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QLD Car Accident - Charges of Unlicensed Driving, Leaving Scene

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Gary, 2 November 2014.

  1. Gary

    Gary Active Member

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    Hi. I recently had a car accident the end result being the following charges:
    1: Unlicensed Driving
    2: Not trading details with the other driver
    3: Driving with undue care and attention

    The driver has also lodged paperwork for personal injury and the car insurance company is sending paperwork for them to claim from me.

    I am certain it is not my fault she was slowly veering into my lane and I took evasive action by braking and wen realising we were going to end up in same lane I tried to move over to hers to avoid her. My front catching her rear.

    When I went to the scene, she had her back to me and when it was pointed out I was the driver she turned and upon seeing me started going hysterical accusing me of killing her. She was inconsolable and difficult to understand. I left my name with a lady taking a video on her camera and left letting them know that I had to pick up my wife ... she rang to say she didn't feel well and I took it upon myself to go get her.

    What will happen to me? I also have a few medical comditions and 1 sleep disorder that has yet to be ascertained.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gary,

    1. Was police at the scene? Did they make a police report? If so, obtain a copy of this
    2. Try and obtain a copy of the insurance report
    3. Do you have the details of the woman with whom you left your details? Did she have the accident on camera?
    4. You may argue that she bears some, if not all, responsibility for the car crash however, it will not change the fact that you were driving without a licence
    5. Were you in fact driving without a valid drivers licence in Queensland? If so, this is a criminal offence. Have a look at the Queensland Department of Transport page on driving without a licence.
     
  3. Gary

    Gary Active Member

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    1. Was police at the scene? Did they make a police report? If so, obtain a copy of this
    yes the police were called. the lady i gave my details to asked the lady in the accident if she would like to trade details or call the police - guess what she chose
    2. Try and obtain a copy of the insurance report
    3. Do you have the details of the woman with whom you left your details? Did she have the accident on camera?
    no i didnt get her details and i dont know if she has footage of the incident. a person either behind or a car back was an off duty high ranking officer and he allegedley has footage
    4. You may argue that she bears some, if not all, responsibility for the car crash however, it will not change the fact that you were driving without a licence
    5. Were you in fact driving without a valid drivers licence in Queensland? If so, this is a criminal offence. Have a look at the Queensland Department of Transport page on driving without a licence.
    yes i was driving without a curent qld drivers licence.

    1: i didnt think straight from the moment my wife advised she was unwell - i have numerous medical conditions that make me act irratically especially when stressed
    2: the police officer who attended the incident said all charges would go thru the traffic court and these would not be treated as criminal matters
    3: if i plead guilty to all three charges then i am effectively assuming responsibillity and i do not agree it was totally my fault
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gary,

    1. If there was police at the scene that witnessed you trying to swap details with the other driver, then surely they can provide a statement to this effect? You can contact the police station and ask to find out who that particular officer was and to speak with them.
    2. Obtaining a copy of the police report will greatly assist in figuring out who bears how much responsibility in this crash.
    3. If you do not believe you are guilty with any of the charges then you can contest them. Have they formally charged you yet? If so, sometime before the first mention you should request a copy of the QP9 (the prosecution/police court brief).
    4. Having medical conditions is not automatically a defence to driving without a licence. In fact, driving without a licence will likely be a strict offence and so your medical conditions will not get you off the charge but may be considered by the court when it comes to sentencing.

    Have a read of the Qld Legal Aid page on appearing before the Magistrates' Court and being charged with a summary (i.e. minor) offence. There's some valuable information about the steps involved, finding a lawyer and entering a plea.
     
  5. Gary

    Gary Active Member

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    Hello. Firstly i would like to thank you for your assistance and guidance/advice regarding this matter.
    Before I answer any questions arising from my second post i have a few questions regarding my upcoming court appearance

