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Ask Sean Your Own Question
Sean, Experienced lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 855
Experience:  Law degree with 1st class honours from Australian National University.
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a police man gave me a ticket for apparently seeing me failing

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a police man gave me a ticket for apparently seeing me failing to wear a seat belt as I drove into Macdonalds. He issued me with a ticket in the car park after I drove through the drive through service. Do I have a case claiming hear say or should I just pay the fine?

Hello and thank you for your question. Unfortunately I think you would have a lot of difficulty defending this - if the cop saw you driving without a seatbelt he will be able to give that evidence and the court will tend to rely on it. I think it will be much better for you if you just pay the fine and be done with it. Otherwise, if you challenge it you will need to go to court and will end up paying court fees as well. Hearsay doesn't apply here - that is when someone else witnesses something and they provide evidence of what they were told happened. But in this case the cop directly witnessed you not wearing the seatbelt, so it will be hard to challenge.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok if hear say does not apply what about a pre existing medical condition such as bi polar?

How did bi polar contribute to you committing the offence?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Maybe the anxiety I felt got out of control despite seeing a doctor and taking medication (that does not affect my ability t o drive)on a regular basis. Currently, my husband is working extremely long hours and I barely see him, my daughter and I have recently moved house and are setting up her new home, my son in law ( her husband) is in hospital fighting an infection after receiving a defibrulator, my future daughter inlaw who is now pregnant has an iron deficiency ( plus just found out she has no parental rights on her first born child from a prior relationship), my son has just got engaged to my future daughter in law,and my youngest daughter who is in year 12 is doing her best to pass and land the job of her dreams, plus I am planning an engagement party, dealing with the grief that Courtney (a friend from my youngest daughters high school) has just committed suicide, & whilst I have been really busy steering writing and thinking for my crew &running the admin side of our home based business I cop a ticket whilst under stress. I have been dubbed by the swamp monster this month. Can you help?

Wow, you have a lot going on right now. You could try telling this to the Magistrate in the hope that he will show some leniency, but I still think it is a risk because if the police man saw you driving without a seatbelt, he will most likely find that you committed the offence and make you pay the fine plus court costs. I think it will cause you much less stress just to take responsibility for it and pay the fine. Then it will be done with and you won't have the stress of a court hearing and the risk that you might end up paying more anyway.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Its totally bizarre though - I seldom wear a seat belt whilst driving because it makes me feel (anxious) trapped and unsafe and thus leaving me without confidence to drive assertively and defensively. Fact is, I take heed to your advice because it is sound advice when it comes to popular culture. But I don't fit into that popular culture. Can you see the irony, that the law is not being completely reasonable when it includes people of an equal standing like me? Can you help?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I sent another angle to you. Are you going to reply?

Yes, I've always found the strange thing about the law is that it treats everyone as if they are carbon copies of each other. There is a concept known as the rule of law, where everyone is treated the same under the law no matter who they are. In one way it's a good thing, because there is a level of fairness in that, but it also ignores each person's individual circumstances, like yours' in this situation. I don't know how we could fix that. The problem is, you are still going to need to come before a Magistrate with your fine and he is going to apply the rule of law. In the end, he is going to need to apply the law relating to seat belts and, while he may find these type of arguments interesting, he will have very little room to move under the statute.

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