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How to get a Section 10, now a Section 10 Dismissal or Conditional Release Order, for a Drink Driving Case

Video Transcript

Today we’re talking about how to maximise your chances of getting a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order for a drink driving case.

What is a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order?

A section 10 dismissal or conditional release order is when you’re guilty of drink driving but the magistrate chooses not to disqualify you or to impose a criminal conviction upon you.

So it’s really the holy grail of results when you are going to plead guilty to a drink driving charge.

Now here are the five steps to maximise your chances.

The first is to enrol in a traffic offender program and to complete that program.

Now what’s a traffic offender program?

It is a program that is run throughout New South Wales and various PCYCs and other locations, normally runs for six or eight weeks and you attend one night per week.

It really teaches you about the dangers of drink driving, it shows you footage and pictures of people who’ve been in collisions, and you know the disastrous consequences of drink driving and so on and so forth.

The good thing about the traffic offender program is once you complete it at the end the program your convener will fax a letter to the court confirming that you’ve completed the program and showing the input that you gave throughout the program.

He might say that you completed the program satisfactorily, you understood the consequences of drink driving, and that you’re unlikely to ever, ever do this again.

Things like that.

So whatever input you give during the program can be recorded and it can be sent to the court.

So that’s the first step.

The second step is to obtain character references, one is good, two is better, three is best.

So character references from people who are close to you.

Normally the best ones are from colleagues or your superior at work, because your superior at work can talk about the consequences of a criminal conviction upon your job and losing your license the consequences of that.

So you may not be able to travel from place to place during the work day and so on and so forth.

So one’s good, three is the best.

The character reference guide is available on our website.

So you just go on there and print it out, and if you have a lawyer, your lawyer can assist you with that.

That is he/she can review it and can make suggestions and so on and so forth.

Obviously they can’t write it for you, but can really help you with that.

Now the character reference can also show the magistrate that you’ve admitted this to people close to you, you’ve accepted responsibility, you’re unlikely to do it again, and so on and so forth, your remorseful etc, etc.

So up to three.

The third thing you can do is to draft a letter of apology.

Now that letter of apology is addressed to your honour and again it talks about the fact that you now understand how dangerous your conduct was and that you fully appreciate the fact that you’re lucky not to injure other road users, or yourself, or people were in the car so on and so forth.

You should not make excuses for your actions of course or to really say anything that justifies what you’ve done.

You’ve got to accept responsibility during that letter of apology, and you can however communicate to the to the magistrate that if you do get a criminal conviction or lose your license that will have disastrous consequences on your career and family and on other things such as your travel plans and so on and so forth.

You can say that in the letter of apology.

So that’s the third step.

The fourth is to enter a plea of guilty on the first court date.

Now if you do enter a plea of guilty on the first court date you’re entitled to what’s called a maximum discount.

Essentially what that means is your treated more leniently then if you were not to enter a plea of guilty on the first available opportunity.

So say that you’ve been enrolled into a traffic offender program before you come to court on the first court day, you can still have the matter adjourned until after you complete that program and come back to the court for sentencing six or eight weeks down the track and the court will then have the letter from the traffic offender program, will have your character references, will have your letter of apology and in the letter of apology you can also talk about the program itself and perhaps which lecture had the most impact upon you.

Video transcription by YouTube

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