Being arrested and charged with a crime, no matter how minor, is a very stressful event.
Most people are not familiar with our criminal system and dealing with police and the courts can be frightening and intimidating. A conviction has serious consequences and can damage your family situation and threaten your income and reputation. Some charges, if proven, can result in a prison sentence.
When you are facing a criminal charge you cannot rely on an inexperienced solicitor. You need someone to represent you – who knows what the best options are and can mount a strong case for you to achieve the best possible outcome.
A solicitor who understands the challenge you are confronting and will provide you with all the options and easy to understand information that will help you make the right decisions about your future.
Every case is unique and each needs to be reviewed in meticulous detail to develop the best approach and then to pursue the desired outcome.
Offences related to driving are some of the most common that can result in charges. They can range in severity depending on the offence and magistrates and courts often have little leeway to vary sentences as penalties are mandated under legislation.
Serious driving offences can be criminal matters that result in severe consequences if proven. Most often, if convicted, the offender will lose their licence and pay a hefty fine.
There are many factors involved when assessing a driving charge for penalty:
- number of offences,
- driving record,
- the seriousness of the offence,
- livelihood, family and carer situations
- and other factors can be a considered in determining the end result.
Many of the decisions made by magistrates can be influenced by the correct presentation of factors that mitigate the penalty. In some instances you may be found guilty, but the court can discharge you without recording a conviction or the loss of your licence.
Drink driving is a complex area with many variables and it is most important to contact a solicitor for advice as soon as possible—even if you are not contesting the charge.
Drink driving charges should not be under-estimated. They can result in severe penalties—loss of licence, hefty fines, a criminal record and in some instances a gaol sentence.
There are many pre-determined penalties legislated for drink driving charges—first time offender vs multilple, blood alcohol level (low, mid or high range), age, the type of licence and driving record are all taken into account to determine the penalty.
There is another range of factors, that if presented correctly, can also influence the resulting penalty. The court can take into account a person’s character, age, health, the circumstances of and around the offence and any other factor it thinks appropriate like family dependants or carer situations.
Your solicitor should work hard in these areas to reduce the penalty as much as possible and in some instances, even avoid a conviction. If you are contesting the charge your solicitor’s detailed preparation and courtroom experience will be factors in presenting a strong defense to achieve the right outcome.
Some serious driving offences result in automatic licence suspension. The demerit point system can also result in licence suspension when repeated infringement points are accumulated.
There are a number of opportunities to challenge licence suspension. If there is a belief that the charge is not correct, or the effect of suspension is so great on the charged person or others then you need an experienced soliciothelp.
We have a successful track record of challenging traffic matters for our clients. Likewise, we have successfully appealed cases of hardship caused by licence suspension – particularly when dependents and livelihood are involved – by overturning or greatly reducing the period of suspension.
If you, or someone close to you, has been charged with an offense and arrested, contact a solicitor as soon as possible — no matter the time of day or night. Besides legal advice and representation, a good solicitor is the best resource for applying for, and achieving bail.
Achieving bail allows a return to your family, to work or business, to normal life, and makes preparing for your court appearance easier.
Achieving bail can sometimes be straightforward, particularly for what are termed “minor charges” but can also be difficult to achieve in some circumstances. Failure to achieve bail at the first attempt, as well as being distressing, will make subsequent applications much more difficult and time-consuming.
The amount of bail required and the bail conditions imposed on you can be lessened if the proper solicitor prepared application is made.
The dedicated team at Baldock Stacy & Niven are experienced lawyers who understand the criminal system and can successfully navigate you through the stressful and sometimes difficult criminal law processes.
There is no charge too minor or too serious that we cannot deal with.
When you need a case to be made for you
The material in this information page is a general guide only and is not a replacement for legal or other advice. No person should act or not act solely on the basis of this information sheet. It is not legal advice and your possession of this information sheet does not create a client/lawyer relationship. If you would like to discuss your particular circumstances please contact Baldock Stacy & Niven.