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What is Skye’s Law?

Video Transcript

This video is called what is Skye’s law.

Now Skye’s law is an amendment to the Crimes Act that was introduced by the New South Wales Parliament after 19 month old Skye Sassine was tragically killed by being hit by two armed robbers when they were driving to evade police.

Now it’s contained in section 51 capital B of the crimes act and it’s also referred to as police pursuit.

Now in order for someone to be found guilty of Sky’s law three things must be proved by the prosecution.

The first is that they knew or reasonably have known that police were pursuing them.

The second thing is that they did not stop.

The third and final thing is that they then drove in a manner or at a speed that’s dangerous or drove recklessly.

Those three things must be proved beyond reasonable doubt for someone to be found guilty of Sky’s law.

Now the penalties for Skye’s law offences are as follows.

For a first offence there is a maximum prison penalty of three years, there is also what’s called an automatic period of disqualification of three years.

That automatic period of disqualification for a first offence can be reduced by the court down to a minimum of twelve months.

For a second or subsequent offence the maximum prison sentence goes up to five years.

So it’s a very serious offence, must be treated very, very seriously.

Now if you’re charged with police pursuit you should see a criminal lawyer whose experienced in these cases because that lawyer can write to the police, can advise police that they cannot prove one or more of the three essential elements beyond reasonable doubt, they can ask police to either completely withdraw the charge or to reduce the charge down to a less serious charge, such as speeding by more than 45 kilometres an hour or reckless driving as the case may be.

Now if you want to plead guilty to a Skye’s law offence or to a driving offence and you go to an experienced traffic lawyer they can also fight for you to get the minimum period of this disqualification or to even get you what’s called a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order.

Now a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order is where you’re guilty of a Skye’s law charge or another type of charge and the magistrate does not impose a criminal conviction against you, does not impose a licence disqualification, does not impose a fine, but because of various circumstances deals with you without a conviction, without a disqualification, without a fine.

Now in order to give yourself a chance of getting a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order, I would recommend that you do a number of things.

The first is you should consider doing what’s called a traffic offender program.

Now a traffic offender program is a program run for six to eight weeks by various police citizens youth clubs around Sydney and New South Wales, and you go there once a week and you learn about the dangers of this type of behaviour.

The second thing you might want to do is get together some character references, so it shows that you admit your offence to the court and it shows that you’re serious about preventing this from occurring in the future.

The third is you may wish to draft what’s called a letter of apology.

Now precedence for all three of those things, that is for character references, for letters of apology, and also a list of traffic offender programs are available on our website.

Now if you do want to defend a charge of Skye’s law, or police pursuit then your lawyer again can write to police, request the withdrawal of the charges.

If they refuse to do so you should have an experienced lawyer to fight against those challenges in court as that will give you the best prospects of success.

Now if you wish to have a free first conference with an experienced traffic lawyer at Sydney Criminal Lawyers® you can call us 24 7 on 02 9261 8881.

Video transcription by YouTube

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