#193 Warwick Drug Driving

25 Oct 2021  •  15 Views  •  4 Likes
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Join Wiseman Lawyers Traffic Lawyer Andrew Wiseman at Warwick Magistrates Court as he represents a client charged with multiple offences. Watch Andrew explain what happened in the courtroom, along with the outcome which he achieved and how he achieved it.

All right today, I’m at Warwick Magistrates Court. Client is charged with 15 charges whilst on parole. It’s a bit of a laundry list, so bear with me. There was two counts of disqualified driving, meaning the court had disqualified his licence, and he continued driving anyway. So two counts of that. The problem being though that this was his 12 and 13th charge of disqualified driving, so yeah, 12th and 13th charge of disqualified driving. There was two previous within the last three years, so it was his third and fourth in three years, but 12th and 13th in total. There was also a drug driving, driving whilst relevant drug present. To his credit there was no previous drink or drug driving in his history, but that was the least of his problems, that charge.

What else was there? There was two counts of possessed, dangerous drug, one of possessing ice, one of possessing cannabis. And there was a bunch of possession… utensils, scales, and that type of stuff. What else? There was one of stealing, one of possessed tainted property, and an unregistered uninsured vehicle, et cetera. So 15 charges in total. There’s probably three that were particularly serious, so the two times disqualified driving of the tainted property. As I said, he was on parole already for dishonesty offences. He had extensive criminal history, both drug and dishonesty offending, but it was all intertwined with his… He’s got a drug dependency, so a lot of the times when someone’s got drug history, there’s also dishonesty offences because the dishonesty offences feed the drug habit.

To his credit though, he’s gone, a long way to try and get on top of things. I don’t want to give too much away in this video, but basically he had a difficult upbringing, developed the drug dependency as a result of that. Several years ago cleaned himself up, and climbed his way up the corporate ladder, if I could put it that way. And then when his mum died, he relapsed into drug offending, and he’s basically lost everything in community offending that’s brought him before the court today, and here we are.

So yeah, 15 charges, the two most serious being two counts of disqualified driving, and one count of possessed tainted property. Where do I start? So he was in breach of parole. That’s not a matter for the court, it’s a matter for parole, but it’s an influencing factor on the magistrate today. Generally when you’ve been given jail for previous offending, you don’t get lesser penalties if you keep offending. So jail was always going to be the outcome today. Jail doesn’t always mean actually sitting in a jail. So what we’ll have is different ways that jail can be served, or ordered to be served I should say.

So the more serious form of imprisonment, he’s actually going to jail. One step shy of that is immediate parole, which means technically you’ve got into jail but today’s your first release date, and you’re now on parole. But there was technical reasons why that wasn’t an option today, and I’m not going to go into them now. One step below that is what’s called an Intensive Correction Order. So it’s much the same as parole, but basically it’s a hybrid between parole and probation. It’s like a militarised or regimented probation, if that makes sense. So he’s got to report for a period if he was to be given an Intensive Correction Order, or an ICO as it’s collectively known. And then below that is a wholly suspended sentence, meaning you don’t actually go to jail or do anything, but it hangs over your head for a period. And if you don’t get sentenced for anything, that’s punishable by imprisonment during the period, you won’t go to jail, but if you do, you can go to jail.

And then below that’s probation and fines, but we’re well past that. If you’ve been given jail in the past, they don’t start going backwards. They start, at worst, aggravating the penalties, and at best, not getting any worse, if that makes sense. So even though I had my work cut out for me, my job today was to try to persuade the magistrate not to physically jail my client. He was always going to get some form of imprisonment, but as I’ve just outlined, there’re different ways that that could be served. And my job was to try to persuade the magistrate, to let him to serve imprisonment by way of one of the options that don’t involve him actually going to jail.

