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Criminal Law & Traffic Law Penalties

Penalties that derive their existence and force from the Government of New South Wales legislature are administered both by the Executive Government and Judicial System. The Legislature, Executive and Judicial departments are all exclusive of each other.

The Executive Government consists of many different departments; the pertinent departments for this discussion are the Police, Roads and Maritime Services and the Attorney general Department of the New South Wales jurisdiction.

Examples are the police who issue you a penalty notice for speeding. If you decide to pay the ticket the matter is handled through the different departments of the Executive Government. However if you decide to fight the ticket the matter will be heard by and decided through the court system. The penalty will be decided by the court not the Executive. The police may also wish the matter to be heard by a magistrate even if they could have issued a penalty notice.

The type of penalty you receive from the Executive is fixed; whereas the Judiciary is more flexible in penalty procedures generally. 

However some penalties are fixed by the Legislature. Fixed penalties are a common feature of the New South Wales sentencing landscape.   

Examples are driving offences. Mandatory loss of licence is a consequence of a drink driving conviction; this is widely accepted by the community. However the amount of time you are disqualified for is determined by the court.

The Judiciary (courts) have a wide discretionary sentencing discipline. The one guiding principle the legislature has given New South Wales courts are that imprisonment is only to be used as a last resort. This means that every other option must be explored by the Judiciary.

This entails exploring the following options;

  • Rise of the court (where you are convicted but the time spent in court on the day is sufficient punishment).
  • Conviction.
  • Compensation and restitution.
  • Fine.
  • Bond.
  • Community service orders.
  • Home detention.
  • Intensive correction order.
  • Suspended sentence.

If you find yourself dealing with a criminal offence and the prospect of facing some form of penalty, feel free to speak with one of our criminal lawyers on (02) 9521 2222. You can also send your enquiry online now and we will call you shortly.

A member of our legal team will contact you as soon as possible