Case Study – Using a Vehicle with Intent to Assault a Police Officer

Jordan Gear, criminal defence lawyer from Longton Legal recently represented a client who was charged with a number of offences, including an offence of using an offensive weapon with intent to commit an assault, and failing to stop and assist after a vehicular impact causing injury. The client was a 27-year-old woman who had a significant record of prior convictions, including matters for which she had received a gaol sentence. Fortunately, for our client, Mr Gear was able to convince the Court that the client should receive no further gaol time.

The Facts

A number of detectives were present near a McDonalds restaurant for an unrelated matter at 3:30am in the early morning. The detectives noticed two vehicles nearby where the occupants appeared to be in an argument. The detectives approached the vehicles in the hope of defusing the situation.

The vehicle which our client was driving was being driven in an erratic manner, driving over traffic dividers. Our client at some stage drove the vehicle out of the car park complex near the McDonalds and then out of sight.

Two of the same detectives then located the same vehicle parked at a service station that was closed for the night. Those detectives moved towards the vehicle, believing it to be abandoned, and then noticed our client was still in the vehicle. Our client then turned on her vehicle and reversed her car into the car used by the detectives. One of the detectives remained inside their vehicle and produced their firearm, calling upon our client to stop.

The other detective exited their vehicle and approached the driver’s side of our client’s vehicle. Suddenly, our client’s vehicle reversed again, pinning the right leg of the other detective between the police vehicle and our client’s vehicle. Our client’s vehicle then left the scene, following the detective was conveyed to hospital. Police alleged in Court that this detective was off work for six months as a result of this incident.

The Result

The use offensive weapon charge carries with it a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 years if dealt with in the District Court, and 2 years imprisonment if dealt with in the Local Court. The fail to stop and assist charge carries with it a maximum term of imprisonment of 2 years, with a minimum period of licence disqualification of 2 years.

This was a very serious matter. Any criminal offending where the victim is a police officer would usually carry with it a significant penalty.

There was an abundance of material that the client had suffered for years with a significant drug problem, and that during the offending, she was likely suffering from a drug induced psychosis, and that she had no knowledge that the person she ran into was a police officer. She also suffered from a number of mental health issues, and had spent a significant period of her life away from her young son, who she gave birth to whilst previously in custody. Fortunately, she had managed to turn her life around since her previous release from custody on bail and had spent a long period in residential rehabilitation facilities free from drugs.

Following Mr Gear’s vigorous and articulate submissions, His Honour saw fit to impose a term of imprisonment of 18 months, with a non-parole period of 12 months in relation to the use offensive weapon offence. The Court, taking into account the nine months she had spent in custody prior to sentence, as well as the time she had spent in residential rehabilitation, backdated that sentence to commence 12 months prior to the date of sentence. In relation to the fail to stop and assist charge, the client was directed to enter into a Community Correction Order for a period of 12 months, with a condition that she be supervised by Community Corrections. She was also disqualified from driving for a period of 3 years.

This was a fantastic result, which allowed the client to continue with her rehabilitation in the community and not have to go back to gaol for what was a very serious offence.

If you wish to obtain the services of a talented criminal law advocate like Mr Gear, we recommend that you contact Longton Legal. The criminal law team at Longton Legal have significant experience in all areas of criminal and traffic law at all levels of the NSW court system.

*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice beforetaking any course of action.*

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