What is a Special Hardship Order?
If a person is caught committing a high speed offence (driver over 40km/hr above the speed limit) or accumulates too many demerit points while on a good driving behaviour period, he or she will face a mandatory licence suspension.
If the suspension of a person’s licence is going to cause them either extreme financial hardship, or severe and unusual hardship, they can apply to the court for a special hardship order. This order permits a person to drive for the purposes and between the hours permitted by the court.
Am I eligible to apply?
There are a number of preconditions that must first be satisfied before you can apply for a special hardship order, including:-
- You must be the holder of a Queensland open or provisional licence;
- Your licence must not have been disqualified, cancelled or suspended in the last 5 years (some exceptions apply); and
- Your application for a special hardship order must relate to a licence which is the same class as your suspended licence.
If you satisfy all the preconditions, you will still need to convince the magistrate that you deserve a special hardship order. The magistrate will review your previous traffic history as well as you reasons for wanting a licence when making this decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
A: You only get one opportunity to apply for a special hardship order. Therefore if your application is unsuccessful, you will not get another opportunity to apply and your licence will be suspended. If you are caught driving during this period of suspension, you will then be charged with unlicenced driving.
Q: Should I use a lawyer to represent me for the application?
A: We would definitely recommend that you use a lawyer. Since you only get one chance at the application, the consequences can be very serious if you do it yourself and you are unsuccessful. An experienced traffic lawyer will know how to prepare the relevant material for the application and then how to successfully convince the magistrate to grant the application in your favour.
Please contact us if you need to apply for a special hardship order.