GA was a grandmother driving in Kurri Kurri. She was accompanied in the car by her two young grandchildren who were both seated in child restraints in the car. Her grandchildren were excited and being noisy in the car. Whilst being distracted by the grandchildren her car collided with the victim driving a motorcycle. The victim sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident. She was charged with dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm and not stopping at the stop line on a red light.
Representation in sentencing hearing
O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors represented GA in her sentencing hearing. A pre-sentence report was obtained which outlined concerns for her mental health, her lack of criminal history, and the low risk of re-offending. The defence lawyer also assisted GA in preparing a letter to the Magistrate outlining her genuine remorse, the stress that the incident has caused her, and the impact that her licence suspension had on her life.
The Magistrate ordered a licence suspension and sentenced her to home detention for 9 months. We assisted GA in appealing her sentence for the offence of drive in a dangerous manner causing grievous bodily harm on the basis that it was too severe.
Successful sentencing appeal
The appeal was heard at the Newcastle District Court. We obtained a statement from a mental health professional which outlined the circumstances preceding and following the incident in question. Prior to the event she had been facing stress arising from a range of personal circumstances. Following the accident and her sentencing hearing, she became extremely distressed particularly given that her licence was suspended. The accident in question caused her to become extremely distressed. The judge considered the defence’s submissions and quashed the local court sentence, imposing a 12-month suspended sentence instead.
If you have been charged with driving offences speak to one of experienced criminal defence lawyers. Contact us on (02) 9261 4281.