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SPECIAL HARDSHIP ORDER QLD (SHO)

At Craven Lawyers Brisbane we will help you get back on the road by assisting you to apply for a Special Hardship Order. When applying for a Special Hardship Order there are certain rules that need to be followed, so it is critical you have someone such as ourselves doing the work for you. Our traffic lawyers prepare comprehensive affidavit material for clients so that all of the critical information is covered to ensure we achieve the ultimate outcome. Don’t miss out by doing it yourself- engage an expert.  

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To provide you with piece of mind, we offer a competitive fixed fee service for clients applying for a Special Hardship Order. The fixed fee is all inclusive and covers:

♦ All communications with your lawyer.

♦ All conferences with your lawyer.

♦ The drafting of your Special Hardship Order application. 

♦ The drafting of all of the relevant affidavit material to support your application.

 The appearance by one of our traffic lawyers with you at your Special Hardship Order hearing. 

♦ All communications with Queensland Transport regarding your application. 

♦ Providing you with advice regarding any courses you can undertake to improve your chances of getting the Special Hardship Order. 

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What is a Special Hardship Order?

A Special Hardship Order is an order that is made by the court that authorises a person to continue driving a motor vehicle in certain circumstances.

 

Who can apply for a Special Hardship Order?

You can only apply for a Special Hardship Order if you have an open or provisional licence that has been suspended because you:-

(a) were convicted of driving more than 40 km/hour over the speed limit.

(b) accumulated two or more demerit points while you were subject to a good driving behaviour period.

 

Who cannot apply for a Special Hardship Order?

You cannot apply for a Special Hardship Order if within 5 years before your licence became suspended: –

♦your Queensland driver licence had been suspended or cancelled, or you had been disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence.

♦ you had a non-Queensland driver licence that permitted you to drive on Queensland roads that had been suspended.

♦ you were made ineligible to hold a Queensland driver licence because:-

           (i) you accumulated too many demerit points.  

           (ii) you were convicted of driving more than 40 km/hour over the speed limit while you were unlicensed.

♦ you had been convicted of the offence of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle under section 328A Criminal Code (Qld). 

 

What conditions will be included in a Special Hardship Order?

The Special Hardship Order must include the following conditions: –

♦ the purpose for which a motor vehicle may be driven under the licence.

♦ the class of motor vehicle that may be driven under the licence.

♦ the times at which or period of time during which a motor vehicle may be driven under the licence.

♦ that a motor vehicle may be driven under the licence only if the licence holder is carrying a copy of the order.

 

What conditions may the Court include in a Special Hardship Order?

The Court may include such conditions as: –

♦ restrictions on where a motor vehicle may be driven under the licence, including, for example, the starting and ending places for journeys under the licence.

♦ whether or not passengers may be carried in a motor vehicle being driven under the licence, and if they can be carried, the names or other identifying details of the passengers who may be carried.

♦ any other restriction the court considers appropriate.

 

How do you apply for a Special Hardship Order?

To make an application for an Special Hardship Order, you must:

1. Make it within 21 clear days after your open or provisional licence was suspended

2. Complete the approved Special Hardship Order application form. Please remember to include all of the information, or details of the information you rely upon for your application (please see below in relation to providing affidavits and statutory declarations).

3.File your application in the Court.

4. Serve a Court sealed copy of your application and accompanying documentation on the Department of Queensland Transport at least 7 days before your hearing date.

PLEASE NOTE: Once you have served a copy of your application and accompanying documentation on the Department of Queensland Transport your driver licence suspension is lifted until the day before your hearing.

 

What must the Court be satisfied of before making a Special Hardship Order?

Before a Court can make a Special Hardship Order, it must be satisfied that: –

(a) you are a fit and proper person to continue to drive, having regard to your traffic history and the safety of other road users and the public generally; and 

(b) a refusal to make the order would—

(i) cause extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living; or

(ii) cause severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving you of your means of earning a living; and 

when the order is made, you hold an open or provisional licence that would be valid, but for the suspension due to you being convicted of driving more than 40 km/hour over the speed limit or accumulating two or more demerit points while you were subject to a good driving behaviour period.

Affidavit

If the basis for your application is because the suspension would cause extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living then you must provide: –

(1) An affidavit from yourself outlining how the refusal to make the Special Hardship Order would cause extreme hardship to you or your family.

(2) If you are employed, you need to provide an affidavit from your employer confirming you would be deprived of earning an income if the Court refused to make the Special Hardship Order. 

If the basis for your application is because the suspension would cause severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving you of your means of earning a living, then you must provide an affidavit: –

(a) outlining how the refusal to make the order would cause severe and unusual hardship to you or your family; and 

(b) attaching:-

(i) statutory declarations from persons other than yourself in support of each matter stated in your affidavit.

(ii) other documentary evidence, or certified copies of evidence that supports each matter stated in your affidavit.

What happens if the Court makes a Special Hardship Order?

 

If a court makes a Special Hardship Order:-

(1) the suspension of your open or provisional licence ends when the order is made; and

(2) while the order applies in relation to you, you are authorised to continue to drive under a Queensland driver licence subject to the restrictions stated in the order.

 

What do you need to do if the Court makes a Special Hardship Order?

If the Court makes a Special Hardship Order, then within 14 days of the order being made you must attend the Queensland Department of Transport and apply for a replacement driver licence.

When applying for a replacement driver licence you will need to complete the approved form and attach a copy of the Special Hardship Order.

The replacement driver licence must be for the same type, class or description as the licence that was suspended, and it will include an “X3” code indicating that you are authorised to drive motor vehicles only under a Special Hardship Order.

 

What happens if the Court refuses to make a Special Hardship Order?

If the Court refuses to make a Special Hardship Order, the suspension of your open or provisional licence continues for the remaining period of your driver licence suspension less anytime you had already served before you lodged your application.

 

Can you apply to the Court to have a Special Hardship Order varied?

Yes, however you need to demonstrate to the Court a change in your circumstances (e.g. your place of work has changed).

 

What happens at the end of the period of the Special Hardship Order?

You must return to the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads to have your driver licence reissued without the Special Hardship Order condition on it.

 

What happens if the Court makes a Special Hardship Order and you do not comply with it?

If you do not comply with any of the conditions of the Special Hardship Order, then you can be fined a maximum of 20 penalty units ($2,523.00).

If you are convicted of not complying with the Special Hardship Order, then the court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence for the following period—

♦ if you are convicted while the Special Hardship Order applies:-

♦ the period between the day of the conviction and the end of the order period; and

♦ 3 months from the end of the order period.

♦ if you are convicted after the Special Hardship Order stops applying to you—3 months from the day of the conviction.

The hearing of the Special Hardship Order Application

You will need to attend Court on the day of your hearing.

If your employer has provided an affidavit, they will need to attend Court with you unless the prosecutor has told you that they do not need them to attend. Likewise, if you have obtained affidavits from anyone else in support of your application then they too will need to attend court unless the prosecutor tells you they are not required.

Each person who has provided an affidavit in support of your application may be called to give evidence and be cross-examined in relation to their evidence. However, this is subject to what the prosecutor advises you.

Please remember, if your witnesses do not attend court and each of their affidavits do not address what the Magistrate wants to know then your matter may be adjourned to another day.

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