    The accident that i was involved in happened on the last national (?) public holiday.
    Police attending the accident came to my home on Friday 17th October 2014 and advised me of why they were there.
    The officer gave me the opportunity to give my side of events, he then advised me of the charges, how the matter was going to be dealt with (advised that the matter was being treated as a traffic and not a criminal one and that the charges would result in a non-recorded conviction)
    Was then advised that a court date time and address. The court date given was 11 Nov 2014
    On Friday 24th October the officer from the scene and the previous visit to my home came again to inform me that the date provided was an error and that due to the G20 the appearance had to be either brought forward or backwards. I opted for backwards and agreed to the date of 19th November.
    On Thursday 30th November i recieved a letter from the court confirming my date time address and charges. Only the date was now Friday 7th November 2014. I called and spoke to the officer who said he couldnt understand why i had been given that date as he had it down for the 19th. he recommended that i speak to the court and tell them what happened.
    Spoke to court who said 1: the only way a change could be made was by a magistrate 2: the polkice officer had placed no notes or recommendations on the file 3: court representative said he was unsure why the police had issued a date of change as only the court can offer dates and changes and 4: I would have to apply for an adjournment - this could only be requested when the matter was before the court and that the magistrate may decide to reject an adjournment. if this were the case i have opted to request the adjournment in writing and not attend my scheduled appearance then the court could issue a warrant for my arrest.
    i argued that the date change had given me very little time to get advice and gather information and that ib total i had had only 2 weeks from being formally advised of the charges upto that day (Friday 31 October) i also argued that i had not requested a date change the court had and that i had based my timeline on the date given to me by the qld police officer of the 19th....these points fell on deaf ears as their hands were tied
    Question 1: Will i have a request for an adjournment lodged against my name even though i did not request the initial date change and also thought that a representative of the law had offered a date change and i had taken and accepted the 19th november
    Question 2: Will I also incur two court costs as it will appear that it is me requesting an adjournment?
     
  6. Gary

    Gary Active Member

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    Hi Sarah, sorry i got so involved in my getting that last post out i forgot to answer the questions that arose from your reply on sunday.
    1. If there was police at the scene that witnessed you trying to swap details with the other driver, then surely they can provide a statement to this effect? You can contact the police station and ask to find out who that particular officer was and to speak with them.
    the police attended the scene after i left. i gave my details to the lady doing the video, she may have my voice on her recording, before leaving. i was shocked panicked and unsure what to do. i was trying to get to my wife (long story but a recent complaint she had had given us serious cause for concern) and whilst this is no excuse, i just tossed up what was my priority and, right or wrong, went oiff to pick her up
    2. Obtaining a copy of the police report will greatly assist in figuring out who bears how much responsibility in this crash.
    3. If you do not believe you are guilty with any of the charges then you can contest them. Have they formally charged you yet? If so, sometime before the first mention you should request a copy of the QP9 (the prosecution/police court brief).
    i believe i have been formally charged. i wasnt cautioned , the interview was conducted recorded and taken by the officer who was in attendance the day of the accident. He then wrote some notes in his small notebook, i was advised of the charges and how they would be dealt with ie traffic offences rather than any criminal charges and, after signing the notes was given a copy.
    4. Having medical conditions is not automatically a defence to driving without a licence. In fact, driving without a licence will likely be a strict offence and so your medical conditions will not get you off the charge but may be considered by the court when it comes to sentencing.
    i accept that i was guilty of driving unlicenced and also accept that by not exchanging details with the other driver i had technically left the scene of an accident without following the lawful process but i feel that my phsychological problems resulted in bad choices and as for the final charge of undue care and attention i still believe that the other driver caused me to take avasive action that had i not done so may have resulted in a worse incident than that that occured.
     
  7. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gary,

    1. Have you tried speaking with your local community legal centre and attempted to apply for legal aid? It is recommended you speak with a lawyer about all these court procedures and your upcoming hearing.
    2. You can apply to the Magistrates' Court for an adjournment request. The procedures for this request have recently changed. Have a read through this information sheet as to what is required in order to successfully make a request: Adjournment Process Changes. The QP9 is the police brief which contains the evidence and submissions the police wishes to present in support of their application. This is different from a formal charge sheet. You are generally entitled to receive this before your first appearance. The lack of one could be ground for your adjournment request. You should make an oral request for the QP9 (ask if it has been prepared yet) and follow this up with a written request so you have evidence of the correspondence.
    3. Obtain a copy of the traffic incident report: Traffic Incident Reports
    4. Obtain a copy of the police report by making an oral and written request to the police
    5. Medical argument: sure, this may act as an excuse to your behaviour (i.e. make your arguments more believable and negate any mental element in this charge, if there is such a mental element in the charge), mitigate your sentence/penalties and reduce your responsibility by shifting some responsibility onto the other party.
     

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