15 Comments Criminal law, traffic matters, DUI, assault, theft, fraud
Post moved to it's own thread.
See NSW drink driving penalties The range is mandated, don't know of any stats. for individual courts.
Your assertion that you were not speeding is unlikely to be accepted, you were affected by alcohol at the time, so all your actions are suspect, expect an additional penalty for the speeding.
I realise that, but I haven't been charged with speeding. The fact sheets state the following:
- The accused has no criminal history and an extensive speeding fine history.
- .. the vehicle appeared to be driving in excess of the speed limit.
- Police followed the vehicle... w(h)ere it was still travelling at excessive speed and (the) police had trouble catching up to the vehicle.
At no point in my whole ordeal with the police did speeding come into the conversation and only when they took my licence did they find my history and comment on my speeding record.
I was hoping to accept the guilty plea on my own, but if this will be taken into consideration during the sentencing I might have to seek legal help.
So if I'm not being charged for speeding, nor is my speed evidenced in any way apart from seeming observations by the naked eye, will it affect the sentencing?
OK state that in court, and good luck. Remember the magistrate has little room to move as the penalty range is mandated.
It would appear that they are just using the "Appeared to be speeding" as the reason they pulled you up.
Could I suggest that you enroll in a course to help you overcome your drinking problem. You may not think you have one, but by driving after drinking the facts suggest that perhaps you have. By doing this you may be helped and it may also help with any latitude the magistrate may have in the sentencing.
Again good luck.
Thanks Martin, that's exactly what I thought. But it paints a grim picture on my Facts Sheet, and I can no longer just turn up to court remorseful, accept the guilty plea and cross my fingers hoping for leniency. I will have to defend against speeding if it comes up in court.
Do you believe it'll be worthwhile for me to seek legal help?
Ok, one of the lawyers called me back and did confirm that the Police had to state a reason for pulling me over and that "appeared to be speeding" is that reason and because I haven't been charged with speeding, I shouldn't have to worry about that.
He also spoke of enrolling into a course. I'm totally naive at this, but if I enroll into a course, doesn't it effectively allude that I'm a repeat offender?
I went through a defensive driving course years ago, paid for by work, but I guess I need to show intent to better myself.
Oh and there has been a lot of talk about character references, both in the fora here and the online publications from the legal firms, but this article suggests otherwise:
"The relevance of prior good character in PCA offences is normally considered less relevant than sentencing for other types of offences. This means that while character references will be relevant in PCA offences, they are given less weight in sentencing for PCA offences, and particularly higher range PCA offences."
I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get good character references but I'd rather not publicise this at work as I'm obviously severely embarrassed by this.
Thanks for your advise Martin.
I've been asked to look at this program:
So the strategy would be to get a couple of good character references and write a letter explaining the circumstances (that I honestly thought I was under the legal limit), my genuine remorse and a vow never to offend again. Take these documents to court, plead guilty and ask that I be sent to the Traffic Offenders Program and sentenced thereafter.
However some other poster called spainard seemed to have done just that, but ended up with 7 years suspension for a CPA of .12!
The 7 year ban does seem a bit over the top, I suspect that there were other factors. If you do the course and are fair dinkum about it, and do something about the drinking, and do as you propose above, it should achieve the best outcome possible.
You will get a fine and you will lose your licence, I find it hard to believe that jail will be involved.
I've read a Legal Aid brochure that states "if it is a high range PCA offence and if it involves aggravating features such as a very high reading, an accident and/or dangerous driving, a gaol penalty is more likely"
So I'm slightly less panicked about this now.
I'm now concerned about a criminal conviction recorded against my name. I travel overseas extensively as part of my job and I work in a field that requires security clearance. I've read that even the NSW Police Force have a high number of drink driving convictions and that getting work visas to US shouldn't be a problem if I explain to them that it the criminal conviction is "just a DUI offense".
However it is still something I'd rather not have to do. Most people appeal for leniency in the suspension based on that not being able to drive will affect their livelihood. Can I appeal for Section 10 based on having a criminal conviction will affect my livelihood, and leave the suspension and fines up to the Magistrate's discretion? Or am I just dreaming with my CPA of .109?
Btw, there's some good stats on drink driving convictions in NSW here:
This is based on the cases heard before the 2004 review, so we can probably expect the average fines to be doubled and suspension period increased significantly. However it does show that for mid-range PCAs, legal representation does not help significantly reduce suspension time and in terms of the fines imposed, it would probably cost more overall to hire legal representation anyway.