Worried about a licence suspension this long weekend?

Posted by Justin Wong on 28 September 2018

Double Demerits are in place from 12:00 am 28 September 2018 to 11:59 pm on 1 October 2018.

Double Demerits were introduced in 1997 during holiday periods and long weekends as during those periods there are comparatively high numbers of serious accidents.

During periods of Double Demerits there is an increased risk that drivers who are caught speeding or disobeying the road rules during that time, will lose their licence due to an accumulation of demerit points.

If you speed 20km over the speed limit for example you will incur 8 demerit points instead of 4. Significantly with the increase in demerit points for using a mobile phone to 5 points, during double demerits you will incur 10 demerit points and with that potentially risk your licence.

How many demerit points can you incur?

If you are on your full licence you can incur 13 demerit points before your licence will be suspended. If you are a green p you can incur 7 points and for red p drivers and learners, you can only incur 4 points.

What do I do if I lose my licence?

If you are on your full licence and incur 13 or more demerit points you will receive a notice of suspension which can be between 3-6 months.

You can avoid the suspension by agreeing to go on a good behaviour licence for a period of 12 months. On a good behaviour licence, you must not incur more than 2 demerit points during that 12-month period, if you do, you will have to serve double the original suspension period. If you do breach your good behaviour licence by incurring more than 2 demerit points, it is important that you do not pay the fine until you have received legal advice.

If you are on your provisional licence and you have been suspended, or if you are caught speeding 30 or 45km over the speed limit and are suspended by the RMS or the police, you can lodge a licence appeal before the Local Court.

This licence appeal application asks the court to consider your personal circumstances in determining whether they should reduce your suspension or quash your suspension altogether.

For information about making a licence appeal application or if you are concerned about the status of your licence, please give us a call on (02) 9025 9888 or send us an enquiry at info@streetonlawyers.com.au

No conviction under the new sentencing laws

Posted by janelle.tarabay on 23 September 2018

With the new sentencing laws commencing on 24 September 2018, one of the most significant concerns for clients is whether a court can still proceed without conviction, or what used to be referred to as “section 10”.

The short answer is yes, but the way it can proceeds is very different.

A court can now deal with someone without conviction in two main ways. Firstly, and what is likely to be the most common way, under a Community Release Order without conviction (section 9), or under section 10(1)(a) which involves an immediate dismissal. For more detail, read our page on NO CONVICTION ORDERS.

New Sentencing Reforms Explained

Posted by janelle.tarabay on

Tomorrow some of the most significant reforms in criminal law sentencing commence. These include the abolition of suspended sentences, the introductions of Community Corrections Orders and Community Release Orders, and an expanded Intensive Corrections Order option.

With a focus on community based sentencing options, the new reforms are comprehensive and will affect almost every sentencing matter in NSW.

To understand the sentencing regime following the reforms, our SENTENCING OPTIONS PAGE has all of the new reforms and how they apply.

CASE STUDY: DRUG DRIVING CONVICTION OVERTURNED ON APPEAL

Posted by Justin Wong on 17 September 2018

For the majority of people charged with drink driving or drug driving, the focus is on pleading guilty and achieving the best possible result on sentence. However, recently for one of Adam Faro’s client’s, he was not guilty and was determined to prove his innocence.

After having spent a long night working, our client planned to drive to Mcdonald’s to eat. Importantly, he hadn’t drank any alcohol or taken any drug (including prescribed medication) that would impede his ability to drive. Unfortunately, while driving he had a collision with a traffic island. Police were called and made observations about our client’s level of sobriety. At that point, they subjected him to a breath test which returned a negative result.

Our client explained to the Police that he had anxiety and was prescribed medication. He also informed them that immediately after the accident, he consumed some anti-anxiety medication to manage the stress of the accident.

Unfortunately, because the Police were unsatisfied with his explanation and the fact that he returned a negative result for alcohol, they arrested him and took him to hospital for a blood test. That blood test later (unsurprisingly) revealed that he had a ‘drug’ in his system, being the medication he was prescribed for his anxiety. The Police then relied on this to charge him with driving under the influence of a drug.

After a lengthy Local Court hearing, our client was unfortunately convicted due to a misapplication of the evidence by the Magistrate. On appeal, we mounted a complex argument as to why there was inadequate evidence to prove that our client consumed the ‘drug’ prior to the accident. After a careful consideration of the evidence, the District Court Judge agreed and quashed the finding of guilt, conviction and orders of the Local Court.

The end result was that our client was found not guilty.

CASE STUDY: PROFESSIONAL AVOIDS CONVICTION FOR ASSAULT OCASSIONING ACTUAL BODILY HARM

Posted by Justin Wong on 12 September 2018

The charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm is a serious one, carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and falling into the category of a ‘serious indictable offence’. It goes without saying that a conviction for an offence of this carries far reaching consequences, including employment and travel.

Ordinarily people who are charged with an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm are convicted (even if they plead guilty). However, recently, Adam Faro was able to successfully avoid a conviction for a client whom was facing an immediate loss of his career if he was convicted.

Adam strategically managed the matter from the beginning. After lengthy and very complex negotiations, Adam was able to persuade the prosecution to make significant amendments to the facts that made clear a level of provocation on behalf of the victim in the matter. This put into perspective the circumstances of the assault.

Combining the amendments to the facts with comprehensive evidence as to the effect of a conviction, a strong argument was mounted on sentence as to the unique nature of the case and the need to avoid a conviction.

In the end, even though our client had a prior record for assaults when he was young, the Magistrate agreed that a comprehensive set of submissions, reasons and evidence had been offered in order to justify avoiding the usual outcome of a conviction. Thankfully, our client then received a section 10 good behaviour bond for the charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was able to avoid the loss of his career.