A recent client of ours was charged with negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, following a collision with a pedestrian. She was extremely distraught over the injury she had caused to the victim and the prospect of obtaining a criminal record.
Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm is a serious offence, which carries a maximum penalty of 9 months imprisonment, a $2,200 fine and an automatic 3 year licence disqualification. Grievous bodily harm is defined in the Road Transport Act 2013 to include any permanent or serious disfigurement. In our client’s case, the victim required multiple surgeries as a result of the injury caused.
After conferencing with our client, Zoe Whetham identified inconsistencies in the police facts compared to our client’s recollection of the incident. As a result, Ms Whetham obtained CCTV footage which captured the incident and after careful analysis of the footage, wrote detailed representations to police outlining why the facts should be amended. This was successful, resulting in a more accurate and favourable set of facts that would be read by the magistrate on sentence.
At court, Zoe Whetham advocated on our client’s behalf and urged the court to sentence our client without recording a criminal conviction. The magistrate was persuaded, and our client was placed on a Conditional Release Order, without conviction, with a condition to be of good behaviour for 12 months. This meant that our client was able to avoid a criminal record, avoid paying a fine and avoid having her licence disqualified.