended them. Self defence in court will be of little use if you have been doubtfully charged so you should ensure you hire an experienced lawyer to fight on your behalf. Lawyers understand the way the court system works and will know by the way the evidence is presented if your charges can be dismissed or penalties reduced.
Drink driving offences are considered "Major Offences" under the law and thus attract heavy fines, periods of licence disqualification and possibly terms of imprisonment. If you have been charged with a traffic offence or are under Police investigation, it is important that you seek legal advice. Contact our Criminal lawyers .