NSW Excluding Driving Record from Traffic Law Trial?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Jones-Smith, 3 October 2018.

  1. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    How can I exclude driving record from trial?

    I have a traffic infringement notice that I wish to take to court.

    Because of the amount of time I spend on the road and over my 35 year driving history, I have accrued a number of speeding fines, most when I was not speeding. However, I was not in a position to take time off to pursue them in court and it would have been difficult to prove my innocence as required under strict liability.

    In addition, I have 2 other non speed related traffic issues.

    None of these are related to the matter that I am taking to traffic law court.

    I understand that prior history cannot be used to convict a person and in my opinion it is completely irrelevant.

    However, I have just watched a number of people at court where the magistrate seemed to base her entire judgement on the person's driving record, If they had a clean record then they maintained that clean record. If they had a bad driving record the fine was upheld.

    So my question is how to exclude the driving record?
     
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    This isn't my area and I'm no expert. My understanding is that your driving history is not relevant to whether or not the infringement/offence was committed - it's relevant to what penalty you get if you lose. Trying to get your driving history excluded may just get the court more interested in seeing it. You might be better off making any explanation of the relevant factors. If you drive for a living, this can be double-edged however.
     
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  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    If a driver has court-elected an infringement, such as for making an unlawful U-turn,
    which is being dealt with summarily, then they can expect the Police to seek to have their history be a factor in any penalty.

    If a driver is being tried for something more serious than speeding,
    (such as Manner Dangerous) then they can expect their history to appear in the Prosecution submissions on penalty.

    A lucky few (almost always cleanskins and, sometimes, some classes of professional drivers)
    have their matters dismissed with a plea of "guilty with an explanation".
    But that's a very big "might", and cannot be relied upon to happen, especially given your history.

    The court is well equipped to assess the relevance of individual aspects, and the whole,
    of a driver's history, to any penalty it may decide to impose.
     
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  4. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    I was not guilty.

    However, I attended an hour of trial to watch what happened and it appeared as though the magistrate looked ta the driving record and basically made a decision based on solely the person's driving record. Clean record NOT GUILTY. too many offences GUILTY. Didn't even consider the case on its merits.

    I am not experienced at court. I have only taken one offence to court. Last time, many years ago, I used a barrister (didn't know that should have used a solicitor). I took a photo of a speed limit sign behind a tree. Police Prosecutor lied about the photo being taken from a different position. Told me that I should have seen the speed limit sign on the road. Found guilty even though I was not. Do not want the same experience of a lead foot magistrate calling me a lead foot. Barrister cost hundreds of dollars for less that nothing.

    NO JUSTICE ONLY LIES.

    Sorry about the rant.

    Back to the question.

    How do I prevent it from being admitted?
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    Pretty much, you don't.
    If you want to get technical about admissibility of evidence,
    then you'll get best results by engaging a specialist in traffic law
    to represent you.

    Understand this - your history is not relevant to your guilt.
    Your history is neither probative nor exculpatory of the offence of the moment.

    It is however, relevant to any penalty.
    You will get a discount by pleading guilty.
    Your history will be a factor in that.
    I do not see that you have any prospect
    of having your history excluded from the consideration of penalty.
    It's really only a question of how much weight the court gives it.
     
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  6. Jones-Smith

    Jones-Smith Active Member

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    With due respect why do you give advice that an innocent person should plead guilty?
     
  7. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    There's no advice been given that you should plead either way. "You will get a discount by pleading guilty" (for example) is not advice to plead guilty; it is to say that if you do plead guilty then the court will take that into consideration in your penalty.
     
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