Speeding charge dismissed - Client keeps his licence!
We represented a client who was defending a charge of exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/h. If he was found guilty of the charge and convicted, he would have received a minimum, mandatory disqualification of 3 months.
We appeared before the Court on behalf of another solicitor and sought an adjournment of the matter. The Magistrate indicated that the client had set the matter down for hearing on two occasions and that the matter had to proceed to hearing on that day.
We advised the Court that I was not instructed in the matter and knew nothing about it and his Honour offered me half an hour to prepare.
We viewed the police video footage over and over and picked apart the police officer’s statement. We made some calculations and knew that if we were able to get the police officer to agree with several propositions, that we were a good chance of being found guilty of a lesser speeding offence.
In my cross-examination of the police officer, we managed to have the radar reading he was relying on to substantiate his own estimate brought into question. Then, based on the police officer’s own measurements of the area, timing on the video and some simple maths, we managed to raise enough doubt as to whether the client was travelling at more than 30km/h over the limit.
After hearing our submissions, his Honour adjourned the matter to consider my calculations and observations from the video footage and relying on the police officer’s own evidence.
His Honour returned, as we anticipated, and dismissed the charge, finding our client not guilty.
Although thrown into an unexpected, pressure situation, we were able to heavily scrutinise the evidence and was fortunate enough to find a way out.
From almost having an anxiety attack when we were forced to run the matter without prior preparation, the client became overjoyed when the result was achieved and without him being required to give evidence in his distressed state.