We have represented clients in cases involving the entire range of driving cases from drink driving offences nz wide to careless driving, to motor vehicle manslaughter.
The first issue always considered is whether there is a defence to the charge. Defences in this area may have regard to:
- The manner of driving and/or the condition of the road. We have access to experts in the design of road surfaces and experts on the reasons why motor vehicles lose control, some of which may not be known to the motorist involved in the accident. Expert medical evidence may also be necessary in assessing why an accident took place.
- The way in which the driver’s civil rights were dealt with. Members of chambers are experienced in testing whether the client’s Bill of Rights have been breached by the enforcement officer.
- Who was driving the vehicle? The preference in this case is to have the charge withdrawn prior to the hearing by negotiating with the Police in a timely and efficient way.
We know exactly what issues to focus on when representing someone charged with a driving offence. Sometimes it is necessary for one of our barristers to visit the scene to see for themselves what visibility or what other conditions existed that could have contributed to the accident. On other occasions it may be important to instruct a crash expert for an opinion or even the local council to discover whether or not there have been complaints about a particular stretch of road.
If there is no defence available, then the next step is to see whether a client can retain their driver’s licence, an important civil right. If that is not possible, then limited licences (also known as work licences) are available if extreme hardship is caused to the client or undue hardship is caused to anyone else.