Within each of these categories there are different offences, some are more serious than others. These carry a range of penalties from demerit points and fines to having your licence suspended or cancelled. In the most serious cases it is possible to face imprisonment.
The penalty that you may receive will depend on a number of factors, which can be complicated to understand. The Court may take into account any character references or testimonials you might have. If you have taken an education program (like a defensive driving course or a substance abuse rehabilitation program) that may be taken into account as well.
Some offences carry mandatory penalties and the court does not have discretion to reduce it. Others may be defended so that the penalty is reduced or dismissed altogether. It’s important that you get legal advice to understand which type of charge you are facing and to understand what your options are. If your penalty is mandatory, a Court will not be sympathetic if you ask them to reduce it.
For example, some offences carry a Statutory Disqualification period. That is the period of time that your licence will be suspended. In some circumstances, you may be able to ask that your licence is only disqualified for the Minimum Disqualification period. That is the extent of the discretion that you can ask of the Court. If there is a minimum disqualification period, the Court will have no ability to reduce the period further.
When you appear before the court, a history of your previous traffic offences is also given to the court. If this is your second major offence, the penalty is likely to be greater than for a first offence, and we will need to take this into account when preparing your defence.