Pleading Not Guilty
Pleading not guilty to a drug driving charge means that it is up to the prosecution to prove that you were driving with drugs in your system. If you are sure that you were not driving with drugs present in your system, you can plead not guilty and defend the matter in court. You can also beat a charge if you were ‘honestly and reasonably mistaken’ about the fact drugs were in your system – in other words, if you genuinely believed on a reasonable basis that drugs were never, or were no longer, in your bloodstream.
The drug tests used by police are notoriously unreliable, and they can show up positive days after an alleged offender has taken any drugs. Also, there are certain procedures that police must undergo when testing a person for drugs, and if you can show that they have gone against procedure when obtaining the evidence against you, you could have the charges withdrawn. And as outlined, there is also the legal defence of honest and reasonable mistake.
If you decide to plead guilty to a charge of drug driving, you may be able to obtain a ‘section 10 dismissal or conditional release order’, which is a finding of guilt with no conviction. If you get a non conviction order, you won’t have to face disqualification, or pay a fine, and you won’t end up with a criminal record. Pleading guilty can also help you get a more lenient sentence, especially when you can also demonstrate remorse, and show that you have taken steps to address your reasons for offending.
Drug driving is a criminal offence and comes with a criminal conviction. The maximum penalty for a first drug driving offence is a $1,100 fine, and disqualification from driving for six months. For the second or subsequent offence, penalties increase to a fine of $2,200 and a twelve-month disqualification. Other penalties you face for a drug driving conviction include: – Good behaviour bonds – Community service orders
Penalties, particularly the disqualification period, can be decreased at the magistrate’s discretion. If you have an experienced criminal lawyer defending you, it can make a big difference to the outcome of your drug driving matter.
Why Sydney Drug Lawyers?
If you’ve been charged with drug driving, our expert drug lawyers can help you obtain the best possible result.
With years of experience fighting and winning drug driving cases, our lawyers have the knowledge and skills you need when it comes to getting a favourable outcome in your case. We know the best ways to defend drug driving charges – for example, by proving that police did not comply with certain procedures while carrying out the drug test.
Get Sydney’s drug law experts on your side – call us today on (02) 9264 5778 and let us help you win your drug driving case.
Recent Drug Driving Cases
He was pulled over by police after it was alleged that he was veering between lanes without indicating.
Police then alleged that they smelt cannabis inside the vehicle when speaking to our client.
When asked about the smell, our client admitted that he had smoked cannabis prior to being pulled over by police.
He also handed over a joint that was inside the car.
Police conveyed out client to hospital where blood and urine samples were taken from him. The samples revealed that our client had high concentrations of THC in his blood and urine.
In court, our highly experienced drug lawyers argued that our client suffered from various medical problems, such as severe hernia pain.
It was argued that if his licence were disqualified, our client would be unable to attend medical appointments, and further, catching public transport would be difficult due to the severity of the pain suffered.
Our lawyers also argued that our client used cannabis as a form of pain relief, rather than for recreational purposes.
Despite the strength of the case against our client, as well as his lengthy driving record, our drug law specialists were able to persuade the magistrate to impose a ‘section 10.’
This means that while our client was found guilty of the offence, the charges will be not recorded on his criminal record.
It also means that he avoids having his licence disqualified.
This fantastic outcome means that our client is able to continue working and travelling without the charges severely impacting his life.
Our drug lawyers regularly represent clients in DUI cases and have a proven track record of obtaining excellent results such as ‘section 10s.’
Articles on Drug Driving
- Magistrate Dismisses Drug Driving Charge for Medicinal Cannabis User
- Cannabis and Driving: The Unfairness of NSW Drug Driving Laws
- Cannabis Legalisation Must be Accompanied By Overhaul of Drug Driving Laws