But what if there is a valid defence to the charge?
Pulled over by cop during massive Police Blitz, in heavy traffic, attempting to cross a tramway to get to the other side.
Road Rules 2009 155A Tramways
(1) A driver (except the driver of a tram, tram
recovery vehicle or public bus) must not drive in a
tramway, unless the driver is permitted to drive in
the tramway under subrule (2).
(2) A driver may drive in a tramway if—
(a) it is necessary for the driver to drive in the
tramway to avoid an obstruction; and
(b) when driving in the tramway, the driver does
not move into the path of an approaching
tram or public bus travelling in the tramway.
Obstruction is defined in the dictionary.
obstruction includes a traffic hazard, but does not include a
vehicle only because the vehicle is stopped in traffic or is
travelling more slowly than other vehicles;
Summary of possible defense:
Point (b), is not likely to be in dispute - no trams around at all. Cop acknowledged this.
Point (a), however, I was trying to not get in the way of other Police Cars in the area (separate to the one which pulled me over) as they were already causing quite an obstruction with all of the Police Activity in the area.
Enough background. I want to know about court process, not able right/wrong/chances etc.
If I did decide to contest it, in general, how feasible is it to defend myself?
Particular questions - Case Specific:
Is there a way to prove in court that there was a Police Blitz in the area at the time of the offense?
How would it stand if it was my word against theirs if they did not agree that the other Police Car(s) were obstructing?
Do Victoria Police use dashcams or voice recorders (that can be used prove things one way or the other), or is the evidence only on the Police Officers' testimony?
Particular questions - Court Specific
Would I need to or have someone else go to all of the possible mention dates in person?
Are there any guides on defending yourself?
Are there any workshops available on how courts work to be prepared for defending yourself? eg: Tips what to wear, how to address the court, follow process
Do organisations like Legal Aid or other organisations help people wishing to defend themselves? Does Legal Aid defend people for free over small matters like this?
If I go to court, and lose, is it possible to have a conviction recorded against me even though the original infringement did not carry a conviction? If so, is it possible for a judge to record non-conviction even if found guilty by the court? And if I could end up with a Guilty with no conviction, how could that affect me later in life (over such a small offense!)?
If I go to court, and win, is it possible to recover costs such as lost wages while I was preparing for, studying for, and attending court to defend myself?
If I hired a professional lawyer, and win, is it possible to recover costs for the lawyer?
Thanks, not sure if I want to fight it - it is just a monetary fine that stings, just want to know what could possibly happen if I did.