Street Racing in Sydney NSW: What to do if Charged
Recently, New South Wales has added some offences to its Vehicle Sanctions Scheme in attempts to lessen the increase of hoon behaviour taking place in Australia. Street racing in Sydney has had a significant spike in recent years, resulting in a large number of offenders taken to court. Anyone caught participating in the illegal street races or drag racing in Sydney will deal with a number of penalties and sanctions.
It is against the law to prepare, participate in, or promote any race between vehicles; to attempt to accomplish a new speed record with a car; or to engage in any speed trial without the written permission and allowance from the Commissioner of Police.
It’s also illegal to take part in any competition involving tests of the driver’s skill or the durability of a vehicle. According to Section 115 and Section 116 of the Road Transport Act, there is also an extensive list of conduct-related offences usually connected with street racing. One of these acts is interfering with the peace of any person nearby or causing a risk to the safety of others.
If you’re facing Sydney street racing charges, you’re dealing with legal troubles that could lead to a severe penalty. It’s in your best interest to educate yourself on what you can do if you’re ever in court for street racing. Learn what you can do and take the best course of action.
Your Options In Court
If found guilty of the act of illegal street racing in Sydney, you have the potential to face a harsh sentence. Being charged with street racing means you can potentially lose your licence, your vehicle, and even your job, among other punishments. You have a few options regarding the best option for proceeding with your case.
Sentences for a conviction of street racer can range from finishing a program to doing time in jail. You want to avoid the maximum penalty, of course, which could be a fine of $3,300 if it’s your first traffic offence.
However, if it’s your second charge, your fine is still $3,300 and/or nine months in prison. You’ll also have your driver’s license revoked for a year, and possibly even longer, depending on the court’s decision. It’s worth mentioning that courts rarely give out maximum punishments or gaol time to first-time offenders; they’re generally given to more serious and repeat offenders.
When facing these charges, you can choose to plead either guilty or not guilty. The best choice for you depends on the facts of your individual case.
Pleading Not Guilty
You can only be adjudicated guilty of street racing if there is definitive proof that you committed the offense. You’re guilty if the police have evidence of you doing any of the following:
- Racing with two or more vehicles on a road
- Attempting to beat a speed record on a road
- Speed trialing a car on a road
- Trialing to test the skills of a vehicle driver, mechanical condition, or reliability of a vehicle on the road
- Participating in, conducting, or promoting any of the above activities
If the police have insufficient evidence that you’ve committed a street racing crime, your “not guilty” plea will be successful. However, the court only needs to find sufficient evidence that you participated in one of the above activities to find you guilty. It’s always best to discuss your case in detail with an experience lawyer before pleading not guilty.
If there’s evidence that you committed the offence, it may be in your best interest to plead guilty. There are a few ways your lawyer can best prepare your case to avoid a conviction followed by a loss of licence or other penalties.
Pleading guilty earlier on in the process can result in the judge giving you 25% discount on your penalty. Doing this later will result in a smaller and smaller discount. So if you’re aware of the evidence against you, plead guilty as soon as you can so you can avoid a harsh penalty.
Complete a Street Racing Traffic Offenders Program
Finishing an accredited traffic offenders program before your sentencing can massively improve your chances of avoiding a substantial penalty, such as imprisonment or the impoundment of your vehicle. Completing the course shows your desire to learn from your mistakes.
References of Good Character
Compiling a list of reference letters from people who know you well can improve your results in court. Notes of evidence detailing your good character from family, friends, colleagues, a charity, and a sincere apology letter from you will help your case.
For the highest chances, your letters should comment on your excellent citizenship as well as your feelings of regret for committing the street racing offence. If your employer writes a message, ask them to mention how the potential loss of licence or vehicle will undoubtedly affect your work.
Reports from a Psychologist
A powerful thing you can do to improve the chances of avoiding heavy penalties is to get a court report from a psychiatrist or psychologist. The report should mention any mental illnesses you were suffering from at the time, new insights you’ve experienced, and your genuine remorse and shame. Showing a report from an experienced and respected person documenting your repentance can encourage the judge give you a lighter sentence.
Typically the police have a set of facts telling one side of the story, including your offensive conduct. The judge will read this report and ultimately decide your punishment. Your street racing lawyer can analyse the evidence, find loopholes, and negotiate the truth of the story. Negotiating can help re frame your behaviour in a better light. Usually, this leads to a better result in court.
If you’re facing charges for illegal Sydney street racing, you need a lawyer who knows how to handle the case. There’s no reason for you to walk into the courtroom and face the magistrate alone or unprepared. If you’re looking for a trusted team to help you, contact RHA Law today!
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