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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5361
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Im just needing some assistance, ive been charged with

Customer Question

Hi im just needing some assistance, ive been charged with falsifying information and driving disqualified and have been given a court date to attend. I was advised by the police officer to seek legal action as it is a serious offence. Im not sure what i should be saying or doing during court date.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

Can you elaborate on the circumstances?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I was pulled over this morning as the car i was driving has been marked because i drove disqualified last year, they asked for my identity but from panicing and because i was scared i gave them a false name however address and date of birth was mine.
The car is registered under my mothers name however the police officer told me it was registered under a disqualified driver which is myself.
When the officer found out i was lying about my identity they immediately stated i was under arrest however they gave me a slip with the charges and court date and was advised to seek legal advice as this is not my first offence. First being last year driving disqualified.Please assist as i really dont know what i should be doing...He warned me that i could be doing jail time comes to court date which is why he advices for me totake legal advice
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 9 months ago.

Which state are you in as the law differs somewhat from state to state?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Im located in new south wales australia
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

Driving whilst disqualified is a fairly serious offence and is certainly capable of resulting in a custodial sentence if repeated.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rta2013187/s54.html

The offence of falsifying information appears much less serious:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/leara2002451/s13.html

but you should count yourself lucky the officer did not accuse you of a more serious offence:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/rta2013187/s177.html

Each penalty unit referred to in the above section is $110, so noting the driving whilst disqualified (for a second offence) can incur a penalty of 50 penalty units or $5,500 plus up to 2 years imprisonment.

Because it is only a year since your last offence the court may be unwilling to impose a lenient sentence unless there is some extenuating circumstances that would at least partially excuse your driving without a license and depending on the sentence and circumstances of your previous offence, and your overall driving history, a prison term is not out of the question.

I would strongly advise you to engage a lawyer to represent you at the hearing and ensure your case is as well prepared to cast your offence in the best possible light. Even if you are going to plead guilty, the involvment of a lawyer will at least signal to the court that you take the legal proceedings seriously and no doubt your lawyer will find something in your circumstances to raise with the court as a reason for leniency. If you just turn up on your own without a properly prepared case, the court may well just form the view you do not take the court seriously and then impose a penalty to make sure you do in future, which may be quite harsh.

If you need help locating a lawyer contact the Law Society of NSW as they can refer you to suitable lawyers in your area.

Good luck and PLEASE RATE MY ANSWER.

Patrick

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