Firearms: To hold and protect

Headshot of Sarah Rayner - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthWe recently looked at the licensing and permit requirements to obtain a firearm. Following on from that, we now take a look at firearms offences.

We warn you firearms offences carry heavy penalties including substantial imprisonment sentences. As with obtaining a firearm, you must have a genuine reason for possessing one. Genuine reasons include being the owner of a rural property or memberships of shooting clubs.

It is an offence to possess a firearm without a licence or permit. If found to have a firearm without a proper licence or permit, you face a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment.… Read More

The Common Crime of Common Assault

Headshot of Dan Daley - Solicitor at Everingham Solomons TamworthAssault is a very common crime dealt with by the Courts, but it is often misunderstood by the lay person.

Originally at common law, there were two separate offences, assault, and battery. An assault being where one person causes another to fear the imminent infliction of unlawful force, whilst battery involved the actual infliction of unlawful force. Today these two previously separate offences have collapsed into one, codified in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The most frequent charge of assault before the Courts is common assault, found in section 61 of the Act. It carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and/or a fine of $5,500.… Read More

Good behavior driver licence

In NSW a demerit point system applies to traffic offences. Different categories of drivers have differing numbers of points on their licence. For instance, a professional driver has 14 points, unrestricted drivers have 13 points, P2 licence holders have 7 points and drivers on their P1 licence or learner’s licence have 4 points.

The demerit point system works by allocating demerit point penalties for different types of driving offences. If the driver accumulates more demerit points than allowed based on their category of licence, within a three-year period, their licence will automatically be suspended.

The length of a demerit point suspension depends upon the amount of points accumulated in the 3 year period.… Read More

A policeman and a dog walk into a bar….

The phrase above isn’t an introduction to a joke, but rather the exact scenario in Darby v Director of Public Prosecutions [2004] NSWCA 431.

Mr Darby was standing outside a nightclub in Sydney. A plain clothes police officer and his drug detection dog, Rocky, were walking past on their way to enter the club. As Rocky walked past Darby he began sniffing the air and then walked up to and placed his nose on Darby’s pocket. Rocky’s actions in placing his nose on Darby’s pockets, involved him “bunting and ferreting” Darby’s pocket and genital areas. Police subsequently searched Darby and found him to be carrying drugs.… Read More

In the Zone? Extra points for you!

Did you know that for certain traffic and parking offences committed within a school zone you can incur an additional demerit point?

So not only will you incur the demerit points for whatever offence you committed, you may get an additional point for committing the offence in a School Zone. If that’s not enough, the fines that you will face are substantially higher for offences committed in a School Zone.

Take for example a Class A vehicle caught speeding, less than 10/km over the speed limit. This offence would usually get you a $121.00 fine and one demerit point. This offence committed in a School Zone would be a $200.00 fine and two demerit points.… Read More

70’s Rock & Traffic Law

“Life in the fast lane” is the title of one of the Eagles’ biggest hits from the 1970s. Unfortunately however, it is also a turn of phrase that can be used to describe the driving habits of many drivers.
If you have, to quote Meatloaf, been driving “like a bat out of hell” and had your licence suspended, in certain circumstances you are able to appeal a licence suspension made by either Transport for NSW (TfNSW) or the Police. Examples of appellable decisions include:

– TfNSW licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30          but less than 45 kilometres per hour;
– Police on the spot licence suspensions for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 kilometres per hour; and
– TfNSW decisions to suspend P1 or P2 provisional drivers licence for loss of demerit points.… Read More

Drugs and Driving

Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) has become common procedure when motorists are pulled over for a random breath test.

Some illicit substances can stay in your system for weeks after you use them and as such, drug driving offences are becoming more common.

MDT utilises technology that can detect the presence of illegal drugs such as ecstasy, cannabis, cocaine and methamphetamine. Most Police vehicles now have the capacity to test for these illicit substances roadside by way of an oral fluid swab.

If your roadside test is positive, you will be required to attend a police station or mobile drug testing vehicle to give a second sample.… Read More

Toot, Toot, Chugga, Chugga: Do I leave them in the car?

The Wiggles are entertaining the kiddies, there is peace in the backseat and you just have to pop in to pay for petrol, surely its ok to leave the children for just a couple of minutes?

We hear stories of people leaving their children in the car all the time and some of the tragic consequences that can arise when they do. But is it an offence to leave the children in the car? Well, yes it certainly can be.

The Legislation that deals with these circumstances is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW). Under this legislation, it is an offence for a person to leave a child or young person unsupervised in a motor vehicle in circumstances where:

• The child or young person becomes or is likely to become emotionally distressed, or
• The child’s or young person’s health becomes or is likely to become permanently or temporarily impaired.… Read More

Found the body but … – Mark Grady

MKG-newThe recent case that has been reported regarding Matthew Leveson whose body has been found in the National Park south of Sydney, raises many interesting legal questions but not as many answers.

The facts in short are that in 2007 Matthew Leveson was killed and Michael Atkins was charged with his murder. Atkins was tried and in 2009 he was found not guilty of that murder.

There was subsequently a Coronial Inquest and Atkins refused to give evidence, as he is able to do, presumably on the basis that the evidence he gave may incriminate himself. The Coroner, to force Atkins to give evidence, subsequently gave him a certificate under section 61 of the Coroner’s Act, which means that evidence he gives cannot be used against him in any criminal proceedings.… Read More

What do you mean I need a licence?

NKW-booksIn NSW it is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on any road without being licensed for that purpose.

NEVER LICENSED

If you drive a motor vehicle on a road without having held a licence of any kind in Australia for the previous 5 years, you have committed the offence of driving while never licensed.

For a first offence the maximum penalty is a fine of $2,200. For a second or subsequent offence the maximum penalty is a fine of $3,300 or imprisonment for a period of 18 months or both.

DRIVE WHILE SUSPENDED OR DISQUALIFIED

Your licence can be suspended by the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) for example for speeding or accumulation of demerit points whereas licence disqualification is a penalty imposed by the court for a traffic related offence.… Read More