Facts: The client was applying to the Frankston Magistrates’ Court to become relicenced. The client had four prior offences relating to drink driving. In all cases the BAC had been just over .05. Three of the offences were within the last ten years at the time of making the application.
Initially the client had tried to represent himself. He was told to forget about it and come back in 6 months. He immediately appealed the decision to the County Court.
Results: When the client came to our office we checked with the Court what was recorded on his file. The Magistrate had struck out the application but had not remained part-heard in the matter. This was good news. It meant the client did not have to wait 6 months – he was entitled to immediately apply to the Court again to become relicenced. He was also better off going back to the Magistrates’ Court rather than attending the County Court, where he would have to wait at least two months to have the matter heard.
We had the County Court appeal struck out and then we listed an application at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court. 30 days later the matter was brought back before a different Magistrate.
The client was granted his licence back, subject to an interlock condition of four years. (i.e. he had to have an interlock device fitted to his car). Because the client had three prior convictions within ten years, this was the mandatory minimum period for an interlock condition.
Please be aware that at the time of writing this case summary (10 August 2013) this was the state of the law. The law is constantly changing in relation to interlock conditions. You should always check with a lawyer before relying upon any outcomes printed on our site.
This case highlights the importance of engaging a lawyer at the outset of your matter. This client suffered a great deal of unnecesary distress at the hands of a Magistrate when he attempted to represent himself. This would not have happened if the client had had legal representation at Court.