Drink driving is a serious offence that in the most extreme cases can result in prison time for the offender with a maximum sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to 3300 Australian dollars. These kind of sentences are usually reserved for drivers drinking with a very large amount of alcohol in their bloodstream and sentences can be especially severe for repeat offenders.
Even drivers who fall into the lower range of brackets, with regards to the amount of alcohol in their bloodstream, can face prison sentences between six months to a year and fines up 2200 Australian dollars. On top of this, all drivers convicted of drink driving will be stripped of their driving license automatically and gain themselves a criminal record.
It’s for this reason that it’s vital defendants facing court dates employ the most experienced drink driving lawyersavailable to them. The best lawyers can help get sentences reduced to the minimum. Furthermore, it’s completely necessary to utilise the services of lawyers who know how to handle a DUI case.
In some rare cases, lawyers are able to get drivers facing court a full pardon, meaning no criminal record, no fine and no prison time.
Due to the severity of the crime, these instances are not very common, but nevertheless, not unheard of. A pardon in Australian is what’s known as a section 10.
A few things the court will take into consideration when a lawyer applies for a section 10 are as follows:
The Driver’s Age
This doesn’t necessarily mean that younger drivers are more likely to be pardoned, but along with many other factors, age will play a role in the courts decision to issue a section 10.
The Driver’s Record
If a driver has been convicted of drink driving before, it’s unlikely they’ll have much chance of being issued with a section 10. It will certainly help if the driver has a completely clean criminal record and this is the first case of being convicted for driving under the influence.
The Trivial Nature of the Offence
Courts may take into consideration whether or not the driver was fully aware they were committing a crime. Though it’s no excuse for driving under the influence, drivers occasionally drive the next day or after drinking an amount of alcohol they wouldn’t have thought would have put them over the limit. If the court believes this is definitely the case, a section 10 is more likely.
There may be instances where a driver genuinely had no choice but to drive under the influence given the particular situation at the time.
If a driver feels they could be issued a section 10 for any of the reasons stated above, they will need the services of professional drink driver lawyers to present the case to the court in the correct way.