Drug Driving – s 111 Road Transport Act (NSW)
Facing a drug driving charge can prevent you from driving, travelling and getting or maintaining a job. Our drug driving lawyers are seniors, with over 20 years experience in achieving section 10 non convictions for countless of their clients, allowing them to continue driving and remain criminal record free.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can only be guilty of drug driving if police can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the following elements:
- You drove a vehicle, or sat in the driver seat and attempting to turn the engine on; and
- You had Ecstasy, Speed, THC, Morphine or Cocaine in your oral fluid, blood or urine.
You will be not guilty, and your charge dismissed, if police are unable to prove any one of the above 2 elements of the offence.
Defences to this charge
You are Not Guilty if:
- The drugs in your system were prescribed to you by your Doctor for medical purposes i.e. Paracetamol, codeine or morphine.
- You were forced to drive due to coercion or threat, or you drove to avoid serious harm or injury.
Your drug driving charge will be dismissed if any of the above defences apply to your case. It doesn’t matter that you were not actually effected by the drug while driving. It simply needs to be found in your body for this offence to be committed.
Speak to experienced senior drug driving lawyers for advice to strength any defences available to you early. Our team are specialists, with a proven success record, of getting charges dropped early if your case has a defence.
Pleading guilty to drug driving can have serious consequences of loosing your licence, job, getting a criminal record, and affecting your travel and family. See the below important points on how to best prepare your case to achieve a s10, to avoid a criminal record and licence disqualification after pleading guilty.
25% Discount on punishment
Pleading guilty to drug driving at an early enough stage of your case will result in the Judge giving you a 25% discount on your punishment. This results in a better chance at avoiding a criminal record and loss of licence.
The later a plea of guilty is entered, the less discount you get. For this reason, its critical to get early enough advice on your case.
Traffic Offenders Program
Your court result can be significantly improved, with a better chance at a s10 non conviction, if you complete the traffic offenders program for your drug driving offence. Our team of lawyers will guide you to enrolling in the right accredited course recognised by the courts.
Good character references
Getting the right letters from family, friends, charity, letter of apology from you, and letter from your employer can significantly improve your court result to avoid a loss of licence and criminal record.
The best way to achieve this is usually to ensure your letters express your need for a licence, the effect of criminal conviction on your role, your good character, remorse, insight and shame.
Negotiate to drop charges
By knowing the police evidence, being able to point out the holes in it, you can use this to negotiate with police to drop charges early. This is what our team specialises in doing with success for countless clients over the years.
Knowing the evidence, picking the holes in it, and tactfully negotiate with police can lead to convincing police to successfully change the police set of facts to something more favourable to you, resulting often in a much better result.
The police facts is read by the Judge expressing your offending behaviour, the way you drove, what you said to police, police observations of your behaviour. This can often be one sided, painting the worst possible picture of you, leading to a heavier punishment. To put a stop to this, our team of lawyers can change those facts.
Getting and using a powerful court report from an experienced and respected psychologist or psychiatrist for the Judge to read can, and often does, drastically improve your outcome in court. It can significantly improves the chances of a s10, avoiding a conviction and loss of licence.
For best chances at this, the report should express your mental state of mind at the time, remorse, insight and embarrassment for your actions. Our senior lawyers will guide you to seeing the best suited expert to your case.
If this is your first offence, the maximum penalty for drug driving is a fine of up to $1,100.
If this is the second time in the last 5 years you committed the offence of drug driving, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $2,200.
If you have no previous major offence, such as drug driving or drink driving, in the last 5 years, the automatic disqualification period is 6 months, with a choice for the Judge to reduce this to a minimum of 3 months.
If you have committed a major offence such as drug or drink driving in the last 5 years, the automatic disqualification period of 1 year, with a choice to have this reduced to a minimum of 6 months.
It’s important to know that the maximum punishments are rarely given, and usually only given to the most serious cases.
Types of penalties
The Judge can give you any one of the below types of punishment which also depend on how well you prepare and present your case:
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Conditional Release Order
- Community Correction Order
- Intensive Correction Order
- Full Time Imprisonment
Speak to one of our leading drug driving lawyers for realistic and practical advice to getting the best chances at a section 10 non conviction to avoid a criminal record while keeping your licence. Known as one of the best in Australia, our senior traffic lawyers know exactly how to carefully prepare and powerfully present your case to explain your need for a licence, and effect of a criminal conviction on your job and family.