Things can often look pretty black in my clients’ minds when they walk through the door.
I recently had a client who was charged with Mid Range PCA, and when pulled over by the police, he had an open stubbie of beer in his car with him. Not a good look!
To compound his anxiety, this was my client’s second drink driving offence, the first one was a High Range PCA five years ago.
What was most disconcerting for my client is that he operated a business in the automotive field and his drivers licence was essential to him. He had not been in the business long, was heavily in debt due to its purchase and was working enormous hours ( from 6am sometimes through to midnight, and six days a week) to try and build the business up.
Adding to his burden were two young children under the age of three and with his wife tending the children, his was presently a one income family.
Everyday without his licence, took my client closer to financial ruin.
The Magistrate considering the case, quite correctly from the outset, aired his concerns regarding the issue of the beer in the car whilst the client was driving and the previous high range offence on his record.
My job was to get through to the Magistrate the human story of my client, the story not presented in the police fact sheet.
My client was a bit of a hell raiser in his youth, but was now 30, and in recent years had shown a real committment to turn his life around that reflected the greater responsibility he now bore with his work and young family.
He had in fact given up all alcohol for a period of two years when his first child was born and now only drank very occasionally. The enormous financial pressure of his business and his long work hours had raised my clients stress levels to crisis point and under enormous stress….we all make mistakes.
The Magistrate accepted this turnaround in my client, and his efforts in recent times to work extremely hard to build a life for his young family. The Magistrate accepted that based on my client’s recent behaviour, this incident was both very much out of character for him and deeply, deeply regretted.
The Magistrate dealt with the matter by imposing the very minimum disqualification of my client’s drivers licence that he was able to, a tremendous result given my client’s previous high range offence, and in my opinion a very just one.
My client, as expected, was over the moon with the result that had been achieved on his behalf.
Without my client’s circumstances being properly and professionally presented, his disqualification could easily have been doubled, and for him that would almost certainly have led to him losing his business.
Things are never as dark as they seem……especially when you have expert legal representation.