Appeal Against Sentence – Success, No Conviction

This is a case study on a successful conviction appeal for Theft, Criminal Damage, and Unlawful Assault.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was working as a taxi driver. He had three female passengers but only had a $50 note to pay. An argument occurred over the method of payment as our client did not have sufficient payment. The female passenger in the front seat indicated that on this basis she did not have to pay.

Our client stopped the passenger from leaving and a struggle occurred where it was alleged that our client struck the victim to the head causing her to hit her head on the windscreen. It was further alleged that he threw her bag out the window and drove over it causing its contents to be damaged.

What happened at court?
He was charged with:

Our client pleaded guilty to assault and wilful damage in the Magistrates’ Court and was represented by the duty lawyer. He received a fine with conviction.

He approached our office about appealing against conviction and sentence despite the fact that he already pleaded guilty. We represented him at the Melbourne County Court.

We reviewed the taxi footage which frames were taken from three angles in the taxi every third of a second. Lengthy analysis reconstructed the footage to demonstrate a different version of events portrayed by the victims and witnesses in their statements.

Prior to the appeal, the Crown withdrew the wilful damage charge and amended the summary to withdraw references to our client struggling over money.

What was the result?
The appeal was successful in that our client was fined but, this time, without conviction.

Our client wanted an order without conviction. By properly analysing the brief and footage, we were able to negotiate with the Crown to withdraw one charge and to remove the most aggravating part of the summary being the allegation that he struck the victim. We were able to convince the Judge to impose a without conviction fine rather than conviction.

The client came to us for a specific result and we were able to achieve that result for him.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 31/03/2015