Refusing breath analysis from police

District Court Appeal: No Conviction for Refusing Breath Analysis

Refusing to submit to a breath analysis from police is a serious offence. In fact, it carries the same penalty as High Range PCA. Therefore, most drivers will receive a criminal conviction, disqualification of their licence and a lengthy interlock order. This is the outcome our client received when he was sentenced at Newcastle Local Court.

Preparation for Appeal

Our client retained Zoe Whetham to lodge an appeal against this sentence. Despite the fact only 4% of offenders avoid a criminal conviction for refusing a breath analysis, our client was hopeful for this result. This was because a criminal record would result in him losing his job. In addition, his licence was crucial for his work and to support his family. However, our client knew the outcome he wanted was not likely.

Zoe took detailed instructions from our client. She then worked with him to prepare evidence to support the ultimate submission that no conviction should be recorded.

The appeal was heard last week at Newcastle District Court. Zoe provided evidence to the Court, and made persuasive submissions to the Judge.

The Prosecutor objected to a non-conviction, due to the seriousness of the offence and the prevalence of drink driving within our community.

However, after considering the material and submissions made by Zoe, the Judge allowed the appeal.

Appeal Allowed

The District Court quashed the Orders of the Local Court. Instead, the Judge imposed a conditional release order without conviction. This means our client does not have to pay a fine, he does not have his licence disqualified and most importantly, he has not been convicted of the offence.

Feedback from Our Client

Our client was extremely happy with this result, and sent through the following feedback:

Zoe, thank you very much for providing me with this outcome. What an immeasurable blessings to have encountered you. Your commitment, accuracy and timely interventions satisfied me well before the appeal. Thank you forever. 

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