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No Criminal Record Despite Pleading Guilty to Skye’s Law

RELATED TO: Police Pursuits, Reckless Driving, Speeding Offences, Penalties for Traffic Offences
TRAFFIC CASE

Our client is a dentist in rural NSW.

She is often required to attend several clinics in different areas on any one day.

She was rushing from one clinic to another at 150kp/h when police activated their lights and siren to pull her over. She panicked and accelerated to 216kp/h, leading police on a 3 kilometre pursuit, before pulling over.

She admitted knowing police were behind her and accelerating away, and was charged with ‘police pursuit’, ‘drive recklessly/manner dangerous’ and ‘speed by more than 45kp/h’.

Our defence team had the reckless driving and speeding charges withdrawn, and our client pleaded guilty to a single count of ‘police pursuit’. We also had the police ‘facts’ significantly amended, including the deletion of any reference to her weaving around other cars.

Her matter was then adjourned for a sentencing hearing. In preparation for the sentencing, our lawyers engaged a psychologist to prepare a report which explained the enormous stress our client was under in the weeks preceding the incident, and on the morning very morning it occurred. It also detailed her shame and remorse for having committed the offence, and the fact her actions were impulsive and committed out of panic.

We also assisted her in obtaining references and letters attesting to her invaluable contributions to local rural communities, including work she had undertaken free-of-charge for those who could not afford her services, and the enormous impact that a loss of licence would have on her and the communities she services.

Lengthy submissions were made in court relating to those and other matters, which ultimately convinced the magistrate to order a section 10(1)(b) bond in her favour – which means she has no criminal record and keeps her licence. This is despite a number of speeding and other matters being recorded on her driving history.

The case is the only recorded section 10 for a ‘Skye’s law’ matter in NSW.

Our client is able to remain conviction-free and continue to service regional communities in NSW.

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