What is Police Pursuit ?

Police Pursuit occurs when a suspect attempts to use a vehicle to escape from law enforcement attempting to stop/detain or arrest him or her. The assumed offence committed may range from misdemeanours such as traffic infractions to serious matters such as murder. When suspects realize they have been spotted by law enforcement and they attempt to lose their pursuer by driving away, sometimes at high speed the crime of police pursuit will occur.

Case law/Jurisdiction

In 2010 following the death of 19-month-old Skye Sassine in Sydney new laws were introduced. Skye died when the vehicle in which she was travelling was hit by a man leading police on a high-speed pursuit. Following this tragic death there were calls for tougher penalties on people who lead police on dangerous pursuits. These new laws became known as “Skye’s Law”. The New South Wales government thus introduced Skye’s Law which is intended to deter people from attempting to evade police which can lead to dangerous chases and high-speed police pursuits.

An offence of Police Pursuit is what is known as a “Table 1” offence under the relevant legislation, which means it is to be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is it is to be dealt with on indictment by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The Law

Under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)-Section 51B it is an offence to:

“drive a motor vehicle negligently, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner that is dangerous to any person in order to escape pursuit by a police officer or to cause a police officer to engage in a pursuit”.

What must the prosecution prove?

Since Police Pursuit is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Police Pursuit

To establish Police Pursuit, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • The driver knew, ought reasonably to have known or has reasonable grounds to suspect that police officers were in pursuit;
  • The driver knew, ought reasonably to have known or has reasonable grounds to suspect that the driver was required to stop the vehicle;
  • The driver did not stop the vehicle, and
  • The driver subsequently drove the vehicle recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to others.

If you are charged with the offence of DRINK DRIVING what are your options?

National Criminal Lawyers have been successful in defending a number of Drink Driving charges and achieved a number of non-convictions for Drink Driving (low range, special range and Mid-range).

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Drink Driving:
1.We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
2.NCL will Plead Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
3.Plead guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
4.Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction.

Fequently Asked Questions

Why National Criminal Lawyers?

There are three reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

1. Your best chance to get the result you’re after

We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available. This is because no matter which option you choose within our tailored Options at Law you will be dealing with experienced criminal lawyers who can make sure the evidence is not only obtained properly but also that your case is prepared and presented to the highest best practice standards possible. This is also done without breaking your pocket.

2. How a Senior Defence Lawyer Can Help You Deal With Criminal Charges

No matter which option at law you choose, National Criminal Lawyers can guarantee that a Senior Defence Lawyer will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible.

3. National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights

At National Criminal Lawyers we know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. For this reason, we take pride and passion in representing our clients. This pride and passion to assist those charged with an alleged or actual breach of the criminal law is to us a matter of righteous necessity and in that sense, you can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights. This true not only when the police have just simply got it wrong OR if they have got it right then we can speak with you and make sure you get you the best result available.

If you have been charged with any driving offence our Team and National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes.

Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au for more information about your options.

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