11 Comments Criminal law, traffic matters, DUI, assault, theft, fraud
I'm not a solicitor and I don't know much about traffic stuff...
Did you get an offence notice for drug driving, refusing the test or both.
If you only got done for refusing the test, you've got some good grounds for defending it. Don't believe the cop that told you the camera wasn't working. They're just putting obstacles in your path. Your statement that it broke and you were happy to do another is evidence too. The fact that it broke is not proof that you refused a test.
If you got done for the first test failure, a traffic solicitor might be able to fight that, since no confirmation test was completed.
I hope this helps
Gorodetsky 2016-03-20 15:48:57
Thankyou for your reply as it gives me a bit more hope. I haven't yet received any paperwork from the cop, I just was told that id receive the summons in the mail and to argue my point with the judge. Any ideas on how i would be able to obtain any footage that there might be? Or how long they'd keep the footage? Im going to seek some legal aid on court day but im thinking it may be wiser to pay for a lawyer now. (If i can afford one)
thanks again .
I'd suggest you don't spend money of legal stuff till you get the summons.
The footage? Don't know how you'd get it, I expect at some point you'll be able to subpoena the police for evidence. Please understand that with or without the footage, the evidence would be the cop saying you refused the test, and you saying the test kit broke, you were happy to do another, but the cop was unwilling. It is the prosecutions job to prove that you refused the test. You might get questioned, but unless you are seen to be "not credible" (any history of deceit offenses?) it will be difficult for the cops to prove.
Further, the magistrate may want to see the footage, if you have said there was a camera, but the cop said it didn't work and that you didn't believe him...the magistrate may find the cop "not credible"... ("only for show"...what a joke...The camera is there to collect evidence, funny how it doesn't work when the evidence is to exonerate someone...the magistrate may feel it ought to be working, and may decide not to convict without video evidence....cameras were put into interview rooms because the police version of interviews was frequently found to be lacking...and the cop got agitated? That's to scare you into compliance and agreeing to accept your charges.) After the matter is over you ought to make a formal complaint.
For both of these charges, it would be better to get a traffic solicitor, but if course that costs money.
I don't know much about traffic stuff.
I hope this helps,
Remember I'm not a solicitor.
It's a bit soon to get too happy about this.
You may find that 3 or 4 coppers all wrote in their notebooks that you chewed the test up in a drug fuelled rage and spat it on the floor.
You may get a magistrate who really doesn't care what you say. And believes the cops every time.
Your chances of success without a traffic solicitor are not very good at all.
And then you're going to find out the cost of the solicitor is 10x to 20x the cost of the fines (with no guarantee the solicitor will win).
I trust you are aware that in WA drug drive has a mandatory sentence of lose licence for 10 months?
I personally don't see any good outcomes for you.
All the same i would love to hear the outcomes.
I usually advise people not to plead guilty to criminal offences if they didn't do it. But for Traffic offences, unless you drive for a living...maybe consider taking the cheapest path.
If your solicitor can get you a decent deal, it's probably your best/cheapest way out of this.
I hope it helps
Don't understand why the officer would be so unscrupulous to charge you when you are ready and willing. But I'm not a lawyer. Just chipping in here to say that I think you should see to what extent they want to bring the charges up against you and of course show them that you're sorry about whatever they think you did. Attitude matters a lot even if you haven't done anything to be charged for. Good luck!
Hi to all... WBFF I feel for ya. Especially if this is your debut appearance before a magestraite
It staggers me how often and easily police prosecute without any hard evidence.
I wonder how many innocent people are in our prisons simply because they could not afford to be represented by an attorney.
I don't tend to agree with the optimistic possibilities presented by Gorodetsky in his first 2 posts.
But I think he has it fairly spot on in his last post.
Don't be too optimistic and think the lady of justice will uphold your rights or something. Cos those scales she holds is for the money you have to pay.
Firstly you need to learn what a lawyer will cost to run your case. You may not be concerned by the cost. You may earn good money or run a business. However for most people, hiring an attorney it can be financially straining if not impossible.
But you can't trust a lawyer either. You must be clear to your lawyer what your limits are. Otherwise your being charged in a way that only lawyers do I think. And be weary if he plans to strike a deal with prosecution before the hearing because thats what I got told. In reality we didn't even get off first base. Prosecution wouldn't even hear my lawyer.
I think the video footage "may be used AGAINST you in a court of law" which is what u hear at the start of an interrogation. It us not used to defend you. It will impossible to obtain I think. Perhaps an attorney could but I'm not too sure
The judges are down with the lawyers who are down with police prosecution. They all know each other and work together often. Most judges will not give you a chance if you try and represent yourself unfortunately. I had an affidafit, a sword statement taken under oath, and the judge simply refused to see it. He would not allow me to approach him so that I could pass it to him. You won't be treated fairly usually.
However, there is no harm trying in this case I think. The sentence won't vary much if at all.
Its all up to 1 person to decide your fate and even though I am so skeptical there is a chance you can pull it off with traffic matters because I have.
U must be well presented. Clean cut, suit and tie. You want to be heard a bit later in the day after the judge has dealt with some real criminals first. This hopefully puts ur matter into perspective I went in so early once I was the first to be heard. Iv never had a more ruthless judge before. And school kids were in there as well. Adjoun if there are school kids cos the judge will show off, screw you even harder and make an example of you.. Call the judge "your honour"... say it as much as possible cos they love it. Begin every phrase with that and even end with it if its a long one...
Look Im not a lawyer and I speak only through my experiences and that of friends. But brace yourself for the worst
Good Luck and all the best
Thanks to everyone who took time out to reply. It definitely wont be my first appearance before a magistrates court room.The trial that has been set for early August 2016 and ill have to represent myself but even if i do lose, at least i tried to stand up for what i know is the truth and that alone makes me a winner. I'll post my results, win or lose after the trial
WBFF, keep us updated with what happens. Just show that you're repentful and that you're all for doing what you need to do in order to make amends for it. Did they get any results from the swab at all at the end of it all? Again, it might seem silly to charge you if they have no proof that you were drinking or doing narcotics when you were obviously compliant. After it all, you should really write a letter in to say how you were wrongly treated.