This has been dragging on for a while. There was 15 charges, but I think 10 of them originated in Warwick. There was about, maybe eight in Warwick, there was about five in Southport and a few from somewhere else. So I’ve had to try and get charges from various jurisdictions, moved into the one spot, and I moved them to here because simply this is where the bulk of the chargers were. So it’s been adjournment, adjournment, and just, logistically getting everything in the one spot. But today it was listed for a lengthy plea. So normally when you go to court for a drink, driving, whatever, it’s a regular court date and they do what’s called, it’s not called a regular plea, but just called a plea. But if there’s lots of charges or, high risk of jail, the magistrate doesn’t want to deal with it on a busy normal court date, so they’ll list it for a lengthy plea. It just gives everyone the time they need to do whatever they got to do.

As far as preparing goes, I’ve spent quite a bit of time drafting written submissions of not only case law, but his antecedes, him as a person, and what’s gone on in his life, and why this keeps happening, and all the rest of it. We got him to do the Queensland Traffic Offenders Programme that we get everyone to do, which is an online reformatory course that educates people on road trauma and the likes. He was already getting, to his credit, psychological help. So we got him to get the evidence of that. And he was also, of his own volition, basically going to the pharmacist or whatever it is and doing drug urine tests. So he was able to bring three clean drug tests to court with him.

Got references, we’ve got a template we give to our clients, we get them to give to their referees. So they know who to address the references to, and the key points that must be addressed. We don’t groom the referees, but you’ve got to make it clear that this is being used for court, not for a job application. The reference, I mean. Anyway, so quite a bit of effort went into this prior to today. I’m at Warwick, which is about a two hour drive west of Brisbane. Drove up this morning, met the client at court. We grabbed… I don’t you can call it a conference room, there’s a little shoe box near the entrance that we use as a conference room. I ran through the procedure, my submissions, what we can expect the prosecutor to be pushing for, what I’m going to push for, the various directions it could go.

As I said, I did detail written submissions up, so a lot of what I wanted to say was already in writing and supplied to the court previously. And basically today was all about steering those submissions in the right direction, or keeping the matter on track with the written submissions I had previously written and filed with the court. Again, the magistrate was talking about actual custody, and particularly the deterrence effect, and a lot of the client’s history, and ongoing offending. There were submissions made by the prosecutor about the imprisonment options available to the magistrate. And as I said, the magistrate did speak of actual custody.

I obviously, when it was my turn to speak, was vigorous in resisting that, and pushing all the other available options that the magistrate has… I don’t like to say available twice in the same sentence, but I can’t think of any other words, available to him. It went quite well actually, because it was listed for nine o’clock and it’s 11:30 now, and I’m only just leaving court. So it went along longer that I realised, but I guess when you’re on your feet and there’s a bit of arty [barty] Going on, time passes quickly. Anyway, long story short, he didn’t go to jail. So he’s out the front of court waiting for his ride. So he’s not going to jail.

What he was given was… So for the tainted property, he was given the Intensive Correction Order. So he got an eight-month Intensive Correction Order for possessing tainted property. So basically he needs to report a probation-parole and be on a combination, it’s a hybrid between probation and parole, for eight months. So basically reporting and doing whatever testing or counselling they think he should do for eight months. So that was for the possessed tainted property.

For each of the counts of disqualified driving he got a six-month, wholly suspended term of imprisonment. So he got the Intensive Correction Order, plus one term of wholly suspended imprisonment for one disqualified driving, plus another term of wholly suspended imprisonment for the other disqualified driving. So all of those terms of imprisonment don’t involve him actually sitting in a cell, so that’s the imprisonment that he got. So he’s not actually going to jail, but he’s got the eight-month Intensive Correction Order, and two different terms of six months imprisonment, wholly suspended for two years.

What else did he got? He got disqualifications. The minimum is two years for disqualified driving, so two years for each count of disqualified driving. Minimum for relevant drug when you disqualified is three months. So he got that. So two years, two years, three months. He got fines for some of the other offences and he was convicted and further punished for a bunch of other offences. And, convicted and not further punished is exactly what it sounds like. So you’re convicted, but you’re being penalised. The courts do that because, partly it makes it administratively tidier, but also, how many times do you have to bill someone for them to learn their lessons? So they give solid penalties for the serious offences. And then, I guess, roll the penalty for the other ones into that penalty. If that makes sense, I’m sort of jabbering on bit.

