Exceed PCA 49(1)(b) – Charge Withdrawn
Our client was charged with drink driving with a reading of 0.162 in late 2001. If found guilty, he would be subject to a mandatory minimum licence penalty of 16 months. The police lodged a charge and warrant at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court in July 2002. This warrant was only executed on 20 July 2013 which represented a delay between the charge and his first hearing date of almost 12 years.
Whilst our client changed address multiple times since the offence date, he always advised VicRoads in due time. We provided a copy of the letters from VicRoads in respect of our client’s change of addresses during the said times.
In the said 12-year period, our client also had multiple police checks for employment opportunities, was pulled over by police for traffic infringements, and travelled through international points of departure for holidays overseas. He was never once advised of the outstanding warrant.
If the client was to be found guilty of the offending, the mandatory licence penalty would have had catastrophic consequences to his financial situation and family life. Prior to the warrant being executed, he had moved houses and if he were to lose his licence, he would be unable to drive to work and see his children and would inevitably be unable to meet his mortgage repayments.
We represented the client at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court.
It was put to the Police Prosecution in case conference that the delay of almost 12 years amounted to an abuse of process and they agreed to withdraw the charges. This was an excellent result as the client did not receive a significant licence penalty and was able to continue with his life as planned before the warrant was executed.
The matter was able to be resolved at the first mention date after we drafted a comprehensive email to the Police Prosecution prior to the court date, which outlined the history of the matter, the excessive delay, the numerous consequences to our client should the matter proceed, and why the matter should be withdrawn.
The Police Prosecution were able to make inquiries prior to the court date and were in a position to withdraw the charge on the morning of his first appearance. This saved the client further stress and costs of further court appearances.
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 25/02/2013