Hundreds of Sydney Drivers Fined over the Christmas Period for Disobeying the Law

, Hundreds of Sydney Drivers Fined over the Christmas Period for Disobeying the Law

Hundreds of Sydney Drivers Fined over the Christmas Period for Disobeying the Law

Despite being warned to take extra caution when driving on the roads over the holiday season, many Sydneysiders have coped a fine for disobeying the law.

From 12.01am on Thursday, 24 December until 11.59pm on Sunday, 3 January, the loss of double demerit points will be in action. The NSW Police are targeting seatbelt and speeding offences, motorcyclists not wearing helmets and drivers using mobile phones over the 11 day holiday period.

An article from the 7 News has revealed that within the first day of NSW Police’s statewide road safety operation, a man was caught driving at 188km/h in a 50km zone, another was caught driving at 159km/h in an 80km zone.

Further by the afternoon of the same day, police had issued 833 speeding tickets, conducted more than 20,000 breath tests, attended 57 major crashes and issued 23 drink driving charges.

SPEEDING OFFENCE

In accordance with the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), if a person is caught speeding under 30km/h it will usually result in a fine plus the loss of demerit points.

Police may immediately suspend and confiscate a person’s licence for the following offences:

  • Speeding in excess of 45 km/h over the speed limit;
  • Speeding in excess of 30km/h over the speed limit whilst the holder of a learner or provisional licence.

The duration of the suspension depends on how fast the person was travelling over the speed limit:

  • More than 30 km/hr over the limit but under 45 km/hr, the licence will be suspended for 3 months;
  • More than 45 km/hr over the limit, the licence will be suspended for 6 months.

COURT ELECTION

With speeding offences, you have the option to either pay the fine and subsequently lose the demerit points or, you can elect to have the matter dealt with in Court.

Our leading Sydney criminal Law firm often represents clients charged with speeding offences in Court. A person that elects to have the matter heard in Court can either plead guilty or plead not guilty to the speeding offence.

If a client instructs us to enter a plea of guilty to a speeding offence, a specialised criminal lawyer from our office will make submissions in mitigation of the penalty.

We always intend to get the best outcomes for our clients and will strive for a section 10 dismissal or alternatively a conditional release order (‘CRO’) without conviction if it is possible based on a number of factors the Court will have regard too.

To be specific, some of the factors the Court will consider when imposing a penalty include:

  • The nature of the traffic offence;
  • Traffic history;
  • Extenuating circumstances surrounding the offending;
  • Age, mental health, antecedents; and
  • Triviality of the offence.

Another benefit of having the matter heard in Court is that a specialised Criminal Lawyer of our office can if forensically advantageous, enter into negotiations with the NSW police. For instance, if the speed has only been estimated and a client instructs our office they were speeding but not quite as fast as recorded, we may be able to have the speed on the Court Attendance Notice (‘CAN’) amended in exchange for a guilty plea.  Amendments to the CAN could be the difference between the client losing demerit points or not.

If a client instructs our office to enter a plea of not guilty, the matter will proceed to a defended hearing. A defended hearing consists of the prosecution proving our client’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is the high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before the client can be convicted.

The ultimate goal of proceeding to a defended hearing is to have the charge withdrawn and dismissed.

RECENT CASE

Our most recent speeding offence case involved a client who had been charged with exceeding the speed by over 10km/h. She had elected to have the matter dealt with in Court and it was listed at Parramatta.

The client instructed our office that she is a single mother to two young children, one of which has a disability and requires full-time care. She also informed us she has never been charged before.

The extenuating circumstances surrounding the offending was that on the day she was charged, her child with the disability was at a family members house nearby and became unwell. The family member called her to say the child needed his mother. She immediately called a medical clinic to make a doctor’s appointment and rushed to pick her sick child up. It was on the way to collect the child that she was pulled over for speeding.

We advised the client that for the best outcome in Court, she should gather two character references, draft an apology letter, complete the traffic offender’s program and provide supporting evidence there was in fact a doctor’s appointment scheduled. She followed our advice, and we were able to secure her a CRO without conviction for a period of 12 months. This was an excellent outcome for our client.

The main reason she had elected to have the matter dealt with in Court was that she was currently on her provisional licence and the loss of demerit points would have resulted in her not being able to drive. The effect of a CRO without a conviction being imposed meant she got to keep all her demerit points and continue to drive.

CONCLUSION

In summary, traffic offences are common. At National Criminal Lawyers® we understand that sometimes you are charged in circumstances where you have an exceptional circumstance surrounding the offending. If you are charged with a traffic offence, whether it be speeding or not, our team is here for you. We promise to do all we can to ensure you get the best outcome.

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this blog and encourage our readers to provide suggestions for future blogs.

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