Serious Driving Charges appealed
The client was charged with a total of 28 charges in relation to a car chase spanning from Croydon through to Bayswater and ending in Boronia. Initially the client was dealt with quite sternly in the Magistrates Court and required experienced appeal lawyers to represent him in the County Court.
Example of a appeal regarding serious driving charges
This case was particularly difficult as it involved a police pursuit and 2 civilian cars were damaged as a result.
The client had a prior history of drink driving and other serious driving offences. She had previously been to gaol for causing her baby injury whilst drink driving. The client instructed that in the weeks leading up to the incident, she had experienced hallucinations and developed extreme paranoia. This developed into an irrational fear that the police were out to get her and that she was in grave danger.
After the arrest, the client’s condition was such that she was treated by a psychiatric nurse and anti-psychotic drugs were administered. Our office arranged for the client to be assessed by both a psychologist and a psychiatrist, who independently verified the client’s unstable mental health.
The matter originally proceeded as a plea of guilty at the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court whereby the client was sentenced to a 12 month immediate term of imprisonment. This decision was appealed and brought before a Judge at the County Court in Melbourne.
Result of appeal
We submitted that due to the client’s condition:
1. The client’s moral culpability was reduced, as the condition impaired her ability to exercise appropriate judgement;
2. That the sentencing principle of “general deterrence” should not apply to the same extent as it would a person in normal mental health;
3. A term of imprisonment would weigh more heavily on the client than a person in normal mental health.
After a lengthy submissions, the judge re-sentenced the client to 24 month Community Corrections Order for a period of 24 months. This meant that the client did not have to go to gaol immediately and could avoid gaol completely.
This was an outstanding outcome which highlights the results that can be achieved with meticulous preparation.