Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Laws from Western Sydney University and has completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law. Vanessa is admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Vanessa is experienced and passionate about criminal law, having worked previously with the Department of Justice in the Local Courts for a number of years. She understands the needs of clients, having previously built relationships with members of all parts of the justice system including Magistrates, court staff, prosecutors and solicitors.
Vanessa is also passionate about helping others and ensuring that the best possible outcome is achieved for her clients. She prides herself in being approachable, communicable and organised to ensure that the client is receiving the best possible support and advice for their matter.
Vanessa is also particularly interested in the areas of succession and family law.
In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys being outdoors, travelling and maintaining her health and fitness at the gym.
Accreditations & Memberships
- Member of the Law Society of New South Wales
Success Stories and Publications
Our solicitor Vanessa Barnsley represented a 25-year-old male at Burwood Local Court on charges of Refuse or Fail to Submit to Breath Analysis, Refuse or Fail to Submit to Breath Test, Not Give Right Change of Direction and Responsible Custodian/Person not Disclose Driver Details.
The charges had arisen after the client was approached by police while sitting in the passenger side of the vehicle. The client's friend had been the driver but did not speak good English and was not questioned by police.
If convicted of the offences, the client was facing a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment, a 3-year disqualification period and fines of up to $3,300.00 for refusing to submit to a breath analysis.
Ms Barnsley appealed the decision to immediately suspend the client's licence. She made submissions about the client's exceptional circumstances, explaining that he required his licence as he was a construction work site supervisor who supervised numerous job sites per day. It was also submitted that the client would be defending the charges and that the immediate suspension, if not lifted, would mean the client would be unable to drive for a long time as the hearing date would be at least four months off.
The magistrate found that there were exceptional circumstances, allowed the appeal, and the client was able to resume driving.
Representations were sent to police for the withdrawal of the charges of Refuse or Fail to Submit to Breath Analysis, Refuse or Fail to Submit to Breath Test and Not Use Right Change of Direction based on our instructions that our client was not the driver. We enclosed a statement from the friend who was driving at the time, which stated that the police did not investigate the matter appropriately.
Police agreed to withdraw the charges and the client proceeded to be sentenced for the charge of Responsible Custodian/Person Not Disclose Driver Details only. After hearing submissions, the court convicted the client and fined him $300.00.
The client avoided jail and a 3-year licence disqualification.
Our solicitor Vanessa Barnsley represented a 29-year-old male who was charged with Drive Whilst Disqualified for the twelfth time. At the time of the offence, the client had been on parole for previous driving and other unrelated charges and had only been released into the community four months prior to the offence.
The client pleaded guilty at Campbelltown Local Court. The court heard that the client's partner had been driving at the time and was having an unexpected panic attack due to having flashbacks to a car accident she had been in. Our client agreed to drive the short distance home so she could calm down. He was pulled over on his way for an RBT and admitted to not holding a licence.
In the Local Court, the Magistrate did not want to hear submissions on the matter and sentenced the client to a fixed term of 6 months imprisonment due to his extremely lengthy record. This sentence would, in turn, revoke his parole which was due to end in November 2019.
The client appealed the decision based on the severity of the sentence and on appeal, all evidence was presented to the Judge including, a psychologist's report about how well the client was doing since he was granted parole in January 2018, and medical evidence of his partner’s condition and the car accident in her past.
We made submissions on all reasons why the client should be given an opportunity to stay in the community based on the likelihood a further period of incarceration would be extremely detrimental to him as he was on track to turn his life around and was engaging in ongoing rehabilitation.
The Judge was convinced that the appeal could be allowed and sentenced the client to a 12-month good behaviour bond with a condition that he continue seeing his treating psychologist.
The client was released from custody.