Traffic Law

TRAFFIC LAW

Strictly speaking, traffic offences are criminal offences.  However, most traffic offences come under specific legislation. Traffic law is very technical and complex, so the proper defence of traffic offences requires detailed knowledge of these specific laws governing traffic offences.

A number of traffic offences such as drink driving and speeding differ from regular crimes in that prosecution are able to rely on what are called “statutory aids”, which are basically certificates, the contents of which become proof of certain facts.  An example of this occurs with speeding charges, where police can sign a certificate stating that the speed gun was accurate.  The Court can then presume that the speed gun is accurate and it is up to the defendant to prove otherwise.  This is in effect a reversal of the onus of proof.  It is very difficult and can be very costly for a defendant to rebut the presumption.

Most people who choose to defend traffic law charges do so to try to keep their licences.  While there are options such as pleading guilty and making an application for a reduction of demerit points, often the only way to keep your licence is to plead not guilty and be acquitted of the charges.  Most traffic charges are successfully defended on legal technicalities, such as challenging the certificates, or by knowing when prosecution haven’t proved an element of the offence.  If you need your licence for your livelihood, then you need a lawyer who knows the technicalities of traffic law.

Karen Stanley and Naomi Hill know traffic law.  They know the requirements for valid expiation notices and charges, and know what defects will render particular charges invalid.  They have an in-depth knowledge of the legislation governing traffic offences and knows exactly what prosecution need to prove to secure a conviction.  Importantly, they knows when prosecution cannot prove an element of the offence.  Karen and Naomi understand the intersection between the law and the scientific principles behind the devices used by police to detect traffic offences, and they use this knowledge to secure outstanding results for their clients.

Karen Stanley successfully challenged the certificate used by prosecution in speeding charges in the 2016 case of Police v Butcher.  In that case, the South Australian Supreme Court found that prosecution could not prove that the speed gun was accurate to the extent stated in the certificate.  The effect of this was that prosecution could not prove the charges against her client and he was acquitted of the speeding charges.  Contrary to the SAPOL media release that the decision was “unusual” and wouldn’t create a legal precedent, Stanley Law secured further acquittals for their clients using the same defence.  This culminated in several judgments in 2018 including Police v Hanton, where the Supreme Court definitively stated that the current speed detection legislation and regime could not prove that speed detection devices were accurate.  As a result, the legislation has been changed in an attempt to overcome the problems  highlighted by the Supreme Court.  Whether the amendments have overcome these problems remains to be seen.

In 2020, using a similar argument, Stanley Law succeeded in having the Supreme Court find that prosecution could not prove the accuracy of red light cameras in the case of Woolmer v PoliceThis case resulted in police changing their testing procedures for speed cameras.

In 2021, Stanley Law represented several clients charged with a new, overly punitive and poorly publicised law that resulted in truck and bus drivers losing their licences for exceeding the speed limit on the SE Freeway.  Again, challenging the prosecution statutory aids to proof, Stanley Law succeeded in not only having all charges against their clients withdrawn, but also all charges for every defendant charged with this offence.

When you instruct Stanley Law to represent you, you will know very early on whether you have a chance of successfully defending traffic charges.  If there are no defences available, we will let you know and will advise you of other options available to you, such as structuring a plea which will minimise a licence disqualification, or negotiating with prosecution to have the charge amended to one with a lesser penalty.  We help you weigh up the legal costs of defending charges against the financial impact of a licence disqualification.

When you choose Stanley Law, you will know the likely outcome before you financially commit.  We don’t beat around the bush.  We believe that our clients deserve honest and straightforward legal advice.  Clients don’t like nasty surprises.  Neither do we.

Get the right advice the first time. Click here to contact Stanley Law or call us on 0420 349 737 (Karen Stanley) or 0473 566 898 (Naomi Hill).

For more information about our traffic law success, click on the “media articles” link under News:

CONTACT STANLEY LAW

We offer a free initial consultation. We appear in all South Australian courts, including suburban and country.





     

    Speeding fine challenges likely after landmark South Australian court ruling.

    Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas says speed cameras are accurate, confident that landmark case won’t create legal precedent.

    Future up in the air for handheld speed guns in SA.

    Change to speeding laws to be 'rushed' through SA Parliament after lasers withdrawn.

    SA police forced to dump handheld lidar speed guns and abandon 125 prosecutions.

