The New South Wales government introduced new laws in 2010 following the death of 19 month old Skye Sassine in Sydney. Skye died when the vehicle in which she was travelling was hit by a man leading police on a high speed pursuit. Following this tragic death there were calls for tougher penalties on people who lead police on dangerous pursuits. These new laws became known as Skye’s Law.
Skye’s Law is intended to deter people from attempting to evade police which can lead to dangerous chases and high speed police pursuits.
The penalties for breaching Skye’s Law
If you are found guilty of a police pursuit charge under Skye’s Law, the penalty you receive depends on the circumstances and the facts of the case.
Skye’s Law carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison for a first offence and up to five years in prison for a repeat offence. In addition to the possibility of a prison sentence, there is a mandatory disqualification from driving for up to three years.
In order to convict you under Skye’s Law, the police need to prove that you were aware or you suspected the police were pursuing you, that you didn’t stop and that you drove in a reckless or dangerous way. These elements can be difficult for the prosecution to prove.
An experienced criminal lawyer will defend the charges against you by finding avenues to argue that the police have not proven their case against you. They will seek out evidence to present to the Court in your defence.
A successful argument in mitigation of the charge can result in the Magistrate reducing the period of disqualification or even deciding, at their discretion, not to disqualify you at all.
An experienced criminal lawyer may even be able to reach agreement with the police in the lead up to the Court date to drop the charges, or to downgrade them to less serious charges.
What to do
The penalties imposed under these laws can be significant, but our experienced criminal lawyers can make sure that you get the most lenient outcome possible.