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Leaving the country with a pending court case

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taylor79 View Drop Down
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Joined: 27/March/2017
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  Quote taylor79 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Leaving the country with a pending court case
    Posted: 27/March/2017 at 12:55
I was wondering what the rules are around leaving the country for a brief overseas holiday when there is a court case pending?

I am taking my daughter to Thailand in a few weeks for 8 days, the trip was booked almost 10 months ago. She has found herself in a bit of trouble. She has been charged with drink driving and driving unlicensed, and there is another charge to come being theft of an MV. I have been told the case will be heard next week, however i think it will end up being adjourned, or, it wont even happen until after we are due to return.

Will she be stopped by immigration here if she tried to leave the country?

I have checked the Thailand immigration website and all seems fine on that end, i just need to know if there will be issues when she attempts to leave or return to Australia, and if there is anything we need to do, or, anyone we should notify before our trip?

citizen-joe View Drop Down
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  Quote citizen-joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/March/2017 at 15:40
Advise your solicitor, he will appear in court for her if she is away when called and seek an adjournment. However if she fails to show up at the adjourned hearing, an arrest warrant could be issued.

citizen181 View Drop Down
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  Quote citizen181 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/March/2017 at 16:03
Unless a court has already ordered it you are very unlikely to be barred from leaving the country for such minor offences, which, should the circumstances arise, can be heard in the absence of your daughter.

However, for your daughters benefit you should not allow that to happen. First, through your solicitor, you must ascertain when the Police intend to lay the MV charge. Following this a decision will need to be made on whether and to what degree you intend to defend the matters, the DUI and Unlicenced charges are fairly difficult to defend so this should be a consideration. You haven't given much information regarding the MV charge but in any event it is serious so some attempt to at least mitigate the issue should be made such as a guilty plea with explanations and therefore the opportunity to present character evidence etc, your solicitor will advise.

One thing you should look for is an attempt by the Police to seperate the MV charge and the others, there are pros and cons to this from your perspective. As said the DUI/Unlicence charges will be difficult to defend but will likely only result in a fine (could be hefty) and a licence suspension neither of which will prevent travel. However, if they are heard first then at a later date, when the MV charge comes before the court, your daughter will already likely have convictions on her record which a magistrate will take into account should she loose the MV matter. This could increase any penalty for that matter, more so than if all the penalties for all the charges are handed down together. Careful tactical considerations need to be made on how the charges are handled.

But back to the trip, if there is going to be a defence of some or all of the charges a first appearance in court will just be to announce that fact and this will trigger the requirement for the Police to prepare their brief of evidence and the matter/s will be set down for a future date, this is your opportunity to have that date after your return from the trip.

Edited by citizen181 - 27/March/2017 at 16:17

taylor79 View Drop Down
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  Quote taylor79 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28/March/2017 at 05:41
Ok so we picked up the charge sheets yesterday and all charges are together and will be heard together next week. So she will be going before the courts prior to the trip. She plans on pleading guilty to all 3 charges. I'm not sure if there are different types of theft but the theft charge is taking and using a vehicle without permission of the owner. This is a first offence and her background is DV related, recently out of a very abusive relationship in which her ex partner was jailed for the offence, my daughter spiralling out of control a bit after it has all happened. I guess that doesn't matter too much here though given my initial concern was the trip.

Will arrange to see a solicitor this week before the case.

Thank you

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