Subsequent Offences for Driving Without a License

There are serious consequences for driving without a license in Western Australia as it is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1974 (WA). Section 49 of this Act, “No Authority to Drive”, outlines the provisions of the many forms that this offence can occur.

What constitutes a No Authority to Drive charge?

An unlicensed driver can be charged with No Authority to Drive whether you have never had a license, are currently disqualified from driving for any reason for a period of time or have been banned from driving and had your licensed cancelled.

Section 49 of the Road Traffic Act is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. It outlines the many ways in which an unlicensed driver can be charged with the offence for driving without a license, and sets out the mandatory penalty ranges that apply in each case, but also takes into account differing penalties (including possible prison sentences) for repeat offenders. There are even mandatory sentencing provisions that require that an offender serve an immediate prison sentence if they get caught driving when they should not be in certain contexts, so proper knowledge of the Act and the penalties that apply is very important.

One important distinction that is made in the penalty provisions of the Road Traffic Act is the difference between a first-time offender, a repeat offender and a subsequent offence. Whilst it may seem obvious what the first 2 are, it is really when someone commits a subsequent offence (a third offence or more) under this section that the penalties considered by the court are likely to include a term of imprisonment.

You can also have your car impounded for no license.

An experienced traffic lawyer can provide you with effective advice on how to deal with this sort of situation.

What are the possible consequences of a subsequent offence?

Depending on the circumstance in which an unlicensed driver is caught, the penalties vary, however, for subsequent offences the penalties of section 49 of the Road Traffic Act can often include up to a 3 year ban from driving, a fine of $4,000 or 18 months imprisonment.

There is a real risk of imprisonment term for driving without license.

What can you do if you are charged with No Authority to Drive?

If caught as an unlicensed driver, you must understand that this charge is very serious and the courts know this. It is vitally important to get professional legal advice and representation from experienced traffic lawyers before you appear in court, especially if this is not the first time you have been charged for driving without license.

What can you expect from an experienced traffic lawyer?

An effective and experience traffic lawyer will:

  1. Always, first fully examine of your situation (including all material facts giving rise to and circumstances surrounding the charge;
  2. Determine the likely and realistic consequences the charge will have on you;
  3. Understand your personal circumstance and provide you with effective options on defending you or mitigating your situation;
  4. Undertak effective communication and negotiation with Police Prosecution;
  5. Obtain useful character references; and
  6. All importantly, professional and effective representation in court to defend you and present your best possible case

For more information, please contact the writer, Mr Adam Ward, Associate Lawyer, at TANG LAW at 9328 7525 or enquiries@TangLaw.com.au.

#Traffic Offences for Driving Without a License #Criminal Law

About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. Mr Ward is an experience Criminal and Traffic Lawyer with extensive experience in representing clients in Courts on all issues relating to Traffic Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Injury Compensation.


Appointment of Partners & Senior Lawyer

We are pleased to announce the continued growth of TANG LAW with Mr Yung Nguyen joining our Firm as a Partner.

It also gives us great pleasure to announce the appointment of Mr Martin Koshy as a Partner of TANG LAW.


Furthermore, we are proud to announce that Ms Shivani Beri has been appointed as Senior Lawyer of TANG LAW.


The appointments of Mr Nguyen, Mr Koshy and Ms Beri, all of whom are senior practitioners, substantially add to the depth and expertise of TANG LAW.

We are truly honoured to have them and we look forward to their leadership in strengthening and growing the Firm.

Should you have any queries in regards to the content above, please do not hesitate to contact us on 08 9328 7525.


Defamation: What Can You Do If You Are A Victim

 General damages of up to $407,500 can be awarded in Western Australia

Types of Injuries

It can inflict serious injury to the Defamation statement made in a public forum can have severe adverse impact on a person. victim’s personal and professional reputation.

Additional adverse implications will flow on from the injury to reputation, including social damage where the victim may, in a social context, be subject to being avoided or singled-out by peers and associates.  In more serious situation, a group of people influenced by the defamatory conduct may humiliate, abuse, ridicule or even “bully” the victim and the victim’s family.

Unfortunately, the impact does not stop there.  The defamatory statement can cause injury to feelings, such as grief, distress, anxiety, and loss of self-esteem.

All of these injuries (reputation damage, social damage, and injury to feeling and health) are commonly known as non-economic damages.

The Court has the power to order the culprit to compensate the victim for non-economic damages and the maximum award (as at 2019) is $407,500.

Aggravated Circumstances

In addition to the non-economic damages of $407,500, the Court has the power to award further damages in aggravated circumstances.

For example, where the person making the defamatory statement was warned to retract the statement or asked to make amends, the person refused but instead continued to make further defamatory statements.   The Court will order aggravated damages in this instance over and above  the compensatory damages.

What Can You Do If You Are a Victim?

It can be very costly to be involved in litigation.  However, statistics show that only 97% of cases in Court eventuate to a trial.  Most civil cases will settle out of court.

If you believe you have been defamed, the least you should do is to reserve your rights, protect yourself from further injury, and “set it up” such that if the culprit unreasonably continues in his or her defamatory conduct, you have the option of commencing legal action.

This is done be issuing a Concerns Notice under the Defamation Act (WA) 2005.   For more information about what the Concerns Notice should contain, please contact us.

Criminal Defamation

In Western Australia, defamation can constitute a criminal offence.  Section 345(1) of the Criminal Code (WA) states:

A person who, without lawful excuse, publishes matter defamatory of another living person (the victim):

  • knowing the matter to be false or without having regard to whether the matter is true or false; and
  • intending to cause serious harm to the victim or any other person or without having regard to whether such harm is caused,

is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.

