If you've been disqualified from driving, it's likely that you have been accused of a serious driving offence, or have accumulated a lot of points on your licence. Either way, if you rely on your vehicle like many Australians do, you could find yourself in a precarious situation. Is it the end of the road, quite literally? Not necessarily, as you might be able to apply for a waiver on the basis of hardship. What do you need to consider and are you even eligible?
Weighing It up
The law does allow for some leeway in terms of disqualification, although there are generally a lot of restrictions associated and each case is taken on its merits. The court will take into account what type of offence you've been accused of and just how much hardship you may encounter.
In certain situations you may be permitted to drive a specific type of vehicle and during particular hours of the day. The judge may determine that you shouldn't carry any passengers in your car and that you need to fill in a logbook with details of each journey that you make and its purpose.
Usually, hardship will arise if you're unable to earn any money because your ability to drive was connected in some way to your livelihood. If this means that you could not get back and forth to work, then you may be given permission to do so, but only on the basis that you take the shortest route to and from your workplace and nothing else.
There is something else to remember, as well. The courts are likely to take into account the punitive value of your suspension. If they feel that it's no longer adequate when they consider granting you a waiver, they may well extend the length of your disqualification as a means of adjusting the punishment.
What's the Charge?
Certain particular offences may make you ineligible, come what may and these may include dangerous driving or habitual offences. You should note that you will generally need to plead guilty to any associated offence before the court will consider you for any hardship waiver anyway.
Don't Go It Alone
As much will depend on the discretion of the court and certain other factors like the "adjustment" could come into the picture, you're best advised to get the help of a lawyer who specialises in traffic offences. This will ensure that your case is well argued and you get the best possible outcome.
For more information, contact an attorney.