Below is some important information for those considering applying for a work licence. You only get one chance to apply for a work licence so it is critical that the correct process is followed and the documents submitted to the court and prosecutor detail all of the relevant information. If you are unsure, it is best to seek legal advice.
Can I get a work licence?
There are two levels of drug driving charges:
- Driving (or in charge of a vehicle) under the influence of drugs – this is considered high range drug driving and you cannot apply for a work licence under this charge
- Drive while relevant drug present in saliva/blood – this is considered low range drug driving and you may be able to apply for a work licence if you satisfy the below criteria.
First step – check if you are eligible
There is strict eligibility criteria for those who can apply for a work licence, firstly you must satisfy the following:
- The charge is the less serious charge of driving while relevant drug in your saliva or blood, not driving (or being in charge of a vehicle) under the influence of drugs.
- At the time you were caught for driving with a drug in your saliva or blood you:
- held a current Queensland open driver’s licence for the vehicle you were driving
- were not driving for your job or already under a work licence.
- You were not driving a vehicle which required you to have nil alcohol in your breath or blood (eg a heavy vehicle).
- At the time you apply for the work licence you hold a current Queensland provisional or open driver’s licence.
- in the last 5 years you have not:
- been convicted before of this or a similar offence (eg drink driving)
- been convicted in Queensland for dangerous driving
- had a licence suspended or disqualified (except in some circumstances such as a SPER suspension or immediate suspension).
Second Step – prepare documents
If you satisfy the above criteria you may apply for a work licence. Work licences are not just given to those who are eligible, there are documents that you will need to prepare correctly which will need to be filed at court and served on the prosecutions office. The documents required are as follows:
You will need to fill out an application form.
You will need to write an affidavit for yourself and make sure you include all of the required information including exhibits.
The purpose of the affidavit is to convince the Magistrate that:
– You are a ‘fit and proper person’;
– If you are not granted a work licence you will lose your job and your income and it would cause extreme hardship to you or your family.
If you are an employee you will also need an affidavit from your employer. The affidavit must state that you will lose your job if you do not have a driver licence or cannot get to work without a driver licence. For those who are self-employed an employer affidavit is not required.
Please note that the above affidavits need to be signed in front of a justice of the peace or commissioner of declarations or solicitor.
Third Step – file and serve documents
After you have completed the above documents you will need to make two copies. The original documents are to be filed at court. One copy will then need to be served on the prosecutions office that is handling your matter and the second copy is if you to retain.
Make sure you apply to the court at the time you are convicted, and before the court orders that you are disqualified from driving. You can not apply for a work licence on a later date after you have been convicted and sentenced.
Fourth Step – attend court hearing
You will be given a date for your work licence application hearing. On this date you must attend court and your matter will be heard in front of a Magistrate and a prosecutor. The prosecutor can make arguments as to why you should not be granted a work licence. The Magistrate will read the documents you have filed and may ask you to provide further information. If the documents do not have sufficient detail or they are not completed correctly you will not be granted a work licence.
Please be aware that you only get one chance at applying for a work licence, if you get it wrong you will not be able to apply again or appeal the decision.
Do I need a lawyer?
If you are not familiar with the process, applying for a work licence can be challenging and extremely stressful. Too often we see people in court who have not completed the above documents properly and consequently their application for a work licence fails. For many people this means losing their job, not being able to pay their bills and risk losing their homes. You only get once chance when you apply for a work licence, there are no second chances so it is imperative that you get it right. At Watling Roche Lawyers we have a lawyer who can write all of the documents for you and talk on your behalf in court. We have 100% success rate for these types of matters and know exactly what is required to get your application over the line. If in doubt, it is best to seek legal advice. Contact us now for a free consultation.