If you have been convicted of three or more serious driving offences in the last five years, you may have been declared a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) by the court or the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS, formerly RTA). You can apply to the local court to get the HTO declaration quashed (cancelled).
What is a Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration?A Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration (“HTOD”) is a 5-year licence disqualification penalty imposed by the Roads and Maritime Services (formally RTA). The HTOD is invoked when a driver accumulates 3 convictions for serious traffic offences (as defined in the list below) within five years. The five year HTOD disqualification is in addition to any licence disqualification period imposed by the Court.
Why Was I Declared an Habitual Traffic Offender?
A person is declared to be an habitual traffic offender if a Court in New South Wales convicts the person of a serious traffic offence, and the person has, in the period of five years before the conviction, also being convicted of at least two other relevant offences committed on different occasions.
The court may order a longer period of disqualification, including disqualification for life.
Common Relevant Offences
Examples of offences that are defined as ‘relevant offences’:
- Driving recklessly or furiously.
- Driving at a speed or manner dangerous to the public.
- Negligent driving occasioning death or Grievous bodily harm.
- Menacing driving.
- Special range PCA.
- Low-range PCA.
- Mid-range PCA.
- High-range PCA.
- Refuse breath analysis.
- Drive under the influence of an alcohol or drug.
- Fail to stop and give assistance where a person is killed or injured.
- A speeding offence where the speed limit was exceeded by more than 30 km/hr.
- Driving whilst unlicenced when the person has never been licenced.
- Driving whilst disqualified.
- Driving whilst cancelled.
- Driving whilst suspended.
Can I Do Anything About the Declaration?
Yes you can. An application can be made to have the HTOD quashed (set aside) or to have the disqualification period reduced.
The Court may also, at the time of conviction, or at a later time, quash the declaration if it determines that the disqualification imposed is disproportionate and unjust having regard to the total driving record of the person or special circumstances of the case.
How can Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers help?
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