Experienced Lawyer Makes a Difference in High Range PCA Case

Author: Phillip GibsonCriminal Defence Lawyer Phillip Gibson at our Sydney Office

Represented by Phillip Gibson, accredited criminal law specialist and traffic law expert

Facts

Our client had attended a friend’s birthday party and arranged for a taxi to take him home afterwards. The taxi didn’t arrive, so our client decided to drive the few kilometres to his house. He was spotted by police as he was driving on the wrong side of the road.

He was arrested and taken to the police station for breath analysis. That analysis returned a blood alcohol concentration of 0.191 grams. He was charged with High Range PCA, issued an evidentiary certificate, and his driver’s licence was immediately suspended.

After leaving the police station, our client attended a hospital and had a blood sample taken.

Potential penalties for High Range PCA

A guideline judgment is in place which requires courts in NSW to impose certain penalties on those found guilty of High Range PCA.

Our client faced maximum penalties including an 18-month prison sentence, a fine of up to $3,300, and a hefty disqualification period.

Our client had also been convicted of Mid Range PCA ten years previously, and this could be taken into account by the sentencing magistrate when determining what punishment to impose.

Result

On our advice, prior to attending court, our client participated in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program.

At court, the police produced the blood sample certificate which showed a higher reading than the initial blood analysis, and sought to amend the charge against our client to reflect this higher reading.

However Phillip Gibson, partner at Nyman Gibson Miralis, successfully opposed the attempted amendment of the charge. Mr Gibson also made detailed submissions to the magistrate, including arguing that as our client worked in the building industry, his licence was essential to carrying on his business.

Our client was issued with a fine and disqualified from driving for the minimum period. Our client’s licence suspension was backdated to the date of the offence, meaning that he had already served some of his disqualification.

Experience achieves positive outcome

Our client faced some significant potential penalties, especially considering his earlier drink driving offence. However the submissions made by Mr Gibson, including convincing the magistrate not to accept the higher reading, meant that our client was able to avoid a substantial penalty.