    TRAFFIC LAW

    Strictly speaking, traffic offences are criminal offences.  However, most traffic offences come under specific legislation. Traffic law is very technical and complex, so the proper defence of traffic offences requires detailed knowledge of these specific laws governing traffic offences.

    A number of traffic offences such as drink driving and speeding differ from regular crimes in that prosecution are able to rely on what are called “statutory aids”, which are basically certificates, the contents of which become proof of certain facts.  An example of this occurs with speeding charges, where police can sign a certificate stating that the speed gun was accurate.  The Court can then presume that the speed gun is accurate and it is up to the defendant to prove otherwise.  This is in effect a reversal of the onus of proof.  It is very difficult and can be very costly for a defendant to rebut the presumption.

    Most people who choose to defend traffic law charges do so to try to keep their licences.  While there are options such as pleading guilty and making an application for a reduction of demerit points, often the only way to keep your licence is to plead not guilty and be acquitted of the charges.  Most traffic charges are successfully defended on legal technicalities, such as challenging the certificates, or by knowing when prosecution haven’t proved an element of the offence.  If you need your licence for your livelihood, then you need a lawyer who knows the technicalities of traffic law.

    Karen Stanley and Naomi Hill know traffic law.  They know the requirements for valid expiation notices and charges, and know what defects will render particular charges invalid.  They have an in-depth knowledge of the legislation governing traffic offences and knows exactly what prosecution need to prove to secure a conviction.  Importantly, they knows when prosecution cannot prove an element of the offence.  Karen and Naomi understand the intersection between the law and the scientific principles behind the devices used by police to detect traffic offences, and they use this knowledge to secure outstanding results for their clients.

    Karen Stanley successfully challenged the certificate used by prosecution in speeding charges in the 2016 case of Police v Butcher.  In that case, the South Australian Supreme Court found that prosecution could not prove that the speed gun was accurate to the extent stated in the certificate.  The effect of this was that prosecution could not prove the charges against her client and he was acquitted of the speeding charges.  Contrary to the SAPOL media release that the decision was “unusual” and wouldn’t create a legal precedent, Stanley Law secured further acquittals for their clients using the same defence.  This culminated in several judgments in 2018 including Police v Hanton, where the Supreme Court definitively stated that the current speed detection legislation and regime could not prove that speed detection devices were accurate.  As a result, the legislation has been changed in an attempt to overcome the problems  highlighted by the Supreme Court.  Whether the amendments have overcome these problems remains to be seen.

    In 2020, using a similar argument, Stanley Law succeeded in having the Supreme Court find that prosecution could not prove the accuracy of red light cameras in the case of Woolmer v PoliceThis case resulted in police changing their testing procedures for speed cameras.

    In 2021, Stanley Law represented several clients charged with a new, overly punitive and poorly publicised law that resulted in truck and bus drivers losing their licences for exceeding the speed limit on the SE Freeway.  Again, challenging the prosecution statutory aids to proof, Stanley Law succeeded in not only having all charges against their clients withdrawn, but also all charges for every defendant charged with this offence.

    When you instruct Stanley Law to represent you, you will know very early on whether you have a chance of successfully defending traffic charges.  If there are no defences available, we will let you know and will advise you of other options available to you, such as structuring a plea which will minimise a licence disqualification, or negotiating with prosecution to have the charge amended to one with a lesser penalty.  We help you weigh up the legal costs of defending charges against the financial impact of a licence disqualification.

    When you choose Stanley Law, you will know the likely outcome before you financially commit.  We don’t beat around the bush.  We believe that our clients deserve honest and straightforward legal advice.  Clients don’t like nasty surprises.  Neither do we.

    Get the right advice the first time. Click here to contact Stanley Law or call us on 0420 349 737 (Karen Stanley) or 0473 566 898 (Naomi Hill).

    For more information about our traffic law success, click on the “media articles” link under News:

    CONTACT STANLEY LAW

    We offer a free initial consultation. We appear in all South Australian courts, including suburban and country.





       

      Speeding fine challenges likely after landmark South Australian court ruling.

      Road Safety Minister Peter Malinauskas says speed cameras are accurate, confident that landmark case won’t create legal precedent.

      Future up in the air for handheld speed guns in SA.

      Change to speeding laws to be 'rushed' through SA Parliament after lasers withdrawn.

      SA police forced to dump handheld lidar speed guns and abandon 125 prosecutions.