Successful Outcome for Driving Whilst Disqualified
Our solicitor, Stephanie McClelland, represented a 26-year-old male at Parramatta Local Court in relation to the following offence:
- Drive motor vehicle while licence disqualified- prior offence- pursuant to Section 54(1)(a) of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW)
Our client was involved in a vehicle accident as a result of a drink-driving offence in late 2019. He was convicted by Fairfield Local Court for mid-range PCA, and was fined and disqualified for 3 months. He was also directed to participate in an interlocutory program for 12 months. He did not drive during his disqualification period and refrained from driving during his interlock period as he did not have a vehicle to fit the interlock device. Accordingly, our client refrained from driving for 15 months. In March 2021, our client approached a Service NSW centre to register a vehicle and confirm that he could resume driving post-disqualification from November 2019. He was not alerted to the fact that he was disqualified from driving for a further 5 years due to his non-participation in the interlock program. My client further confirmed his eligibility to drive when he called a Service NSW assistance line where he was informed that he could begin driving upon paying and finalising an outstanding fine imposed by the Court in 2019. From his dealings with NSW Police and Service NSW, our client had the belief that he held a valid licence and was permitted to drive.
In April 2021, our client had his vehicle registration checked by police. It was revealed that he was disqualified at this time. Our client spoke to police stating that he was not able to drive for 3-6 months. He was informed that he was required to participate in the alcohol interlock program for the disqualification to be reduced and the process was explained to him. Our client was issued with a Field Court Attendance Notice for the above listed offence.
The Court’s Decision
On sentence, Ms McClelland made submission regarding our client’s acceptance of full responsibility for the consequences of his actions, his personal circumstances including the valuable connections and networks he has been able to make at university and his job since his arrival from overseas, character references which demonstrate our client’s otherwise good character, his initiative for self-rehabilitation including the completion of the Traffic Offenders Rehabilitation Program, and his stable employment.
The Magistrate also accepted submissions in relation to our client’s confusion surrounding the previous disqualification and made an order for a non-conviction. The charge was found proven, however, the Magistrate dismissed the matter without proceeding to conviction. Our client was directed to enter a Conditional Release Order (CRO) to be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months, pursuant to section 9(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This was a favourable outcome.
This case demonstrates the importance of outstanding representation. Stephanie ensured the case was prepared and presented thoroughly and in a way the Court would consider all relevant circumstances in favour of our client on sentence.