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Do you know how to respond when charged with drug driving in NSW?

Drug Driving: How to Respond when Charged with Drug Driving in NSW

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you or someone you know is facing the daunting prospect of being charged with drug driving in New South Wales. Being accused of drug driving can be a stressful and life-altering experience, as it carries significant legal and personal consequences. However, you don’t have to face this ordeal alone. Repute Law, one of Australia’s premier criminal law firms, is here to guide you through the legal maze and help you achieve the best possible outcome. In this blog, we’ll delve into the specifics of drug driving offences in NSW, potential defences, relevant case law, and why Repute Law is the best choice to represent your interests.

Understanding Drug Driving Offences in NSW

Drug driving in New South Wales is a serious offence and falls under the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), in particular s111 and 112. To charge an individual with drug driving, law enforcement officers must establish that the driver had illicit drugs in their system (oral fluid, urine or blood) while operating a motor vehicle.

This offence is a strict liability offence, which means that you can be charged even if you didn’t intend to drive under the influence. If you are found guilty, the penalties can be severe, including fines, licence disqualification, a criminal record and in some cases, even imprisonment.

Possible Defences

A good criminal defence lawyer will look at the individual case, the facts and any background history surrounding the accused and will decide whether any defences are applicable in the situation. These include:

  1. Reasonable Excuse: One possible defence is demonstrating a “reasonable excuse” for having drugs in your system. Courts have established that a person might have a reasonable excuse if they unknowingly ingested a drug, such as through prescribed medication or in someone else’s drink bottle that they did not know was in there.
  2. Procedural Errors: Police officers must follow strict procedures when conducting roadside drug tests. If they fail to do so, this can be grounds for challenging the charge. Landmark cases have illustrated this point. The evidence of the test may be deemed inadmissible if the police failed to follow proper procedures and steps when conducting the roadside testing.
  3. Mouth Swab Accuracy: It is crucial to consider the accuracy of the mouth swab test results. These tests can sometimes yield false positives. A criminal defence lawyer can challenge the reliability of the test results.
  4. Lack of Evidence: Challenging the prosecution’s evidence is another strategy. For example, it may be challenged that you were driving or had not driven in the preceding 2 hours.
  5. Duress: If you were under duress or coercion to consume drugs before driving, this can be used as a defence, but the defendant would need to be able to prove this and argue it successfully for this defence to have any success

The Consequences of a Drug Driving Charge

A drug driving conviction in NSW can lead to various consequences, including:

  1. Loss of Licence: You may face a lengthy disqualification of your driver’s licence, which can disrupt your daily life, job, and family commitments.
  2. Fines: The court can impose significant fines, adding to the financial burden of your legal troubles.
  3. Criminal Record: A drug driving conviction will result in a criminal record, which can have a lasting impact on your future employment prospects and personal life.
  4. Imprisonment: In severe cases, especially if it’s a repeat offence or combined with other criminal charges, you may face imprisonment.
  5. Insurance Implications: Your car insurance premiums are likely to increase significantly, or your policy may be cancelled altogether.

If you can prove that your drug use was due to a legitimate medical condition, this can potentially result in a more lenient sentence. Keeping in mind that although cannabis can now be prescribed for medical reasons, it is still illegal to drive with any traces in your system regardless of the reason.

In light of these serious consequences, it is vital to seek the expertise of Repute Law to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.

Why Choose Repute Law

Repute Law is unlike any other criminal law firm in Australia. We are the only law firm comprised entirely of court lawyers who are Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers, with no junior lawyers. Our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers have a wealth of experience and a proven track record of achieving favourable outcomes for our clients in drug driving cases. We understand the complexities of the law and are well-versed in the intricacies of the NSW legal system as well as a hands-on approach when it comes to going to court ensuring you have the necessary materials, guidance and direction you need to be court ready.

Our legal Case Concierges®, who are also experienced lawyers, will provide you with personalised guidance and advice on the best course of action for your specific case. We take a client-centric approach, tailoring our legal strategies to meet your unique needs and circumstances. With Repute Law by your side, you can rest assured that you have the most capable and dedicated team representing your interests.

Being charged with drug driving in New South Wales is a legal issue that demands immediate and comprehensive attention. Your future, your job, and your freedom are at stake.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Repute Law today and let us begin working on your case immediately. Your future is too important to leave to chance. With our expertise and dedication, you can be confident that you are in the best possible hands. Drug driving charges can be daunting, but with Repute Law on your side, you can face the future with confidence and hope for a favourable outcome.

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