What happens if you have been charged with Improper use of a Motor Vehicle?

When determining what is and is not improper use of a motor vehicle, it is important to look at how a motor vehicle is intended to be driven. Improper use refers mainly to losing traction of one or more wheels such as burnouts, fishtails and drifting.

It is important to consider the following:

  • Is there a viable defence?
  • Did you intend to lose traction?
  • Are you facing any alternate charges?

A viable defence would be if there was no intention to lose traction, such as in the wet or dirt roads. This defence will depend on the evidence in your case. It is also not an offence to lose traction if conducted in the course of an event or function in the vicinity of a venue or during approved driver training.

If you are facing additional charges, it is especially important to retain a criminal lawyer to have the more serious charges negotiated with prosecutions where there are triable issues in dispute.

Elements of the Offence

The offence is provided in s 65A of the Road Safety Act 1986 and provides that the prosecution must prove:

  1. The accused was driving a motor vehicle
  2. The accused drove in a manner causing loss of traction to one or more wheels.


The penalty if found guilty of improper use of a motor vehicle is a maximum fine of 5 penalty units.

MK Law can provide 24/7 legal advice regarding charges of this nature by calling 1800 130 120 immediately.


Am I Facing Licence Suspension if Found Guilty?

The Court is not mandated to suspend or disqualify a person’s drivers’ licence for this offence, however if the Court deems the offence serious enough that it posed a significant risk to the community or that the accused has a prior criminal history, then the Court has the discretion to suspend any drivers licences or permits.

This offence does not incur any demerit points.

What Happens Next?

As the offence is a summary offence, it will be heard in the Magistrates Court.

It is likely that Police will charge you will similar offences, known as alternatives. If this is the case, it is important to get a criminal lawyer to assist in assessing those alternative charges to ensure your only face charges that are accurate to the evidence in your case. Our experienced criminal lawyers at MK Law can assist with negotiating with prosecutions to have additional charges withdrawn and ensure they only proceed on the least serious charges.

It is also important that if the Police have applied for an impound or forfeiture order as a result of the offending, that you let our team know so that we may prepare submissions to resist this type of police application.

MK Law - What Happens Next?


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