Police Siren: A signal for motorists to stop
Criminal Defence Lawyer | 11.09.2015
TOPIC: Failing to stop
Keywords: Driving, Overview, Traffic Offence
A vehicle failing to stop for police can certainly raise heated discussion in the community. This is especially so where high-speed pursuit, danger and accidents are involved. Traffic offence lawyers understand that there are various elements to consider in cases where a driver has allegedly failed to stop for police.
Before we look at situations where a person might fail to stop for police, it pays to understand the circumstances in which police can lawfully attempt to stop a vehicle. After all, it can’t realistically be the case that police can stop any and all vehicles on our roads for no reason! The law in NSW is quite clear – police have the authority to stop a motor vehicle only if they ‘suspect on reasonable grounds’ that the driver or passenger is committing or did commit any offence which is covered by any law.
Alleged offences that could give rise to a ‘reasonable’ suspicion by police are quite extensive. It pays, however, to check that the reason the police directed you to stop in the first place was sound and lawful. Your specialist traffic offence lawyers are fully aware of cases where there were simply no reasonable grounds for the police to suspect wrongdoing. Check to see if you fall into this category.
If it happens that you have wrongly failed to stop, this could lead to fines, and/or the loss or suspension of your licence. And depending on the extent and effects of the failure to stop, in some cases, drivers have been sentenced to time in prison. If speed, drug carriage, recklessness and/or danger to others are added to the equation, then penalties can be considerable.
An unknown offence?
But again – the circumstances in life can be complicated and it pays to let your traffic offence lawyers know the exact details of your failure to stop. For example, there might be questions around your understanding of the situation, or health issues that confused the matter. You truly might have had no idea that you failed to stop for a police officer. Be up-front with your advisor about your personal circumstances.
Case in point
In a recent case in the Sydney suburb of Tregear, a female driver was charged for failure to stop for police. Interestingly, the ensuing ‘chase’ occurred at a low speed and only ended when road spikes were used. It was alleged offences that had been committed earlier using that vehicle – by the male passenger and not the female driver – that led to a suspicion by police on ‘reasonable grounds’.
A complicating factor, and one viewed dimly by authorities, was the presence of two young children in the car. An outcome is pending in the matter.
A cross-border matter
And in a twist for an August 2015 failure-to-stop issue, a male driver managed to involve two states in his high-speed travels away from police. With time spent both in QLD and NSW during the chase, it will take astute lawyers to unravel the legal consequences of this cross-border matter. Injuries sustained by a female passenger will no doubt further complicate sentencing issues.
Know the facts
Don’t leave your matter to chance. If it is alleged that you failed to stop for police, make sure that you get the best current advice from up-to-date traffic offence lawyers. Most legal issues have complexities, and it is best to seek high-quality information sooner rather than later.
If you need advice from a criminal defence lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately at either our Sydney or our Parramatta offices. We have particular experience in all types of criminal proceedings. Call 1800 NOT GUILTY or fill in our contact form and arrange a free conference with a solicitor today.