Low range drink driving severity appeal


Case facts

The client was charged with driving with a Low Range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol (LRPCA) with a reading of 0.065. While driving intoxicated, he also caused an accident with a taxi by failing to stop at a stop sign. This is considered as an aggravating feature of the offence. He pleaded guilty in the Local Court and was convicted and fined $600 with $79 court costs. The client was also disqualified for the minimum period of 3 months.

The client had no criminal record and no traffic history since being in Australia for the past 2 years. He had a genuine need for a licence for his employment, and he would lose his job if he was disqualified.


Case result

We advised the client to give evidence on appeal. Submissions were made, including with reference to a degree of extra curial punishment that would arise as a consequence of conviction.

The Judge accepted our submissions and chose to give our client another chance. He placed our client on a bond pursuant to s10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 for a period of 12 months.

The client was particularly happy with the outcome.


High range drink driving severity appeal


Case facts

Our client collided with the rear of a vehicle at an intersection near Sydney Airport, and while attempting to park her car, hit a parked taxi. When the police arrived, she was found to be very affected by alcohol and recorded a breath analysis reading of 0.256, vastly over the limit. She was charged with High Range PCA.

Our client had consumed an unknown amount of alcohol, along with anti-anxiety medication – which unfortunately had interacted poorly. Our client had no recollection of the evening in question between consuming two glasses of wine, and then finding herself behind the wheel of her car.


Case result

Our client pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the local court. She was disqualified from driving for two years and given a community service order of 450 hours, which was the maximum penalty that could be imposed after her guilty plea was taken into account.

On our client’s instructions, we lodged an appeal against the severity of the sentence. Before the Chief Judge of the District Court, we argued that our client’s otherwise exceptional character meant that disqualifying her from driving was an appropriate penalty in itself. We also argued that the community service order in addition to the disqualification was excessive in the circumstances.

Pleasingly, the Chief Judge agreed, and the community service order imposed on our client was quashed.


Disqualified driving severity appeal


Case facts

The client had never attained a driver’s licence in Australia, and had driven without a licence for many years. Over the course of this time, the client had been convicted on numerous occasions of driving whilst unlicensed, and of driving whilst disqualified.

The client was subsequently detected by police driving whilst disqualified on two occasions within weeks of each other. On the first occasion, the client had provided police with a false identity in an attempt to avoid being charged. On the second occasion, the client has attempted to swap places with a passenger in the car to persuade police that the passenger was driving.

After pleading guilty, the client was sentenced to a period of 12 months in jail, with a non-parole period of six months for both matters, and was refused bail pending his appeal. The client approached Nyman Gibson Miralis to appeal this sentence.


Case result

The matter came before the Sydney District Court on appeal. The single objective for the client was to be released from full time custody. It was submitted at the appeal that although the client’s record was poor, his need to be at liberty to support an extended family and otherwise strong community ties and involvements, justified his released from custody.

However, it was conceded freely that his previous driving record mandated some form of appropriate penalty being imposed. The Judge was impressed by the client’s willingness to accept responsibility for his actions and to appreciate that some form of punishment had to be imposed. However, accepting the need to support his family, the appeal was upheld, and the period of imprisonment was replaced with a period of weekend (periodic) detention. The client was released from custody at court on the day.


Larceny severity appeal


Case facts

Client was prosecuted for attempting to steal a trailer. He was found cutting the chain to the trailer with bolt cutters and hydraulic equipment. Once detained client tried to escape. Client was a 45 year old, who suffered from bi-polar disorder and was taking medication for his condition. Client had no criminal record. The Magistrate found the offence objectively serious and convicted the client and placed him on a Bond to be of good behaviour for 12 months. Client was fined $1,000. An appeal was lodged to the District Court.


Case result

District Court Judge dismissed the matter under Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act on the basis that the Client was a person of good character and based on his mental condition. The Client was ordered to enter a good behaviour bond for 12 months. No criminal conviction was imposed.



Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in appealing the severity of a sentence.

Contact us if you require assistance.