What happens if you have been charged with Driving Unlicensed?

Driving Unlicensed encompasses a range of offences. These can range from simply never holding a drivers licence or permit, to not renewing your licence or driving on an interstate or overseas licence whilst in Victoria.

As a leading firm in Victoria, MK Law deal largely in the area of Traffic Law and Driving Offences which gives us an advantage above other firms. We know the ins and outs of the offending and what the Courts are looking for to ensure the overall sentence is the fairest it can be for you in all of the circumstances. A client who retains MK Law therefore has the highest probability of not having their licence interfered with. Driving whilst suspended or driving whilst disqualified do not fall under the category of unlicensed driving and are more serious offences. Please refer to their prospective topics for more information.

Elements of the Offence

Unlicenced Driving is provided for pursuant to s 18 of the Road Safety Act 1986.
The prosecution must prove:

  1. The accused was driving a motor vehicle
  2. The accused was not authorised to do so


The maximum penalties that can be imposed if found guilty of Driving Unlicensed is 60 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

If a person has held an authorised drivers licence or learner permit prior to the commission of the offence, but has not held that licence or permit for a period not exceeding 6 months at the time of the offending due to not renewing their licence, or the licence or permit was not cancelled due to an offence relating to driving a motor vehicle, then the penalty that can be imposed is a fine of no more than 20 penalty units or to a maximum of one month imprisonment.

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


Will you face further licence loss?

Whilst unlicensed driving does not carry mandatory licence loss, the Magistrate does have the discretion to impose a loss of licence for the offending. Considerations for a Court imposition of licence loss will depend on whether there are any aggravating features in the case as well as your criminal record and whether there are any relevant prior findings of guilt. In some cases, even if a client has aggravating features or an extensive criminal driving record, they may still be saved from a further licence suspension period. 

Under s 28 of the Road Safety Act 1986, a Court can suspend or disqualify your licence or permit if they believe that you are a risk to other road users or as a Sentencing Act provision known as specific deterrence. 

It is important to note that the Magistrate is not obligated to suspend or disqualify your licence for driving unlicenced. This is why you should retain a criminal lawyer from MK Law to ensure your licence is not interfered with and provide submissions to the Court to exercise their discretion not to impose a loss of licence.

MK Law - Will you face further licence loss?

What happens next?

The summary offence of Unlicensed Driving is heard in the Magistrates Court.

First, you must determine whether you have a satisfactory defence to the charge.

If not and you intend on pleading guilty, then your mind must turn to mitigation of sentence. This may include mental health evidence as well as character references that speaks to you as a person and your character, or it may be a personal letter from yourself taking responsibility and stating remorse for the Magistrate to consider.

Driving offences, specifically unlicensed driving offences are often denounced harshly by the Court and the prosecution. This is essentially due to the inherit safety risks of unlicensed drivers on the roads and the risks they pose to other road users.

MK Law are specialised in traffic law and obtaining favourable outcomes for our clients. The Courts are not prejudicial and intolerant and do take into account the circumstances in each case. Give MK Law a call now on 1800 130 120 to discuss your options with one of our criminal lawyers and find out what our firm can do for you.


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