Victoria Legal Aid

You will be charged with the offence of excessive speed if the police think you:

  • went over the speed limit by 25 km/hour
  • drove faster than 130 km/hour.

Whether you are guilty depends on the exact facts and circumstances of your case. The prosecution has to prove that you were driving the car and doing so over the speed limit.

Going to court

If you have a future court date, you may be eligible to get help to prepare before you go to court. You can request help onlineExternal Link .

What are my options if I have to go to court?

Plead guilty

If you agree that you broke the law, you should tell the court that you are pleading guilty. During the court hearing, the prosecutor will read out the statement of alleged facts. The magistrate will find you guilty and give you a penalty.

If you plead guilty the magistrate treats this as a sign that you are co-operating and may give you a less severe penalty.

For more information visit our page Going to court – pleading guilty.

Plead not guilty

If you believe that you did not break the law, or you disagree with what is in the statement of alleged facts, you must tell the prosecutor before your court date that you plan to plead not guilty. They will hold a summary case conference with you before your case is heard in court. If you still want to plead not guilty after the conference, tell the magistrate. The magistrate will adjourn your case for another day.

You will come back to court for a contested hearing. When you come back, the magistrate will listen to evidence from you and the police before making a decision. You should have a defence.

If you are pleading not guilty, get legal advice before the contested hearing.

For more information visit our page Going to court – pleading not guilty.

Possible defences

You may have a defence if you had to speed because of an emergency, for example if someone was critically ill in the car. The magistrate will decide if your reason is good enough. You might also have a defence if you did not speed voluntarily. For example, you had a seizure.

If you were not the driver of the car, you need to provide the name and address of the person who was driving.

The law assumes that speed detectors are accurate. If you want to argue that the detector was inaccurate, you would have to show that it was broken or improperly operated. You would need an expert to explain this in court. Otherwise you would need to have strong evidence to prove you were not speeding.

What is not a defence?

It is not a defence to say that you were running late for work or that your speedometer was broken. It is also not a defence to say that you did not know the speed limit because there were no signs.

What are the penalties if I am found guilty?

As well as any penalties imposed by the magistrate, what happens in court goes on your criminal record.

Demerit points

You will get demerit points for most speeding offences. The number of points depends on how fast you were driving over the speed limit. Demerit points will not be added if your licence was suspended for an excessive speed offence. VicRoads will add demerit points to your licence from the date the offence happened, not the date you went to court. The number of demerit points depends on your speed. The magistrate cannot change how many you get.

Losing your licence

The magistrate may let you keep your licence. However, for excessive speed offences the magistrate must suspend your licence for a minimum period of time. The minimum suspension periods are listed below.

The magistrate can choose to make that time longer. This depends on the details of your case.

Minimum suspension periods for excessive speed

The magistrate must suspend your licence for at least:

  • 3 months if your speed was between 25 km/hour and 35 km/hour over the speed limit
  • 6 months if your speed was between 35 km/hour and 45 km/hour over the speed limit
  • 12 months if your speed was 45 km/hour or more over the speed limit
  • 3 months if driving 130 km/hour or more.

You must not drive at all when your licence is suspended. There are no exceptions. For example, you cannot drive to work or to pick up your children. There are no special licences that allow you to drive some of the time. There are very serious penalties for driving while suspended.

Fines

The magistrate may give you a fine with penalty units, as listed below.

Speeding fines

The maximum fine depends on how much faster than the speed limit you were driving. You can be fined:

  • 10 penalty units for driving less than 35 km/hour over the speed limit
  • 15 penalty units for driving at 35 km/hour or more but less than 45 km/hour over the speed limit
  • 20 penalty units for driving 45 km/hour or more over the speed limit.

Usually you will not get the maximum penalty. You should tell the magistrate about your income and things you have to pay for, and whether you support a family.

If you get a fine you can pay it straight away at court. If you do not pay the fine straight away, Fines VictoriaExternal Link will send you a Court fine collection statement. This will tell you how much you owe and when the fine is due.

You can ask Fines Victoria for a payment plan if you cannot afford to pay the fine in one payment.

If you do not pay the fine when it is due, Fines Victoria may increase the fine. The court can issue a warrant for your arrest.

Other penalties

The magistrate may also place you on an undertaking to behave well for a certain amount of time rather than give you a fine or impound (lock up) or immobilise (clamp or steering wheel lock) your car if you were:

  • speeding by 45 km/hour or more
  • driving at 145 km/hour or more
  • involved in a speed trial or road race
  • speeding while being chased by police.

See Possible outcomes for traffic offences for more information about penalties and other outcomes.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 25 May 2022

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