What is the interlock program?
When someone has committed a major driving and usually alcohol related offence, commonly referred to as “drink driving”, the court must impose a licence disqualification period and a period of participation in the interlock program.
The interlock period starts after the completion of the disqualification period and once the interlock device is installed. If you are subject to an interlock order you may only drive a vehicle equipped with an interlock device and must have a blood alcohol concentration of zero.
An “interlock” is a breath testing device attached to the ignition…
by Mark Warren
The new sentencing laws in NSW came into force in September 2018 and criminal lawyers and their clients have already had to grapple with the new terminology and sentencing options in court.
Here is a summary of the changes made by the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017 (CSP Amendment Act) and some practical information on how these changes affect the practices of criminal lawyers who are defending clients in court.
As well as these changes there is now a presumption of full-time custody or a supervised order for offenders found guilty of a domestic…
As a lawyer specialising in wills and estates, I find myself increasingly providing advice (and often launching legal proceedings) on the basis that a deceased will maker lacked the testamentary capacity to make his or her will.
The recent case Ryan v Dalton; Estate of Ryan  NSWSC 1007 is a case in point. In this case, a testator’s final will was challenged. The court held this final will to be invalid due to lack of testamentary capacity. Probate was granted to a will made two years earlier instead. (For the background facts to this case, please…
In an item published recently in the ANU Reporter — Do we have a Frankenstein problem? — ANU lecturer Dr Russell Smith focused on artificial intelligence, and the impact it has in various ways on the lives of everyday people through automated systems. One question which flows from this is whether the law (as it usually does) lags behind technological development; and whether some kind of legal framework is needed.
Dr Smith identifies Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (or, correctly, the monster created by Dr Frankenstein) as the first artificially created life which became a threat to humans in…
The obvious answer to the question of how to avoid a drivers licence suspension is to obey traffic laws. However, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having committed a traffic offence and facing suspension of your licence, there are a few options to consider that may result in you avoiding the suspension.
We recommend that as soon as you receive a penalty notice or a letter of suspension, you seek legal advice about your options.
Dealing with a penalty notice
When you commit a traffic offence, you will likely receive a penalty notice in…
by John Gooley
The actual contents of many of the ecstasy tablets and other tablets that people take at parties and festivals are a combination of dangerous chemicals and compounds, mixed together in horrific, unhygienic circumstances by extremely dangerous and questionable people.
Police warnings issued before music festivals have failed to deter drug takers
Unfortunately, despite advance warnings of police presence in the media and high visibility police operations at many music festivals, it appears the number of young people willing to take their chances with these drugs is on the rise. …
by John Gooley
There is currently a stand-off of sorts between the NSW Police and the NSW Greens party and various activists and groups, regarding the need for and effectiveness of police drug detector dogs.
Sniffer dog indications often lead to false positives as no drugs are found
The stand-off is likely to be resolved in the courts, as the opponents of sniffer dog use — especially at events like dance parties and music festivals — have stated they intend to pursue legal challenges to the use of the dogs.
Those opponents claim that the dogs give many “indications” (ie…
by John Gooley
More people opting to go to court rather than appealing to Revenue NSW
If you receive a fine in NSW that you feel was unjust, you have the choice of either requesting a review from Revenue NSW or taking the matter directly to court.
While we generally advise our clients to try to avoid court where possible, due to the time and financial impact of being involved in legal proceedings, we are finding that many people are opting to go directly to court and represent themselves, rather than seeking a review, due to the perceived unlikelihood of…
by Ruth Whisker
You have been fighting for years with your ex-husband/wife/partner over the kids, each of you has thrown so much mud at the other that you could fill a bath with it, but that is alright because your children will never know what you had said about their dad/mum or them in the court proceedings — right? Wrong!
Court allows adult child access to parents’ court file
In the matter of Carter & Carter  FamCAFC 45, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia has allowed access to the parents’ 1977 court file to their 53-year-old…
Buying a new home or a property can be one of the most exciting events of your life. In an ideal world it would be as easy as simply finding the money, paying the owner and receiving the title of the property.
Unfortunately, however, there are all sorts of pitfalls and possible traps that can appear during the property settlement process, and as your house will likely be the biggest investment of your life, it is wise to get reliable legal advice to protect your interests. …
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