There are some criminal offences which the NSW Court of Appeal has issued what are referred to as “Guideline Judgments”. These are sentencing guidelines to Judges and Magistrates on what are acceptable parameters of sentencing for particular offences, in order to achieve more consistency in sentencing. The offences for which there are Guideline Judgments are generally common and serious offences. High Range PCA drink driving charge is one such offence that has a Guideline Judgment.
What Sentence Will I Get for High Range PCA?
While ultimate sentencing is always a matter for the sentencing Judge or Magistrate, where there is a Guideline Judgment, the discretionary element of sentencing is curtailed somewhat. A Guideline Judgement carries the same weight as a “leading case” or an “authoritative case” might – i.e. cases with similar facts and features to the case being determined.
Following are the actual guidelines from the Guideline Judgment which must be adhered to in High Range PCA matters. You will see that the guidelines are detailed, comprehensive, and complex. You will probably appreciate from reading the guidelines, that it is certainly in your interests to have a skilled drink driving lawyer to represent you if you have been charged with High Range PCA drink driving. In order to obtain the best possible result, it is necessary to address all of the relevant matters contained in the Guideline Judgment when making submissions on sentence, and only skilled drink driving lawyers can do that adequately.
If you have been charged with any type of drink driving charge, but especially if you have been charged with a High Range PCA offence, do not delay – call Drink Driving Lawyers Sydney today – on (02) 9533 2269.
Here, for your information, are the sentencing guidelines for High Range PCA offences:
Guideline Judgment -Sentencing for High Range PCA:
(1) An ordinary case of the offence of high range PCA is one where:
- (i) the offender drove to avoid personal inconvenience or because the offender did not believe that he or she was sufficiently affected by alcohol;
- (ii) the offender was detected by a random breath test;
- (iii) the offender has prior good character;
- (iv) the offender has nil, or a minor, traffic record;
- (v) the offender’s licence was suspended on detection;
- (vi) the offender pleaded guilty;
- (vii) there is little or no risk of re-offending;
- (viii) the offender would be significantly inconvenienced by loss of licence.
(2) In an ordinary case of an offence of high range PCA:
- (i) an order under s 10 of the Sentencing Act will rarely be appropriate;
- (ii) a conviction cannot be avoided only because the offender has attended, or will attend, a driver’s education or awareness course;
- (iii) the automatic disqualification period will be appropriate unless there is a good reason to reduce the period of disqualification:
- (iv) a good reason under (iii) may include:
- (a) the nature of the offender’s employment;
- (b) the absence of any viable alternative transport;
- (c) sickness or infirmity of the offender or another person.
(3) In an ordinary case of a second or subsequent high range PCA offence:
- (i) an order under s 9 of the Sentencing Act will rarely be appropriate;
- (ii) an order under s 10 of the Sentencing Act would very rarely be appropriate;
- (iii) where the prior offence was a high range PCA, any sentence of less severity than a community service order would generally be inappropriate.
(4) The moral culpability of a high range PCA offender is increased by:
- (i) the degree of intoxication above 0.15;
- (ii) erratic or aggressive driving;
- (iii) a collision between the vehicle and any other object;
- (iv) competitive driving or showing off;
- (v) the length of the journey at which others are exposed to risk;
- (vi) the number of persons actually put at risk by the driving.
(5) In a case where the moral culpability of a high range PCA offender is increased:
- (i) an order under s 9 or s 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act would very rarely be appropriate;
- (ii) where a number of factors of aggravation are present to a significant degree, a sentence of any less severity than imprisonment of some kind, including a suspended sentence, would generally be inappropriate.
(6) In a case where the moral culpability of the offender of a second or subsequent high range PCA offence is increased:
- (i) a sentence of any less severity than imprisonment of some kind would generally be inappropriate;
- (ii) where any number of aggravating factors are present to a significant degree or where the prior offence is a high range PCA offence, a sentence of less severity than full-time imprisonment would generally be inappropriate.
Otherwise don’t delay – call today – Drink Driving Lawyers Sydney – (02) 9533 2269 – for advice and representation to ensure the best possible result in your High Range PCA matter that could have major impacts on your life, as a result of the above Guideline Judgment
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