Anyway, client’s obviously very happy and relieved. There was a very, very real chance of him going to jail today. He’s not, he’s relieved. I’m Andrew Weisman at Warwick Magistrates Court. Thanks for watching.

Andrew represents clients at all Queensland courts, namely Alpha Magistrates Court, Atherton Magistrates Court, Aurukun Magistrates Court, Ayr Magistrates Court, Badu Island Magistrates Court, Bamaga Magistrates Court, Barcaldine Magistrates Court, Beaudesert Magistrates Court, Beenleigh Magistrates Court, Biloela Magistrates Court, Birdsville Magistrates Court, Blackall Magistrates Court, Blackwater Magistrates Court, Boigul Island Magistrates Court, Boulia Magistrates Court, Bowen Magistrates Court, Brisbane Magistrates Court, Bundaberg Magistrates Court, Burketown Magistrates Court, Caboolture Magistrates Court, Cairns Magistrates Court, Caloundra Magistrates Court, Camooweal Magistrates Court, Charleville Magistrates Court, Charters Towers Magistrates Court, Cherbourg Magistrates Court, Childers Magistrates Court, Chinchilla Magistrates Court, Clermont Magistrates Court, Cleveland Magistrates Court, Cloncurry Magistrates Court, Coen Magistrates Court, Cooktown Magistrates Court, Coolangatta Magistrates Court, Cunnamulla Magistrates Court, Dajarra Magistrates Court, Dalby Magistrates Court, Darnley Island Magistrates Court, Doomadgee Magistrates Court, Duaringa Magistrates Court, Emerald Magistrates Court, Gatton Magistrates Court, Gayndah Magistrates Court, Georgetown Magistrates Court, Gladstone Magistrates Court, Goondiwindi Magistrates Court, Gympie Magistrates Court, Hervey Bay Magistrates Court, Holland Park Magistrates Court, Hughenden Magistrates Court, Ingham Magistrates Court, Inglewood Magistrates Court, Innisfail Magistrates Court, Ipswich Magistrates Court, Julia Creek Magistrates Court, Kingaroy Magistrates Court, Kowanyama Magistrates Court, Landsborough Magistrates Court, Lockhart River Magistrates Court, Longreach Magistrates Court, Mabuiag Island Magistrates Court, Mackay Magistrates Court, Mareeba Magistrates Court, Maroochydore Magistrates Court, Maryborough Magistrates Court, Mer Island Magistrates Court, Millmerran Magistrates Court, Mitchell Magistrates Court, Moa Island Magistrates Court, Monto Magistrates Court, Moranbah Magistrates Court, Mornington Island Magistrates Court, Mossman Magistrates Court, Mount Garnet Magistrates Court, Mount Isa Magistrates Court, Murgon Magistrates Court, Nambour Magistrates Court, Nanango Magistrates Court, Noosa Magistrates Court, Normanton Magistrates Court, Oakey Magistrates Court, Palm Island Magistrates Court, Pine Rivers Magistrates Court, Pittsworth Magistrates Court, Pormpuraaw Magistrates Court, Proserpine Magistrates Court, Quilpie Magistrates Court, Redcliffe Magistrates Court, Richlands Magistrates Court, Richmond Magistrates Court, Rockhampton Magistrates Court, Roma Magistrates Court, Sabai Island Magistrates Court, Sandgate Magistrates Court, Sarina Magistrates Court, Southport Magistrates Court, Springsure Magistrates Court, Stanthorpe Magistrates Court, St George Magistrates Court, Tambo Magistrates Court, Taroom Magistrates Court, Thursday Island Magistrates Court, Toogoolawah Magistrates Court, Toowoomba Magistrates Court, Townsville Magistrates Court, Tully Magistrates Court, Warraber Island Magistrates Court, Warwick Magistrates Court, Weipa Magistrates Court, Winton Magistrates Court, Woorabinda Magistrates Court, Wynnum Magistrates Court, Yam Island Magistrates Court, Yarrabah Magistrates Court, Yeppoon Magistrates Court and Yorke Island Magistrates Court.