Summary conviction penalty: imprisonment for 12 months and a fine of $12 000.

About Writer

Kelvin Tang has over 18 years’ experience practising law in Western Australia. He is the founder of Tang Law based in Perth, Western Australia. Kelvin is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1386452) and has extensive experience in providing migration advice to clients, advising on “Eligible Businesses” within the definition of the Migration Regulations. Kelvin also has extensive experience in civil litigation, commercial and corporate law matters.


COVID-19 : Businesses Are Deserted

In fear of infection, public places are deserted,
businesses are deserted, but this is only the start

There is no cure, yet, to this coronavirus.

We do not know how long will this last before people feel safe to go back into public places.

We do not know when businesses will go back to normal, or can it?  Is it possible for businesses to return back to normal?

Mounting Debts

Rent is due, salary and wages are due, superannuation is due, tax is due, but business is bad and almost zero during this fearsome period, and overdraft is fully drawn.

The Government has announced relief packages for relief small businesses.  It is yet to be seen whether this assistance is adequate to save your business.

Some of this assistance is merely asking a mortgagee (and maybe a landlord in the future, maybe) to delay payments.  It does not mean no payment.  Business owners are still liable to pay them at some point in time in the future.

IMPORTANT: If you allow yourself to lose track of these mounting debts, you will risk trading whilst insolvent.  Be warned that insolvent trading is one of the situations where the corporate veil will be pierced and directors can be made personally liable.

Tips on How to Reduce the Long-term Impact

Take control now, be pro-active.  Start planning your strategies.  Here are some of the steps you could take to reduce the long-term impact of the current situation.

  • Have a well thought-through plan on how to potentially negotiate out of the situation with your mortgagee (or landlord).  What do they want to see before they are prepared to put a hold on enforcing the debt against you?  Do you have a cashflow projection?  Have you prepared your business case to bring about a strong recovery?  Note that you must exercise care in preparing these documents.  You must not express opinion that is unreasonable or unfounded, as this could be seen as your “misrepresentation”.
  • Can you plan for ways to increase your business cashflow, whether through capital raising or debt raising.  Do you have a convincing and realistic business plan to attract investors or financiers?  There are specific rules under the Corporations Act 2001 in raising capital.  Please obtain legal advice before conducting, or attempting to conduct, raising for funds.
  • Stress-test your business for survival and prepare for the worst case scenario.  At what point in time will you need to start taking steps to scale down your operation, or to close your business (in order to avoid personal liabilities)?   Think and plan, in advance, on what you can do to crystallise your losses?   You need to look at all the business contracts and work out the implications of terminating them BEFORE you decide to “walk away” from the business.
  • Do you have a sellable business?  How do you make it sellable when the business turnover is suffering?  The most valuable part of the business is its “goodwill”.  Goodwill can comprise of a few things, including location goodwill, special rights goodwill, and system or IP goodwill.  It is the core things that give a business the drivers to trade and to create income.  You should be amplifying these drivers now.  Turn them into your goodwill, sellable goodwill.

About Writer

Kelvin Tang has over 18 years’ experience practising law in Western Australia. He is the founder of Tang Law based in Perth, Western Australia. Kelvin is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1386452) and has extensive experience in providing migration advice to clients, advising on “Eligible Businesses” within the definition of the Migration Regulations. Kelvin also has extensive experience in civil litigation, commercial and corporate law matters.

Gabriel Wong is a senior lawyer at Tang Law and holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Law and Commerce. Gabriel was admitted to legal practice in early 2001. Gabriel has over 18 years’ experience and extensive knowledge in advising clients in relation to property, general commercial, trusts, and wills and estate matters. He regularly provides advice to in relation to the acquisition, development (both greenfield subdivision and multi-level mixed use strata developments), leasing and sale of residential, commercial and rural land.



Case Study

This is a real case that happened recently.

Our client ‘Mr C’ had received not 1, but 2 lifetime driving bans.

These bans run for the life of the person found guilty of driving in certain circumstances that are found to be very dangerous to the general public. Because these matters are so serious this case went straight to the District Court.

After 10 years has elapsed the person that has received the ban is eligible to have it removed, however in this case we had to apply to have 2 such bans removed at the same time!

Preparing for the Case

As Mr C’s legal representatives we took full instructions regarding all the factors that we knew to be important in proving that our client not only deserved to get his license back, but that he was not a danger to the public.

We prepared all the paperwork, including the Application, a very detailed affidavit for our client and also affidavits to attach to letters that were to provide character references in support of Mr C; including his personal and work circumstances.

One all this was done we corresponded with the lawyer that represented the Department of Transport (on the other side, against Mr C) and made sure that all questions were answered before the Court Hearing even started.

In Court

Happily for everyone involved, the Applications for the removal of both lifetime driving bans were not even opposed by the other lawyer and the judge granted the application in Mr C’s favour.

This goes to show the importance of proper preparation and making sure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to making the best case for our clients.

If you have any questions about old driving bans (lifelong bans or shorter) then contact us and we can discuss with you exactly how we can help you to get your life back on track (and back on the road).

About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. With a background in the social sciences, Adam has a very keen interest in the interaction that individuals have with the Australian legal system; whether it be from facing criminal charges, battling mental health issues, trying to enforce rights through contractual claims or going through the Family Court system. 


1 2 3 4 5 13