As a result of increased attention on traffic offences in the media, the law has recently cracked down on ‘street racing’ and ‘hooning.’
The law contains a very broad definition of ‘street racing,’ which refers to conduct such as:
- A race between vehicles on a road
- Attempts to break a vehicle speed record on a road
- Any trial of a vehicle on a road
- Any competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle driver or the reliability or mechanical condition of any vehicle on the road.
- Organising, promoting or taking part in any of the above conduct.
Because of the serious consequences that may result, it’s important to get the right lawyers on your side to give you a strong defence in your street racing matter.
As Sydney’s traffic law specialists, our expert lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in street racing matters and fight hard to have the charges dropped early on in the proceedings.
Read on to find out how we can help you win your street racing case.
Your Options in Court
Pleading Not Guilty
It can be incredibly frustrating being charged with street racing, especially as there is the potential for you to lose your vehicle for a lengthy amount of time if your are found guilty.
However, there are several ways in which you can fight the charges to be found ‘not guilty.’
One way is by showing that police do not have sufficient evidence to prove the offence.
This means that before you can be found guilty, police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Organised, promoted or took part in a race between vehicles OR
- That you organised, promoted or took part in an attempt to break any vehicle speed record OR
- That you organised, promoted or took part in any trial of the speed of a vehicle OR
- That you organised, promoted or took part in a competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle driver, or about the reliability or mechanical condition of any vehicle.
The police only need to prove one of these categories for you to be found guilty of the offence.
However, if you don’t feel that the police are about to prove one of these categories, you might want to discuss the option of pleading ‘not guilty’ with our highly experienced traffic lawyers.
We have the knowledge and experience necessary to give you the best possible advice when it comes to fighting the charges, and in many cases we are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by carefully examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case.
Should your matter proceed to court, our exceptional advocates can help you present any evidence to prove your side of the story, along with any defences which explain your actions.
Defences that you may be able to use include where you were coerced or threatened into street racing – this is also known as duress.
If you are willing to accept the charges against you, you can choose to enter a plea of ‘guilty.’ You will then be sentenced, which is where the magistrate or judge determines the appropriate penalty.
Often, pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings is a good idea, as it shows the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.
This can help persuade the magistrate to give you a lighter penalty than you otherwise would have got if you had been found guilty by the court.
However, before entering a plea, you should speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options – including whether you can fight the charges and be found ‘not guilty.’
Our experienced lawyers have extensive experience fighting street racing matters and can help you secure a lenient penalty for you if you end up pleading guilty.
You may also be wondering what kinds of penalties you could face if you plead guilty
|Available Penalties||First Offence||Second or Subsequent Offence|
|Maximum court imposed fine||$3,300||$3,300|
|Maximum gaol term||N/A||9 months|
|Maximum disqualification period||unlimited||unlimited|
|Automatic disqualification period||12 months||12 months|
|Other penalties that can be imposed||
If you are the owner of the vehicle: Your vehicle may be clamped and impounded for up to 3 months.
If you are not the owner of the vehicle: The court can issue a ‘suspension warning notice’ to the owner of the vehicle warning them that if the vehicle is used in a second offence, the vehicle’s registration can be suspended for up to 3 months.
If you are the owner of the vehicle: Your vehicle may be forfeited to the government and sold, or used in crash testing.
If you are not the owner of the vehicle: If it is the second offence in five years, the vehicle’s registration can be suspended for up to 3 months. If it is the third offence in five years, the vehicle can be forfeited to the government and used in crash testing.
While these penalties may seem harsh, it’s important to remember that they are maximum penalties – meaning that they will only apply in the most serious cases.
It will be up to the magistrate to determine the appropriate penalty based on the facts and circumstances of your case – so it is important to ensure that you are being represented by an experienced traffic lawyer.
Our defence team has considerable experience presenting compelling sentencing submissions and will focus on all the positive facts of your case to maximise your chances of securing a lenient penalty.
In certain cases, we may be able to persuade the magistrate to deal with the matter by way of a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order – meaning that you will not receive a conviction or fine or be disqualified from driving.
Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?
Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with.
Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:
- Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results – Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases. Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial. Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.
- Highest Level of Client Satisfaction – We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia. Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities. We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.
- Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm – We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running. The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.
- Fixed Fees – We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004. We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.
- Free First Appointment – For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers. We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.
- Specialist Lawyer Guarantee – We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court. This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.
- All NSW Courts – From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases. And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.
- Accredited Specialists
– Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists. All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005. An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field. Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.
- Results-Focused Law Firm – Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet. The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’. Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.
- Team of Lawyers Behind You – Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide. Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes. A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.
- Familiar with Magistrates and Judges – Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state. Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.
- Convenience – We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:
- the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
- Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
- Parramatta, near the justice precinct.
We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.
For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.
If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at email@example.com.