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What to do in court

Addressing the magistrate/judge

Address the magistrate or judge as ‘Your Honour’. Always stand and face the magistrate/judge when speaking or being spoken to. Speak slowly, clearly and loudly – courts can be noisy places.

You will be referred to as the ‘applicant’. Your name will usually be called by the prosecutor. You should show the magistrate/judge that you are there by walking up to the table in front of the magistrate/judge. Do not be shy and do not hesitate. The magistrate will take into account that you are inexperienced.

What the magistrate/judge will ask

When the magistrate/judge is ready to begin hearing your application, they will ask about your application. You usually have to go into the witness stand with the original affidavit and your copy and ask the magistrate/judge if you can present the affidavit as evidence instead of telling the court your evidence.

Although there is no rule saying that you must provide an affidavit, most magistrates/judges prefer the evidence to be given by affidavit. The prosecution does not usually object to an affidavit being presented as evidence unless it contains something they think is not really evidence. If you do not use an affidavit, then you will have to stand up in court and tell the magistrate/judge your evidence.

When you present your affidavit as evidence you must take an oath (promise) to tell the truth and then state that the affidavit is still true.

What the prosecutor might ask

Even when the prosecution does not oppose your application, you will probably be cross-examined. The prosecutor usually asks questions about:

  • the circumstances surrounding the offence which led to the disqualification – such as accidents, why you drove etc
  • the patterns of behaviour that led to you committing the offence – such as drinking or drug taking habits, and
  • what assurance you can give the court that you will not drink or drug drive or do the things that led to the disqualification again.

What to say to the court

After you have finished giving evidence, the magistrate/judge may ask if you wish to say anything more in support of your application. If there is something you want to emphasise, then you should say so now, for example, that the application is not opposed (if this is the case) and that your behaviour since the date of the disqualification has been good.

Any letter offering you employment and character and employer references should be presented to the court. The prosecutor will be asked if they want to say anything about your application. The magistrate/judge will then decide whether or not to grant your application to have your disqualification removed.

The decision

If your application is granted, then the removal of your disqualification usually happens on the date it is granted. However, the court may grant the application but then decide to delay the operation of the order for a period of time.

Just because the disqualification is removed, it does not mean you can drive straight away. You must not drive until you have been granted a driver licence.

If you also have been disqualified a number of times in Queensland or in another place from holding a driver licence for a period greater than two years, then you must make separate applications to the courts for removal of those disqualifications. You are not allowed to apply for a driver licence until all of your disqualifications are removed or the disqualification periods have ended.

Before you leave the magistrates/district/Supreme Court, make sure you get a copy of the order from the court clerk. You will need to produce it when you apply for your driver licence at a Department of Transport and Main Roads Customer Service Centre.

Remember, if the court refuses your application you cannot make another application for at least 12 months after the refusal.

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