Sunday, October 15, 2006

Facing the music

We had Paul's court hearing this week. He had wanted to apply for an adjournment for as long as possible, as he has his store's conversion in a few weeks time (when they close for a week and then re-open as, ta-da!, Coles Greenacres). We went and saw a lawyer who said it would be no problems, you just need to say you want to seek legal advice and they have to give you an adjournment, no guarantees on how long it will be though. The court day was one of those interesting spectacles, lots of people who know very well what they are doing (lawyers, clerks), and lots of people who have no idea (defendants). After the lawyers all had their turns pleading for adjournments for various people, Paul was the first (only?) defendant standing alone to request an adjournment. The magistrate essentially said 'All you're going to get is 12-15 months suspension and $700-$1000 fine, is it really necessary to see a lawyer?', which the lawyer had warned might happen, but Paul just repeated his request and got a new court date of 21 December. He was very happy with this, as it gets his conversion finished (they open Nov 27 I think) and also the bulk of Christmas trade. The lawyer we saw also said that to her knowledge, they are taking all the time since the offence into consideration when working out the suspension, whether or not you have been driving in that time. She also told us about the Alco-link or whatever it's called, where halfway through your suspension you can fork out $1500 and get a breatho fixed to your ignition and start driving again. With these two things in consideration, Paul will probably not spend any more time without a licence (if suspension of 14 months, 7 months since offence). He's pretty happy about that. His car lease also fortituously runs out on 20 December (the day before the hearing), so he will likely buy a new car (since he wouldn't be able to get the alco-link put into the lease car). In the end I guess it's worked out okay for him.

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