Driving Offences and Penalties

Heading icon

For many people the first contact they have with the criminal justice system will be a driving offence. Although people often think that driving offences are not serious enough to worry about, many people are often sentenced to terms of imprisonment for driving offences. For this reason, it is important that you recognise the seriousness of any driving offence and obtain legal advice from driving offences lawyers before your court date.

Bell icon

There are many offences you can be charged with under the Road Safety Act. Many of these offences carry mandatory penalties. This means if you plead guilty to certain offences, the Magistrate must make particular orders. Usually, this is a minimum period of suspension or disqualification of your licence.

Depending on the offence, you may also incur a certain number of demerit points, or have an interlock condition placed on your licence for a certain period of time when you get your licence back. Because these are mandatory penalties, the Magistrate has no choice in the decision; not to take your licence off you, give you demerit points, or impose an interlock condition. This is another reason why it is so important to get legal advice early. If you have a charge to defend, you may be able to contest your matter (this means pleading not guilty) and avoid any mandatory penalty.

Most Common Driving Offences

Heading icon

The most common driving offences are:

  • Drink driving (called ‘exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol’)

  • Driving while suspended or disqualified

  • Breaching an Interlock device

  • Refusing a breath test

  • Speeding


Heading icon

The likely penalty for these offences depend on: the seriousness of the circumstances of your case (for example, your alcohol reading); your personal circumstances; and your driving history. You should contact a lawyer to further discuss the circumstances of your case as soon as possible.

24 hour service available

(Urgent Matters: e.g. Arrests, Police Pre-Interview Advice, Search Warrants)

First 30 min Consultation FREE

Victoria Legal Aid assistance available (eligibility dependant upon means & merit guidelines stipulated by Victoria Legal Aid)

Photo of lawyer

Driving Offence Lawyers Melbourne

Heading icon

Recently, the law has changed to allow for police to make an application to impound (temporarily confiscate) or forfeit (confiscate for good) somebody’s car. This is usually when somebody has been charged with ‘hoon’ type driving, or if they have a long history of breaching court orders saying they must not drive. The police can automatically impound a car upon charging someone with ‘hoon’ type driving. When the person later comes to court and pleads guilty to their charges, the police can make an application for further impoundment or forfeiture. If your car has been impounded, you will be liable for the fees to release it. These applications can be opposed in court, although the test for opposing them is quite high. You should contact a lawyer urgently if the police have made an application to impound or forfeit your car to discuss your options.

At Leanne Warren & Associates, we can help you with:

  • Charges laid under the Road Safety Act

  • Driving related charges laid under the Crimes Act

  • Applications for licence restoration

  • Advice regarding infringement notices (and representation at a subsequent contested hearing)

  • Applications made by the police for impoundment or forfeiture orders

  • Telephone advice before a police interview for a driving matter

Please note that at present, Victoria Legal Aid, will not ordinarily fund any charges under the Road Safety Act. At your first appointment – which is free of charge for the first half – we can discuss fees for your representation.

Talk to a Professional Today

Heading icon

Leanne Warren is an accredited criminal law expert specialising in driving offences.

Service enquiry


Heading icon
Quote icon

"Just a short note to say thank you to you and your team for representing me in what was arguably the worst period in my life.

From the start you assured me that everything will work out and quite frankly, l didn’t believe you. l have learnt from you, that even if you make a mistake and ultimately take ownership, not only does it teach you: 1. Not to put yourself in that position again 2. You can be given a second chance 3. With the right Legal representation you can achieve a favourable result.

Thank You for trying to keep me calm throughout this long process. Wish you all the best in the future as mine looks rosy now."


"Thank you Stacey for assisting and getting a great outcome. We are grateful and very relieved."


"Thank you very much for your assistance in dealing with my matters. You came into my life when I needed an angel to assist me and thank you for doing what you do. Love your work!"


"I am extremely happy with the outcome of court it couldn’t have gone any better and It’s all thanks to you and Angela. I cannot express my gratitude enough for what you have done for me and my situation. I also cannot express how much I appreciate everything.

I will forever be grateful for your support and help throughout this whole thing. So again thank you so much! Could you please pass on the message to Angela and tell her how much I appreciate her help as well !"

"Neil and I would both like to acknowledge the exceptional manner in which you have dealt with our challenging situation. Iva has been terrific to deal with and very patient in difficult circumstances. We are pleased with the outcome today and both feel she did a great job on our behalf.

We would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone and wish you success and prosperity in the future."

"Dear Leanne,

As per our discussion this afternoon, I am willing to accept the prosecutors offer of dropping all charges against me. Please pass on my thanks to Matt for his involvement in this matter, and of course a big thanks to yourself also. I’d give you guys a hug if I could for the professionalism and care that you show in your practice.
All the best to you and your team,"

"Just wanted to thank you again for today. I’m still in awe at how well it went down today and so quickly all without you barely speaking. My daughter was so happy to see me home when she got home from school. You are a true gem. I am truly grateful, you were the only one who showed me an ounce of interest in my hour of need.

Thank you, thank you thank you. With a performance like today you are going very far in your career!"

"It’s just started to sink in, what happened at court today and I would like to thank you again for your understanding and support. You made it all much easier J. I am driving back home to work my butt off so I can start my life again."


"Just wanted to thank you for all the work you have done for my case, charges dropped, good result etc. I really appreciate all you have done for me over the years, so thank you."


"Cannot ask for a more professional Law firm. Kate was very professional and is the best criminal lawyer. Thank you, Leanne Warren, for putting me on to Kate to represent me; she's the best!"


Get the Help You Need

Heading icon
If you have been charged with a driving-related offence please contact one of our specialists at Leanne Warren & Associates on 03 9670 6066.