Road Rage Incident – Good Behaviour Bond Without Conviction

Our client was charged with several offences as a result of separate police investigations. These offences were:

What is alleged to have occured?
The facts alleged were that our client, in what might be characterised as a “road rage” incident, had spat upon the complainant. It was further alleged that our client was verbally abusive and had behaved aggressively. These allegations gave rise to the offence of Unlawful Assault.

What happened at court?
We handled this case and represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Through a process of negotiation with the police, the most serious charge of Threat to Kill was downgraded to a charge of Use Telecommunications to Harass. This came about because what was alleged to have been said by our client could not, at law (having regard to the relationship of the parties and the circumstances of the incident), amount to a Threat to Kill. The allegation of Unlawful Assault involved a separate complainant and did not resolve.

Our client had no prior court history. He had indicated an early plea of guilty for most of the offences save for the offence of Unlawful Assault (which went to a contested hearing).

Some favourable facts emerged from the running of the contested hearing for the Unlawful Assault, which would not have been possible had the case proceeded as a plea of guilty. Our client had a compelling backstory to tell as to why, in the absence of any prior court history, he became involved in the offences. Our client was just 20 years old at the time of the offences. The court recognises that modified principles apply when sentencing young offenders.

Our client also had good family support, which further supported his prospects for rehabilitation. The courts will always denounce instances of road rage in strong terms, and this is usually conveyed to the broader community by recording a conviction for the offending. Our client’s age and lack of offending history and the remorse he had shown were important determinants of the outcome in this particular case.

What was the result?
The most serious indictable offence of Threat to Kill was downgraded and a less serious offence (Use Telecommunications to Harass) was substituted.

After the contested hearing, our client was found guilty of the offence and the remaining 5 offences (from the previously resolved cases) then proceeded as a plea of guilty. Our client received without conviction outcomes for all offences and, through a combination of state and federal penalties (Use Telecommunications to Harass is a federal offence), was able to avoid conviction. He was released on a good behaviour bond.
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 06/07/2016