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QLD Charged with Drug Driving While on Working Holiday Visa?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by CreeBega, 10 June 2016.

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  1. CreeBega

    CreeBega Member

    10 June 2016
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    First of all, I'm English and I'm here in Australia on a working holiday visa. I was pulled over at the roadside and charged with possession of a small amount of cannabis as well as ' drug driving - cannabis' as it says on the notice to appear. My question is how should I deal with this?

    1. Am I likely to be deported after the court date?
    2. Or will I get the Australian penalty of a licence suspension + a fine?
    3. Will it affect my chances of getting a 2nd year visa?
    4. Would I be eligible of any kind of legal aid?
    5. Would it be possible to move the court date back at all to a slightly more convenient time, when I have some gainful employment, and somewhere to park the car while im off the road? It's rather screwed my plans as have been nomadic, living out of the car...

    Note - the drug driving charge was made due to a positive result of a saliva test, that was then sent on to the lab. I admitted to the police having a smoke the night before.
  2. luke moore

    luke moore Active Member

    16 June 2016
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    You shouldn't have admitted to anything, then you would have had a better chance of getting off. Your best bet now is to try and plead for a section 10 - that is no conviction recorded and you can keep your licence. Probably best to seek an adjournment till you are working so the judge is more likely to let you off with a section 10.

    Also, if you have a clean criminal record in England, you should present that to the court too. You might be able to get representation for maybe around $1500.

    You shouldn't be deported for such a minor offence, unless the minister finds you don't meet the character test. But if you don't have a license for 6 months, it's going to make travelling Australia difficult.

    You're in QLD, it's called a section 12 there, not 10 like in NSW.

    I am not a lawyer this is no substitute for legal advice.
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

    28 April 2014
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    Deportation is not per se a penalty that the court can impose. That said, you might have your visa cancelled on character grounds.
    That is, by being convicted, you are no longer "of good character", which is a prerequisite for getting a visa in the first place, so your visa can be cancelled.
    If that happens, then you can be kept Immigration Detention before being <ahem> transported.
    That's a possibility. I don't know enough about your personal and criminal history to make a call on that.
    Hopefully one of Queensland based colleagues can give you a better idea of the likely penalty.
    It depends on what you are actually convicted of, and what the theoretical maximum penalty for that offence is. Note that it's based on what you could get, not what you actually get.
    Or, to put it another way " yes". So will concealing it in any later application.
    Given that you may not be facing prison, I think it unlikely.
    Your personal convenience and your desire to extend your holiday are things to which the court will attach much weight.
    Or to put it another way, "no".

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