Criminal & Traffic Law

At Dawson Solicitors we understand the stress and consequences associated with your criminal matter. We represent clients in a variety of different matters ranging from traffic offences to serous criminal offences.

We understand what is at stake in your criminal matter and will do our best to ensure your sentence is the most favourable in the circumstances. We have a working knowledge of the penalities that may be imposed and will communicate with you on a real and practical level so that you are fully aware of any possible outcome at Court.

  • Traffic Offences (DUI, Accidents, License Suspension)

Driving Under the Influence

As driving under the influence is a strict liability offence the prescribed concentration of alcohol in your blood stream plays a crucial role in determining the penalties and options available to the Court for sentencing. Unless whilst driving under the influence there are further mitigating factors such as; death or serious injury your matter will be heard in the Local Court by a single Magistrate.

The following ranges and minimum/maximum penalties are currently provided for under the Road Transport Act:

Remember if you are sentenced at the Local Court level and you disagree with the harshness of the sentence you have the option to appeal to the District Court on the grounds of severity.

License Suspension

We can assist you to appeal to the local court against a licence suspension if you are suspended:

  • for speeding more than 30 km/hr over the speed limit
  • for speeding more than 45 km/hr over the speed limit
  • on the spot’ by a police officer

You can also appeal against a suspension if you are a provisional or learner licence holder and RMS suspended your licence because you had too many demerit points.

You must contact us as a matter of urgency as we must file your appeal within 28 days of the date of the Notice of Suspension from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) or 28 days of when you get the ‘on the spot’ suspension from the police.


If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident we can help you receive compensation for your injuries and related damages for example, loss of income.

Due to the laws in New South Wales regarding personal injury law advertising we are unable to tell you more online about our services. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

  • Assault

In NSW there are the following types of assault that carry the following penalties:

  • Common Assault – Maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment.
  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm – Maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
  • Reckless Wounding – Maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment or 10 years imprisonment if committed with another person.
  • Reckless Grievous Bodily Harm – Maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment or 14 years imprisonment if committed with another.
  • Intent to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm – Maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment.
  • Assault of a Police Officer in their Execution in the Execution of their Duties – Maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.
  • Assault of a Police Officer in the Execution of their Duties Causing Actual Bodily Harm – Maximum Penalty is 7 years imprisonment.
  • Assault Causing Death (One Punch Laws) – Maximum penalty to 20 to 25 years imprisonment.
  • Attempts to Choke – Maximum penalty 25 years imprisonment.
  • Causing Grievous Bodily Harm by Gun Powder – Maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.
  • Not Providing Wife/Child or Servant with Food – Maximum penalty 5 years imprisonment.
  • Breach/Contravention of Apprehended Violence Order – Maximum penalty 2 years imprisonment or $5,500.00 fine.
  • Not Providing the Necessities of Life – Maximum penalty 5 years imprisonment.
  • Murder/Manslaughter

In New South Wales the maximum penalty for a murder conviction is life imprisonment. Your murder charge will be heard before the District Court of Supreme Court of New South Wales.

  • Theft
  • The maximum penalty for Break, Enter and Steal is 2 years imprisonment or $5,500.00.
  • The maximum penalty for stealing a motor vehicle is 10 years imprisonment.
  • The maximum penalty for robbery from a person is 14 years imprisonment.

Please contact us to discuss how we can advocate on your behalf to assist you obtain the best possible outcome in your legal matter.

  • Domestic Violence & Apprehended Violence Orders

Domestic Violence includes a wide range of behavior from stalking and intimidation to coercive and controlling behavior to physical assault. Apprehended Violence Orders (“AVO”) may be issued to protect a victim from such behaviour.

Usually AVOs are made by a Local Court Magistrate and remain in force for a specified period of time, usually 12 months or 24 months.

There are two main categories of AVOs:

  1. Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders:
    • This order aims to protect a person from violence, threats and harassment from a spouse, de facto partner, ex-partner, family member, carer or person living in the same household.
  2. Apprehended Personal Violence Orders:
    • This order protects a person from violence, threats and harassment from anyone you are not in a domestic or family relationship with, and have never been in a relationship with.

If you would like to have an AVO put in place or would like to contest and AVO please contact us.

  • Property Damage

In NSW, malicious damage carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Where the offence is committed in company with another person, the maximum penalty is 6 years imprisonment. There are different maximum penalties if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, or during a ‘public disorder’.

Please contact us for further information about how we can represent you and your property damage matter.

  • Harassment

The maximum penalty for the charge of intimidation and stalking is a fine of $5,500 and/or 5 years imprisonment.

Please contact us to find out how we can help you obtain the best possible result for you in relation to your harassment charge.

  • Possible Penalties

After a guilty plea is entered the Court will generally award any of the following penalties:

  • Section 10: No criminal conviction recorded, even though a guilty plea was entered.
  • Fines
  • Good Behaviour Bond (Section 9)
  • Community Service Order (Section 8)
  • Suspended Sentence (Section 11)
  • Intensive Correction Order (compliance with conditions such as counselling or treatment)
  • Goal (full-time detention in a correctional facility)