Our client is a 27-year-old stay at home mother from Sydney’s inner west.
She was 8 months pregnant when she drove to a corner shop to buy chocolate to satisfy her cravings, despite being disqualified from driving.
She was pulled over by police and foolishly provided a friend’s licence. Police saw that the licence bore no resemblance, and charged her with a further count of ‘Driving Whilst Disqualified, and also with ‘Unlawfully Possessing Australian Driver Licence’.
She was initially unrepresented and sent a medical certificate to the court requesting an adjournment. However, the Magistrate imposed a conviction in her absence and issued a warrant for her arrest.
She then sought our advice.
Our client’s traffic record showed that over the last 18 months, she received three convictions for similar offences. She was also subject to a Habitual Offender Declaration.
As she had been convicted in her absence, she was also not entitled to a discount for an early plea of guilty.
Despite this, our lawyers made compelling sentencing submissions to the effect that a further disqualification period would significantly impact on her future employment prospects and ability to care for her infant.
The Magistrate was ultimately persuaded to award her a ‘section 10’ for both offences, which means that she avoids further convictions and a further licence disqualification. The Magistrate also quashed the further Habitual Offender Declaration.