Drug Driving NSW

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A drug driving charge involves being charged with driving under the influence of drugs or driving with the presence of a certain drug in oral fluid, blood or urine.

Being charged with drug driving can be a distressing experience that can have a lasting negative impact on your life. To minimise the effects of such a charge, it’s best to get help from an experienced drug lawyer.

Our experienced LY Lawyers have been successful in greatly reducing the penalties of drug driving charges and, in many cases, have been able to help clients receive a ‘Section 10’.

What are the drug driving penalties in NSW?

Penalties for drug driving can vary and are dependent on your previous convictions. For a first-time drug driving offence, where traces of an illicit drug is found in urine, blood or oral fluid, the maximum fine is $1,100 with an automatic disqualification period of 6 months.

A second offence can result in a $2,200 fine and an automatic disqualification of 12 months.

It’s important to remember that these are only the maximum penalties and with an experienced drug lawyer the charges can be significantly reduced. Our lawyers often persuade the magistrate to lower the disqualification periods to the minimum of 3 months for first time offenders and 6 months for second time offenders.

Additionally, our lawyers have had success in previous cases, where a ‘Section 10’ has been granted. A ‘Section 10’, no matter the seriousness of the drug driving charge, allows the court to dismiss the charge. Under a ‘Section 10’ there is no criminal conviction recorded, no fine and no disqualification.

What’s involved in a drug driving charge?

Unless you have been involved in an accident, or have been driving erratically, the most likely way you will be charged with drug driving is as a result of an MDT, or Mobile Drug Test.

MDT’s are similar to Random Breath Tests. You will be stopped by police, asked for your licence and asked to complete a drug test. The test involves you scraping your tongue with a stick like device that detects drugs in your saliva. This device usually only takes 8 minutes to complete the test. It can primarily detect the drugs known as Ecstasy, Cannabis and Methamphetamine.

If your test returns a positive result, you will be taken to the roadside mobile testing van or back to a police station where you will provide a saliva test. This test, which takes up to 20 minutes, is considered to be more accurate at determining the levels of substances in your body. If a positive reading is returned, the samples are sent for laboratory analysis.

Pleading in court

Your matter will be heard in the local court where you will have the option to plead guilty or not guilty. The court system can be difficult to navigate so if you’re looking to avoid a criminal conviction or receive the minimum charge it’s recommended that you seek professional legal advice.

To be found guilty of a drug driving charge, the court must find that you were driving under the influence, or with the presence of drugs in your system beyond reasonable doubt.

Not guilty

You may wish to plead not guilty if you feel the case against you isn’t correct. Sometimes, there can be issues with the prosecution’s case, which our lawyers are experienced in finding and raising in court. Raising these problems is often the best way to fight a charge.

A common example is proving that police conducted the test illegally. When conducting drug tests, police must follow certain rules and procedures and if they’re found not to have done so, the case may be dismissed and you will be found not guilty.

Guilty

If you don’t believe that you can successfully fight the charges, pleading guilty from the outset will usually give you the best results such as a lesser sentencing. When pleading guilty, it’s important to remember the maximum penalties you are facing.

Ultimately, the penalty you receive will depend on your individual case and circumstances. However, pleading guilty at an early opportunity can often increase your chance of receiving the minimum penalties and even a ‘Section 10’.

LY Lawyers are amongst the top criminal lawyers in NSW and have achieved amazing results for a range of drug driving charges, both minor and serious. Whatever situation you find yourself in, it’s likely someone from our experienced team has successfully defended a similar case.

Our client was charged with driving under the influence of drugs (cannabis).

The police Facts Sheet stated that our client smoked cannabis at 5:30 am then drove at 12 pm of the same day.

Whilst driving, our client had an accident in which he sustained injuries. Upon being stopped by police our client was breath tested and returned a reading of 0.00. He was conveyed to hospital for his injuries and was observed by police having blood shot eyes and being ‘dazed, drowsy, and with slow speech’.

This prompted police to question our client about his cannabis use, to which he admitted to having used that morning.

A blood test revealed our client had present delta-9-THC less than 0.005mg per letre of blood and delta 9-THC- acid 0.026 mg per letre of blood.

Our solicitors obtained expert evidence from a psychologist that found the level of cannabis in our client’s blood could not have impaired our clients driving ability. In light of this evidence, we advised our client to plead not guilty and take the matter to hearing.

At the Downing Centre Local Court hearing before Magistrate Gilmour, the prosecution submitted expert evidence that our client was influenced by THC to the extent that his ability to drive was affected. Our solicitor submitted our psychologists report giving evidence contrary to the prosecution. The conflicting expert evidence was enough to cast reasonable doubt over the issue.

Her Honour found our client not guilty. An excellent result achieved by our dedicated solicitors.

Our client instructed our firm that a disqualification would have a detrimental effect on her family life, particularly on her child who was required to attend regularly medical treatment.

The matter proceeded before Magistrate Swaine at Fairfield. Our solicitor argued that our client had smoked cannabis a number of days prior to the offence and was not aware that cannabis can last in the blood for up to six weeks. Furthermore medical evidence was presented regarding our clients need to drive her child to medical appointments.

It was further argued our client’s good character and remorse would enable the court to be lenient on this occasion and not record a conviction

The court agreed and placed our client a bond pursuant to Section 10. No conviction meant no penalty or disqualification.

Our client was charged with driving with a illicit drug in her blood. This is a serious charge which carries a 6 months disqualification upon conviction. Furthermore our client was on her provisional licence and had her child in the vehicle at the time of the offence.

Our client instructed our firm that a disqualification would have a detrimental effect on her family life, particularly on her child who was required to attend regularly medical treatment.

The matter proceeded before Magistrate Swaine at Fairfield. Our solicitor argued that our client had smoked cannabis a number of days prior to the offence and was not aware that cannabis can last in the blood for up to six weeks.

Furthermore medical evidence was presented regarding our clients need to drive her child to medical appointments. It was further argued our clients good character and remorse would enable the court to be lenient on this occasion and not record a conviction

The court agreed and placed our client a bond pursuant to Section 10. No conviction meant no penalty or disqualification.

Our client appeared at Downing Centre Local Court charged with driving whilst under the influence of a prohibited drug. He came before the Court as a young man with a terrible traffic record, having been suspended 9 times in the short time he held a licence and having 13 speeding fines on his record.

Our client had a special need for a licence and showed he could change his ways having committed no offences since his last suspension other than the offence which brought him before the Court and having completed the traffic offender Program.

Our solicitors managed to negotiate the facts with the Police and with a well prepared case was sentenced to a good behaviour bond with no conviction and no disqualification for a period of twelve months.