High Range PCA
Here we will discuss the seriousness of the High Range PCA offence.
We hear it quite often on television advertising and see it on billboards, but it still shocks people who have been convicted of High Range PCA when they realise how serious the court considers the offence. It is one of the most serious offences dealt with in the local court.
The usual penalty after conviction carries a mandatory period of licence disqualification and a large fine, but this hasn’t always been the case.
Prior to 2004, there were a number of courts that were seen to be overly lenient in High Range PCA sentences. In Newcastle Local Court, an extraordinary 45% of cases were dealt with by way of a “section 10″in 2002. Grafton Local Court dealt with 11% of High Range PCA offences in the same way.
A “section 10” is similar to a warning, with no conviction recorded and avoiding the usual penalties. Understandably, the Attorney General was disappointed that the seriousness of the offence was not being reflected in the sentence.
There were numerous courts that dealt with High Range PCA hardly using section 10 at all. Wollongong is an example where no section 10 non-conviction orders were applied in the same period where Newcastle dealt with nearly half of their matters in that way.
In 2004, things changed dramatically. This change reduced the Newcastle percentage of section 10 non-convictions to less than 5% and Grafton’s percentage to 1%.
We will discuss what triggered this change next week.
If you have any questions you would like answered either confidentially or via this medium, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.