Pleading Guilty to a Drink Driving Offence
What Will Happen in Court?
In a guilty plea, your lawyer from Armstrong Legal will confirm that you are pleading guilty to the Magistrate in your presence. The prosecutor will tender some documents (fact sheet, traffic record, criminal record) to the Magistrate. References will be handed up and your lawyer will make submissions after the Magistrate has read what the prosecutor and your lawyer have handed to the court.
Stand up when the Magistrate is speaking to you and refer to the Magistrate as your honor. The Magistrate will usually make a decision and impose a sentence. It is unlikely that you will have to speak at any time during your sentence. If you are asked a question by the Magistrate, you should respond honestly to the questions. Your lawyer will assist with all processes.
If you are unhappy with the decision do not argue with the Magistrate or pass comment. Speak with your lawyer outside the court room about your rights to appeal.
The Magistrate will consider the facts presented by the police and the submissions made by you or your lawyer when deciding the appropriate penalty to be imposed. The Magistrate may decide to deal with your matter immediately or may want to adjourn your matter for a pre-sentence report or to refer you to a traffic offender program.
Following is a list of penalties that could be imposed by the court:
- Section 10 (matter proven but dismissed) – no criminal conviction and no loss of licence
- Good behaviour bond – A bond to be of good behaviour
- Community service order – Unpaid work in the community
- Suspended sentence – A gaol sentence suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond
- Periodic detention – Part time gaol either mid week or weekend detention
- Home detention – A gaol sentence served at your home
- Gaol – Full time custody in a correctional centre
WHERE TO NEXT?
In NSW, traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.