Possession of a Drug of Dependence; Drunk in a Public Place. Frankston Magistrates’ Court
The client was at a night club and bought three ecstasy tablets. The client was then asked to leave the night club for being drunk. The client was found by police semi-conscious on a bench outside, and arrested for being drunk in a public place. The client was charged with Possession of a Drug of Dependence and Being Drunk in a Public Place.
The client had no prior criminal history, although he had previously received a caution for possession of cannabis. Our office asked the informant to recommend Diversion. This is a program that provides mainly first time offenders with the opportunity to avoid a criminal record by undertaking conditions that benefit the offender, victim and the community as a whole.
We received the Diversion Notice and had the matter listed at Court for a Diversion Application. On arriving at Court we were told that one of the prosecutors had withdrawn their Diversion recommendation because the client had previously been given a caution for possession of drugs.
We argued that police guidelines had not been followed. Also our client had been cooperative with police, made full admissions and the offending was not overly serious. The fact that the client had received a caution previously was irrelevant. Following those discussions the prosecutor was persuaded, the client was permitted to apply for Diversion and ultimately was successful.
This was a huge win for the client. The difference between a Diversion and a recorded court outcome is enormous. The client escaped with no disclosable record of ever coming to court. Had the client not been represented on the day, he would not have been given a Diversion.