Going to court for traffic offences

There can be serious consequences if you commit a traffic offence. This information will help you to understand what to do if you have been charged with a driving or traffic offence.  Find out:

  • About pleading guilty or not guilty
  • What the penalty might be
  • Whether you need to go to court

Should I plead guilty or not guilty to my traffic offence?

The first thing you need to do is consider your plea. Think about whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty you accept that you committed the offence. You also accept the police’s summary of what happened. If you plead not guilty your matter will be put down for trial. This could be months away. If you are not sure, you should get legal advice.

If I am charged with a driving offence what might I get as a penalty?

There are a range of penalties that the court might impose for a driving offence. 

The most common penalty is a fine and disqualification of your licence for a certain period. For some offences, the court must disqualify your licence for a minimum period. This means it is mandatory and the court has no choice.

You can also go to prison for some driving offences.

Do I need to go to court if I have been charged with a driving or traffic offence?

If you have been given bail or sent a summons, then you must attend court. If you do not go to court, you could be arrested.

If you have been sent a court hearing notice then you choose whether or not to go to court.

  • If you choose not to go to court,you can send the notice back to the court with your plea endorsed on it. This means you let the court know in writing whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • If you choose not to go to court, and you do not send the notice back to the court you may be convicted even though you are not there. 




The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.