Some recent legislative amendments have expanded the categories of criminal offences which can be dealt with by judicial registrars in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.
The offence of Improper Use of a Motor Vehicle has now been added to the list of offences which can be dealt with by a judicial registrar rather than a magistrate.
All traffic offences commence in the Magistrates Court and most traffic offences remain there, as only a relatively few traffic offences such as culpable driving and dangerous driving causing death are serious enough to be dealt with on indictment.
Some criminal offences, including some traffic offences can be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court by a judicial registrar – see Rule 6(ea) of the Magistrates’ Court (Judicial Registrars) Rules 2015 for a full list of these. This now includes Improper Use of a Motor Vehicle. One of the ways in which that offence can be committed is to drive a motor vehicle in a manner which causes the motor vehicle to undergo loss of traction by one or more of the motor vehicle’s wheels. The maximum penalty for the offence is 5 penalty units.
The Full Commentary in the By Lawyers Victorian Magistrates’ Court – Criminal publication has been updated accordingly.
The commentary also includes, in the Overview, an explanation of the nature and value of ‘penalty units’.