Presently, in NSW, there is a right of appeal to a local court against the suspension of your driver’s licence in the following circumstances:
• If the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS formerly known as the RTA) suspends your licence for exceeding the speed limit by either 30 or 45 kilometres;
• If the RMS suspends your Provisional (P1 or P2) licence because of a loss of demerit points;
• If a police officer suspends your licence on the spot.
Unfortunately, the Local Court does not have the power to hear an appeal if an unconditional licence is suspended by the RMS because of loss of demerit points. There is some suggestion that legislation will be introduced to change this in the future.
If you wish to appeal to the Local Court you must do so within 28 days of receiving the notice so it is important to act quickly. You can attend the nearest local court with your suspension notice and the staff at the local court will assist you with your application to appeal.
When you file the appeal you will be informed the date that it will be heard by the magistrate. The magistrate can:
• Allow the appeal – in which case you will be able to drive;
• Dismiss the appeal – in which case you will be required to serve out the period of suspension;
• Make a different order- such as a smaller period of suspension.
In considering the appeal the court will take into account the following:
• The circumstance leading to your licence being suspended;
• Your need for a licence;
• Your traffic record;
• Any danger to the community by allowing your appeal.
If a police officer suspends your licence on the spot it will be necessary to show exceptional circumstances as to why your appeal should be allowed.
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