A person can be charged with the offence of unlicensed driving for a number of reasons. An obvious example is where a person has never obtained a driver’s licence but drives a vehicle regardless. Similarly, a person commits an unlicensed driving offence if they fail to renew their driver’s licence after it expires and is subsequently found driving.
A person can also be charged with driving while unlicensed if they are caught driving during a period of suspension. The most common reasons why a person’s licence might be suspended are if their licence was suspended by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry for unpaid fines or by the Department of Transport due to accumulating too many demerit points.
The most serious unlicensed driving offence is disqualified driving, which occurs when a person drives despite being disqualified by a Queensland court. This is considered to be a form of contempt and consequently people are often jailed for disqualified driving offences, particularly when the person is a repeat offender.
In almost all cases, a person who is caught driving without a valid driver’s licence will be required to go to court to be sentenced. Penalties include fines, licence disqualifications and (as mentioned above) even jail. The consequences are therefore extremely serious which means it is essential that you seek legal advice if charged with unlicensed driving in Queensland.