An incident occurred when a car merged into the lane of a roadway occupied by our client’s car. In what can only be described as road rage, the client proceeded to follow the victim’s car for some time before ramming the rear of the car on two separate occasions causing damage. This constituted menacing driving.
Once the victim had stopped his car, the client got out and approached the victim’s side door carrying a wooden club before opening the driver’s door and swinging the club striking the victim on the forehead. The actions and subsequent injury amounted to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Our client then left the scene and later when police attended his home an indictable form of demand was placed upon him requiring him to nominate the driver or passenger of the car at the time of the incident. He declined to do so, thereby committing an offence of failing to nominate the driver.
Our client had a number of offences involving violence and driving matters on his criminal history and had previously been put on a supervised good behaviour bond under s.9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. NGM Criminal Defence Lawyers advised him to attend upon a psychologist in order to undertake some anger management counselling.
Potential Penalties: The offender was charged with drive vehicle that menaces other with intent to menace under s.43(1) of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999, assault occasioning actual bodily harm under s.59(1) of the Crimes Act 1900, not give particulars to other driver under s.287(1) of the Road Rules 2008 and owner not disclose identity of driver / passenger under the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.
The maximum penalty for drive vehicle in manner that menaces other with intent to menace is $3,300.00 or imprisonment for a term of 18 months or both. This charge also carries a minimum period of disqualification of 12 months the automatic period being three years. The penalty for assault occasioning actual bodily harm is $5,500.00 and/or a term of imprisonment of two years. The penalty for not giving particulars to the other driver is a maximum penalty of $2,200.00. The penalties for owner not disclose identity of driver is $5,500.00 and/or twelve months imprisonment.
Local court proceedings
A psychological report and a number of character references were tendered to the court, and submissions made on the plea in mitigation. The magistrate’s initial response was that he was minded to send the client to prison given the nature of the attack and his previous violent background.
His Honour took into account the fact that previous acts of violence constituted an aggravating factor within the meaning of section 21A(2) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. We convinced His Honour to not impose any term of imprisonment given that the best outcome for the client and for the community at large was for him to continue with his anger management course. His Honour then went on to find all offences proven.
For the charge of menace in driving His Honour sentenced the client to 450 hours of community service. In relation to the charge of owner not disclose identity of driver to police the client was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service however these were to run concurrently (this means that the most hours the client had to perform was 450 hours).
In relation to the assault occasioning actual bodily harm the client was ordered to enter into a s.9(1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act with the condition that the client continue with his anger management counselling. For failing to not give particulars to the other driver the client was convicted and fined the sum of $600.00.
In relation to the client’s disqualification unfortunately the client had no real need for a licence and had previously been disqualified on a number of occasions, His Honour declined to reduce the period of disqualification from the automatic period of three years. The guideline judgment on high range drink driving sets out some factors that can be taken into account to reduce the automatic disqualification period for driving offences – none of those applied in this case.
Why you need an expert defence lawyer
Offences involving road rage are very serious matters and ones that the courts take very seriously. In order to obtain a great result you need a solicitor who has excellent knowledge of the law relating to such matters including excellent preparation and advocacy skills. Our experienced criminal defence lawyers, traffic law experts and accredited specialist in criminal law and traffic matters can help you achieve the best result possible.
Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in all areas of criminal law. Contact us if you require assistance.