Possess Cocaine, Drive Whilst Disqualified, Unlawful Assault Case Study
Updated: Jul 3
(1) Possess a drug of dependence namely cocaine; (2) Commit an indictable offence whilst of bail; (3) Dive a motor vehicle whilst disqualified; (4) Fail to wear a seatbelt properly adjusted and fastened; (5) Unlawful assault; and (6) Behave in an insulting manner.
Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court – June 2023.
Summary of facts
Our client had several charges before the Court as listed above. Our client was involved in a verbal argument with the complainant in a shopping centre car park. The altercation was captured on a dashcam depicting the image and sound, where it was alleged that our client attempted to goad the victim into a physical altercation. The dashcam footage also revealed our client driving a motor vehicle during a period of disqualification and that he was not wearing a seatbelt while driving.
In a separate incident, it was alleged that our client was found in possession of cocaine on a night out with friends. Since our client was released on bail to attend Court for other matters, he was found to have breached his conditions of bail.
In addition to the above, our client was previous sentences to a Community Correction Order (CCO) and the allegations occurred during the period of the Order.
We requested the brief of evidence for all his cases. Our advice to our client was that the prosecution case for all charges was strong and accordingly our collective efforts were better spent in mitigating the penalty.
What happened at Court?
Our client instructed our office to plead guilty. Given he had other matters not listed on the same date, a case abridgment was organised with the Court to have all matters heard together.
Following successful case conference discussions, all alternative charges were withdrawn by the Prosecution. In court, submissions were made regarding the mitigating factors to the alleged offending.
Although our client breached his CCO, it was respectfully recommended by Corrections that the breach be proven, and his Order be cancelled with no further action. This was attributed to the fact that the majority of the conditions were satisfied in that, he engaged in treatment for substance abuse or dependency, completed a road trauma awareness program, and completed most of the unpaid community work hours.
Although the charge of driving whilst disqualified does not carry a mandatory cancellation period, the presiding Magistrate may at his or her discretion, impose a further period of disqualification. It was respectfully submitted that no further Order be made in regard to his Driver’s Licence. Given our client has a prior criminal history for the same offence, the presiding Magistrate indicated that he would impose a further period of disqualification for the purpose of punishment and deterrence.
The presiding Magistrate was persuaded not the impose a further CCO given our submissions and imposed the following sentence:
With conviction, a financial penalty of $2,500 is to be paid to Fines Victoria;
Driver’s Licence cancelled and disqualified for three (3) months;
Breach of the CCO was proven, and the Order was cancelled with no further action.
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