A drink-driving conviction is a criminal offence and may have a serious impact on your life. If you are charged with drink-driving, it will be for one of two reasons. The first is if you were driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. The second is if, following a test (usually a breathalyser in Victoria) you are found to have been driving at or above the prescribed concentration of alcohol in your system. In Victoria, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above 0.05, you will be in breach of the drink-driving laws and may face serious consequences.
Facing the prospect of a drink-driving conviction can be an overwhelming experience, with potentially life-changing consequences. However, with the right guidance and expert assistance from a criminal law firm, you may be able to overcome this challenge. Seeking professional legal advice and representation will give you the best chance of successfully navigating through the complexities of the legal system, and potentially, beating a drink-driving conviction.
The Importance of Consulting Criminal Law Firms
When faced with drink-driving charges, your future and reputation are on the line. Engaging a reputable criminal law firm is essential in ensuring that you have a strong team working tirelessly in your corner to protect your rights and guide you through the process with expert knowledge and compassion.
Criminal law firms have an in-depth understanding of Victoria’s legal system and penalties, and the expertise to analyse your unique situation. They will provide tailored advice based on the specific circumstances of your case with the goal of identifying legal defences, finding faults in the prosecution’s evidence, and effectively communicating your position to the court.
The Consequences of a Drink-Driving Conviction
In Victoria, the consequences of a drink-driving conviction are severe and may include:
Suspension or cancellation of your driver’s licence
In the majority of drink-driving cases, the individual will receive a traffic infringement notice and an automatic cancellation of your licence. The length of this licence restriction depends on whether you are a first time offender, or if you have multiple drink-driving discretion against your name. Those with multiple accounts of drink-driving may lose their licence for a longer period.
In all cases where an individual is found guilty of drink-driving, a monetary fine will be issued. The total of the fine will be determined depending on your previous drink-driving history. First time offenders will receive a maximum penalty of a fine and a loss of licence.
First time offenders will receive a fine and an immediate loss of licence without the need to go to court. However, those with multiple drink-driving infringements or a particularly high BAC, may be required to attend court. If this happens to you, you would not only lose your licence, but could potentially be sentenced to a community corrections order, or even imprisonment.
Mandatory participation in behaviour change programs
As of April 2018, all individuals found guilty of drink-driving in Victoria, regardless of previous history, are required to complete a Drink Driver Behaviour Change Program. Failure to do so within a prescribed time period may result in more severe repercussions. In addition to these programs, you may be ordered to have an alcohol interlock fitted to your car for a set period of several months, as well as maintaining a zero BAC level of several years.
Loss of employment opportunities
Having a drink-driving offence and a criminal record may have a serious impact on an individual’s ability to find work. Many jobs require a police background check prior to employment, and seeing this mark against your name may discourage them from employing you.
Damage to your public reputation
Having a criminal record may have a more wide-reaching impact on an individual’s life. Having a criminal record, or even just not being able to drive to places, may result in job losses or a strain on your personal life.
Given the far-reaching implications of a conviction, investing in a skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyer is invaluable to preserving your future.
How a Criminal Law Firm Can Help
A criminal law firm can provide several services to those facing drink-driving charges, ranging from preliminary advice to full representation in the courtroom. Some of these services include:
Assessment of Your Case
An experienced lawyer will carefully examine your case, weigh the evidence against you, and identify any potential challenges to the prosecution’s case. By doing so, they can develop an effective legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances.
A skilled criminal defence lawyer will be adept at identifying any potential legal defences that could be used to challenge the charges you face. This could include technicalities with the testing equipment used, procedural errors made by law enforcement officers, or mitigating circumstances that may help paint a more favourable picture of your situation.
Negotiation and Plea Bargaining
Criminal law firms can be instrumental in negotiating with the prosecution to potentially reduce the charges or agree upon a lighter sentence, should you decide to plead guilty. This process, also known as plea bargaining, can be a crucial step towards a more favourable outcome.
Representation in Court
A criminal defence lawyer is well-versed in the rules and procedures governing the courtroom and will skillfully present your case to the presiding judge. Expertly crafted arguments and skilled advocacy can significantly improve your chances of a positive outcome.
Criminal Defence Lawyers Melbourne
Facing drink-driving charges can be an intensely stressful experience, but securing the assistance of a reputable criminal law firm can help you navigate the legal process and provide robust representation. If you’re facing a drink-driving conviction and need expert legal representation, look no further than Stary Norton Halphen. Our team of experienced drink-driving lawyers is dedicated to defending your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
At Stary Norton Halphen, we understand the complexities and challenges associated with drink-driving charges. Our lawyers deeply understand the laws and regulations surrounding DUI offences and have successfully represented numerous clients in similar cases.
Remember, time is of the essence when dealing with a drink-driving charge. Contact Stary Norton Halphen now and let our skilled lawyers guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights.