s the holy grail of results to a drink driving charge – a section 10 allows a Magistrate or Judge to exercise discretion and to not convict you of the offence or disqualify your licence. We have won many section 10’s for drink driving clients across Courts in Sydney and New South Wales however they are not a right or an entitlement by any means.
Before asking your Lawyer if you may get a section 10 for your drink driving charge, it is really important to first understand what a section 10 is (and what it is not). A section 10 is aimed at giving leniency to people who have committed trivial offences and who are of good character.
Trivial offences are situations like driving through a red light when someone was standing in the middle of the road deliberately distracting you or parking on a footpath because your child was in the car being sick. Whilst you have technically committed the offence, if you plead guilty a Court takes into consideration the circumstances, your character and can give you a section 10.
With close to 400 deaths on NSW roads in the last year with 20% resulting from drink driving, it is a very serious criminal offence that courts struggle to deal with. With these statistics in mind, it is not hard to see why receiving a section 10 for a drink driving charge is not the norm and Magistrates all across the State take a dim view of such offending.
A key focus of Magistrates in determining if they want to give you a section 10 is your character. In deciding if you are of good character – a Magistrate may look at your criminal and traffic records, your work and non-work commitments as well as circumstances around why you were drink driving. Completing a traffic offenders course can also assist a Magistrate with their decision making.
Magistrates have a tough time balancing all of the above factors due to the rising number of fatal and non-fatal drink driving cases coming through the courts. It is important you speak to an experienced Drink Driving Lawyer so you are represented in the best way possible.
Have you or someone you know been charged with drink driving? It is important to seek legal advice immediately to discuss how to best plead your case.
With 30+ years experience as a Northern Beaches DUI Lawyer – I can appear in courts all over Sydney and beyond. Give me a call now on 02 8052 3322 to discuss minimising the damage to your licence.
Jim Maspero Solicitor