Clarity Law -

South East Queensland's most experienced traffic law firm

Careless Driving

Careless driving is also known as driving without due care and attention or reckless driving.  Although the charge is less serious than dangerous driving, which is a criminal charge, it can still carry a driver licence disqualification period and fine.

Why would I be charged with Careless Driving?

Typically the Police issue careless driving charges for traffic accidents where they feel the driver is at fault.  The Police must be satisfied that you drove without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users.  You can be charged with careless driving even if you are driving on private property. You can also be charged with careless driving if there is no other cars involved and even if there is no accident or damaged caused. For example, you can be charged with careless driving if you take off from traffic lights in an overly aggressive manner. This can be taken by the Police to be careless driving although there was no accident or damage caused.


What penalty does a Careless Driving charge carry?

Whilst the maximum penalty is $4,000 and 6 months imprisonment the Courts generally issue fines for careless driving charges.  The Court also has the ability to impose a disqualification period if the circumstances warrant although it does not have to impose a disqualification.  The disqualification, if imposed, can range from 1 month to an absolute disqualification. Absolute disqualification means you are disqualified for a minimum of 2 years, at which time you can apply for a licence reinstatement.

Generally we have found the Courts look to impose a disqualification of around 3 - 6months if the offence is fairly serious although this can go higher depending on the circumstances.  If another driver is injured in the accident then a disqualification is almost certain.  If disqualified you cannot apply for a work licence or hardship licence so if your licence is vital we will need to put your circumstances to the court to in such a way that we can ask the Court not to impose any disqualification for the careless driving charge.  We have had much success lately convincing the Court not to impose a disqualification period for the charge of careless driving. We do this by undertaking extensive research, having you obtain character references and having you attend driving workshops.

Careless driving is also classed as a type 1 hooning charge which can have quite severe consequences.   For the first Type 1 offence, the vehicle you were driving can be impounded or immobilised for 90 days. For the second offence the vehicle can be impounded and may be confiscated at the end of any legal proceedings against you.


Will I incur any demerit points?

Yes. Queensland Transport will issue 3 demerit points against your licence upon your conviction for this offence.  The demerit points will be deemed to have been occurred at the time of the incident not the date the Court deals with the matter.  If the issue of demerit points occurs while you are on a good driving behaviour period you may need to apply for a special hardship licence.

We are happy to discuss, free of charge, what penalty the court may impose and whether you could have no disqualification imposed.


Will I lose my licence?

It very much depends on the circumstances of the incident that lead to the careless driving charge.  If no person has been injured and your traffic history does not contain any previous similar charges then the court will not usually impose a disqualification.  If however someone has been injured or you have a bad traffic history or there is a lot of damage done to the vehicles then the Court might look to disqualify your driver’s licence.


Should I get a Lawyer to represent me for the careless driving charge?

In a word, yes especially if your traffic history is bad, there was extensive damage done to another vehicle or someone was hurt in the accident.  Remember you cannot get a work licence or other similar licence if you are disqualified.  If your employment or income is dependent on your ability to drive then it is important to get legal representation.


Engaging Clarity Law to act for you

Engaging us gives you the best chance at obtaining no disqualification period and a fine as low possible.   We are the leading traffic law firm in South East Queensland, everyday our lawyers are in court getting the best outcome for clients.  Just some of the benefits of us acting for you include;

  • we know the judges and what they want to hear to give you the best outcome
  • we have good relationships with the Police prosecutors meaning we can often have them not object to the court not imposing a disqualification
  • we are there to help you through the process and make everything as stress free as possible, in most cases you will not have to say anything in court
  • engaging us shows the court you are taking your charges seriously
  • we know what courses or classes that might help reduce the penalty
  • your matter will be heard early, often first, you do not have to wait for 20-30 other matters to be heard before you
  • you will be fully informed of what is to happen in court and what this means for you after court
  • unlike the police or the Judge, we are there to look after you, your privacy and your interests


What courts do you appear in?

We appear in every court in South East Queensland.  Just some of the courts we appear in are;

1.            Brisbane Magistrates Court

2.            Beenleigh Magistrates Court

3.            Holland park Magistrates Court

4.            Pine Rivers Magistrates Court

5.            Wynnum Magistrates Court

6.            Caboolture Magistrates Court

7.            Toowoomba Magistrates Court

8.            Ipswich Magistrates Court

9.            Southport Magistrates Court

10.          Maroochydore Magistrates Court

11.          Caloundra Magistrates Court

12.          Noosa Magistrates Court

13.          Gympie Magistrates Court

For a full list of Courts we appear in click here.


Will I need to come in to the office to see you?

We have offices in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts but in most cases we can handle everything by email and the phone without you ever having to come into our office.  We are also open outside normal business hours for your convenience.


What do you charge?

We charge a flat upfront fee for our services, that means no hidden charges or unexpected bills.  We don't charge any travelling fees either; if you are in Maroochydore or Southport you will pay the same price as if you are Brisbane.

We are also upfront with our fees, if you look at other law firms few, if any, clearly list how much they are going to charge you.  Clarity Law on the other hand are happy to list our prices as we are sure no other South East Queensland law firm can match our prices and experience. Our prices include;

  • full preparation for court including checking for defences and devising strategy to minimise penalty
  • negotiations with the police prosecution unit including obtaining traffic history and charge documents
  • drafting submissions for the court
  • arranging for you to attend a driving course (if appropriate)
  • all telephone calls, faxes emails and meetings with you
  • detailed information to you on the likely penalty and information on what will happen at court and afterwards
  • appearing in the court with you to conduct your guilty plea

To see what we will for a guilty plea on a careless driving charge click here


How do I get more information or engage you to act for me?

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 8pm
  3. email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.