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Ask Chris The Lawyer Your Own Question
Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22809
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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First of all, I'm happy to be introduced to your Community

Customer Question

First of all, I'm happy to be introduced to your Community as I don't have much ideas regarding the issue that I'm currently facing. I am a Malaysian, currently working as Health & safety Advisor at Middlemore Hospital and in NZ holding a resident Visa.As attached, I've received a summon from the Police to appear before Morrinsville District Court on Wednesday 5/10/2016 @9.30am regarding a traffic charge -operated a vehicle carelessly (offence code D502). On 3/9/*****@******.***, I was involved in a car accident at SH27, Kereone Road, Ngarua intersection in which a car coming from the right hit me while I was entering the intersection.The area was poorly lighted with cars running more than 100km/h at times. Although our cars were badly damaged, luckily none of us (passengers in the two cars) injured. My car was totally written off.I was informed verbally by the police that I won't go to jail for this offence but I may be aksed to attend defensive driving training.Give the above, I would like to seek for your advice what must I do;
1. Whether to appear at the court or to engage a lawyer to write a letter to the court?
2. What could be the possible penalty?
3. I'm remoseful, and I can admit that I partially contributed to the accident. I felt sorry for everyone involved in the incident (especially the family who hit me) and I'm more than willing to further srtengthen my knowlege/skills around road safety. In fact, I've started campaigning for road safety to my circle of friends.
4. If I were to engage a lawyer, how much would be the likely cost?Grateful if you could give me advice so that I can move on from here.
JA: What is your official status? Do you have any pending applications or petitions with USCIS? I'm not sure of the exact price, but there's only a $5 deposit. The rest of the price information will be on the page I send you to. Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Resident Visa holder
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Police recommending diversion
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Careless driving is the least serious driving charge and you will definitely only get a fine of around $300-500. If the insurance has been settled this will not be an issue, although sometimes you can be asked to pay reparation for damage to the other car. This will also not affect your redident visa status because it is a traffic offence and not a criminal offence although it does show on your record. Doing a defensive driving course would be a good thing before you are sentenced if that is possible, but enrolling in one and showing the Jugde that you will be doing the course will be sufficient. Most people would not bother with a lawyer for a minor driving offence, but if you did instruct one for the day then it would likely cost up to $800-1,000.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The claim has been fully settled. Do you think I still need to pay the $300 fine. I believed the other party's car has been settled by insurance claim.The police also mentioned that it would be good if I can write a "sorry letter" to the other party or rather a statement for the court.What should I write?Thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just go and appear before the Court? What must I say?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

The insurance is separate from the court fine so you will need to be ready to pay the fine. That is done separately after the court case.

Sending a sorry letter of apology would help. So you would have a bundle of letters which include the apology, evidence you are doing the defensive driving course, and perhaps gete a letter from the insurance company confirming the claim is settled.

So when you go to court you will be called, and you go up the dock. there are usually a lot of cases called so listen out for yours. When you go up, you will be asked if you plead guilty, and when you confirm this, the police prosecutor will read the summary of the facts. Then the judge will ask you to talk, and you can show the judge the letters and explain what happened. You will then be fined and can leave.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Chris. I guess that's sufficient for now. Looks like I to go and appear before the Court, plead guilty and leniency, right?
Best Rgds
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Yes, that would be your best approach

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