This means that the motorist has been convicted of a serious traffic offence three or more times within five years. Habitual offending is not a crime in itself. It opens the offender to be penalized with harsher and heavier penalties as the underlying presumption is that three or more traffic violations in five years show a certain disregard and disrespect for authority.
Once the motorist is convicted for the third time, and the conviction is recorded, the court will declare the motorist as a habitual offender. The consequence of this declaration is that the motorist’s licence will be disqualified for five years in addition to any disqualification which has been meted out to him as a penalty for any of the first, second, or third offence.
The motorist is then required to finish serving out the disqualifications on the first, second and third offences before he can serve the five-year disqualification as a habitual offender.
Any of the major traffic offences include: drink driving offences, drug driving offences, predatory or menacing driving, driving in a manner dangerous to the public, negligent driving, any traffic offence that results in death or grievous bodily injury, speeding in excess of 45 km/h beyond the speed limit; unlicensed driving, and driving whilst licence is suspended or disqualified.
Thus, if you commit one of these crimes three consecutive times within five years, you will be declared a habitual offender. If you commit any three of these at least once within five years, you will also be declared a habitual offender.
Such a long period of disqualification affects the motorist’s livelihood as he will not be able to use his car to get to and from work. If he is a salesperson, his travelling will be severely restricted because he is unable to drive. If the motorist has young children whom she needs to bring to school, this parental task will be affected, as well. If the motorist has a child or family member with a disability, the family member’s mobility and independence will also be affected.
For this reason, the law has allowed declarations of habitual offending to be quashed. The motorist can ask the court to quash the order declaring him a habitual offender, but he must cite and prove serious and legal grounds for the order to be quashed. Legal advice and assistance on presenting and proving reasonable grounds to ask for a declaration of habitual offending to be quashed are necessary.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.