OUR RECENT COURT OUTCOMES

Police Charge: Drug possession (23 grams of marijuana)

Who: Young male, just about to start studying for his dream career!

Why: Police sniffer dogs found the drugs during a routine search of our client’s car while he was entering the camping area of a music festival.

Outcome: Our client was sentenced under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. That means NO conviction, and a 12-month good behaviour bond.

How: This was a tricky one, because – the drugs weren’t his! We explained to Her Honour our client had no knowledge of the drugs. Her Honour considered on our client’s young age, cooperation with the police, excellent character, early guilty plea and his need for a clear criminal record for his chosen career.


Police Charges: Numerous charges, including Common Assault and Destroy/Damage Property.

Who: Young male, mentor to younger children and all round pillar of his community.

Why: Our client’s mother made allegations to Police about our client’s behaviour following an argument between the parties.

Outcome: The Police withdrew all but one charge against our client. In the Local Court, His Honour sentenced our client under section 9(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. This meant that a conviction was recorded against our client. Our client’s appeal to the District Court was upheld, his sentenced overturned and he was resentenced under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. That means NO conviction was recorded, and he was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

How: His Honour paid attention to our client’s excellent character references, including from well-known musicians, solicitors and a clergy man. During sentencing, he reminded our client of his obligations to his community and to be a role model to those who look up to him.


Police Charge: Drive while suspended

Who: Suspended young female driver, at the very end of her 3 month suspension period.

Why: Drove 6 minutes from home to a train station during a demerit point licence suspension.

Outcome: Sentenced under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. That means NO conviction, and a 12-month good behaviour bond.

How: We relied on our client’s need for a license. She helps her single mother out by driving her siblings to and from school, as well as attending work and University. His Honour reminded our client of the dangers of driving without a license, referring to the devastating 2017 crash caused by a driver without a license, which killed the entire Falkholt family.


AVO application: The Police applied for an Apprehended Violence Order protecting our client’s boyfriend from her.

Who: A middle-aged female during a breakup with her long-term partner.

Why: Feelings boiled over between our client and her partner, leading to the Police attending their house.

Outcome: The AVO was withdrawn.

How: With the help of the Police, the parties reconciled, and both sought psychological treatment. This was a good reminder that arguments can quickly escalate, and the Police (rightly so) will seek a protection order in lots of different circumstances.


AVO application: Both parties applied for cross Apprehended Violence Orders.

Who: A couple having an ongoing feud with a man they saw frequently at the local dog park.

Why: Feelings boiled over during an ongoing grudge between strangers.

Outcome: Both parties withdrew their applications and entered into Undertakings to the court to comply with the orders as worded in the AVO applications.

How: Thanks to some negotiating with a very able solicitor on the other party’s side, the matter was resolved speedily.


Police Charge: Drug possession (1 tablet of MDMA)

Who: Young male student

Why: Caught by sniffer dogs trying to sneak it into a music festival.

Outcome: Sentenced under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. That means NO conviction, and a 12-month good behaviour bond.

How: We relied on our client’s young age, cooperation with the police, excellent character, early guilty plea and his need for a clear criminal record for his chosen career. His Honour explained to our client that purchasing illicit drugs meant giving money to illegal gangs, and taking drugs was similar to playing Russian roulette.


Police Charges: Drug Possession (half of a gram of cocaine)

Who: A budding young fashion designer from Sydney.

Why: Our client was apprehended trying to gain entry to a music festival. Police sniffer dogs caught our client, who the Police noted ‘appeared anxious’.

Outcome: Our client came to us after representing herself at the Local Court plea, where she had received a conviction. We represented her in the appeal to the District Court. Her appeal was upheld, her sentenced overturned and she was resentenced under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. That means NO conviction was recorded, and she was placed on a 2-year good behaviour bond.

How: His Honour was extremely lenient, noting our client’s excellent character, cooperation with police, that she immediately surrendered the drugs and made full admissions.


Police Charges: (1) Common Assault and (2) Destroy/Damage Property

Who: A young female who alleged she was the victim of ongoing psychological, financial and verbal violence at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

Why: During the breakup of the parties’ relationship, our client and her boyfriend had a physical fight, and she burned his property. The evidence suggested she had started the fight by sending antagonistic text messages to his new girlfriend.

Outcome: Our client was sentenced under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. That means NO conviction, and a 2 year good behaviour bond.

How: We explained to His Honour the history of the parties’ relationship, including our client’s allegations of being the victim of domestic violence. We also submitted lots of evidence about our client’s attempts to rehabilitate herself, including getting psychological treatment, attending anger management classes, applying for a job and looking for accommodation. This was only possible with the help of the Regional Youth Support Service, who referred our client to some fantastic services. His Honour considered the appropriate sentence for our client for a long while, having her wait until after the court lunch break. Our client was extremely relieved when His Honour exercised his leniency. 

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