​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Your submissions

Submissions are what you say to the magistrate to tell them about the offence, your circumstances and what penalty you would like the magistrate to consider.

You will have a chance to make your submissions after you have entered a plea of guilty, the magistrate has read the documents provided by the police prosecutor, and the magistrate has read any documents provided by you.

You should make sure what you say is well organised and not too long. The magistrate wants to know why and how you committed the offence and what kind of person you are. This may mean giving the magistrate a lot of information about yourself, some of which you may regard as private.

Icon: HintIf there are any details about your life which you would prefer not to talk about in front of the courtroom but which you want the magistrate to know about, you can ask the magistrate if you can hand up all or part of your submissions in writing.

When making your submissions you could use the following order: 

    ​​​Circumstances of the offence

    Although the magistrate will have read the Police Facts Sheet, it is a good idea to summarise what happened in your own words. You should tell the magistrate when and where the offence took place and provide brief details about the circumstances of the offence.

    Personal history

    Your personal history includes information about:

    • your age
    • whether you are single or in a relationship
    • dependent children
    • recent personal difficulties, for example sickness, relationship breakdown, deaths, drug or alcohol issues.

    Education history

    Your education history includes information about:

    • the name of the high school you went to and what year you finished
    • any TAFE, university or college you are currently attending, or went to, as well as the course you did and when you finished.

    Employment history

    Your employment history includes information about:

    • how long you have worked at your current job and what you do
    • how long you worked at previous jobs and what you did there
    • if you are looking for work, what kind of work and what steps you have taken to find work.

    You can also tell the court what impact you think a conviction might have on your job or future employment.

    Financial circumstances

    If the magistrate is considering giving you a fine, they need to know about how much you are able to pay. You should tell the magistrate:

    • if you are on a Centrelink benefit, for example, NewStart or the Disability Support Pension
    • how much you earn a week after tax
    • how much you pay on your mortgage or rent each week
    • how much you pay on bills each week
    • if you are paying off a loan or credit card, how much you are paying each week
    • how much is left over after all your expenses.

    You should also tell the magistrate about your ability to pay any fine that may be imposed.

    Evidence of good character

    If you are 'of good character' you are a person who contributes to the community. You should tell the court about:

    • your involvement in the community, for example, helping an elderly neighbour, P & C activities, Army Reserve, NSW Rural Fire Service
    • volunteer work, for example, at the local community or neighbourhood centre, the local school, RSPCA, Surf Life Savers.

    It is a good idea to get character references from any community organisations you have volunteered for.

    For more information about character references, see Your documents.

    Criminal and driving history

    If you have a criminal history and/or a bad driving record, you should not deny this. You should tell the magistrate:

    • whether you have been charged with the same or similar offences before
    • if it is the first time you have been charged with the offence you are currently before the court for
    • how long it has been since you were last convicted or fined
    • if most of your offences occurred during a difficult period in your life.

    Your need for a licence (if you're at risk of losing it)​

    Some driving offences have an automatic disqualification period as well as any other punishment such as a fine. This means if you are convicted you will not be allowed to drive for at least a minimum amount of time. Telling the magistrate about how losing your licence will impact on you or someone else, may help reduce the period of licence disqualification.

    If you are concerned about losing your licence, you should get legal advice.

    Icon - alertDepending on the offence and your traffic record, the court can also order that your vehicle be forfeited (given to the government) when you are sentenced. If you are concerned that the court will order forfeiture of your vehicle, you should get legal advice before you go to court.

    Mandatory Interlock Order

    If you have been convicted of a driving offence including alcohol after 1 February 2015, the court may make a Mandatory Interlock Order.

    A Mandatory Interlock Order may be made if you have been convicted of:

    • ​​​​​​high range prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA),
    • a second or subsequent drink driving offence in a 5 year period,
    • failing to provide a breath or blood sample when requested by police, or
    • other serious driving offence involving alcohol.

    A Mandatory Interlock Order means you will have a disqualification period during which you cannot drive. When this ends, you can apply for an interlock driver licence. If you have an interlock driver licence, you are only allowed to drive vehicles which are fitted with an approved interlock device. This device requires you to provide a breath sample before the vehicle will start.

    If you do not get the interlock driver licence, you will be disqualified from driving for 5 years from the date of conviction.

    The court can make an exemption order that means you do not have to obtain an interlock driver licence or interlock device at the end of your disqualification period.  

    An exemption order can only be made if you prove:

    • you do not have access to a vehicle which an interlock device can be installed, or
    • you have a medical condition (and evidence) that stops you from being able to provide the interlock device with enough breath to operate.

    An exemption order cannot be made ju​st because:

    • you are unable to afford the costs of the interlock device
    • you risk losing your employment if you are unable to hold an unconditional licence, or
    • the registered owner of the vehicle you will be driving refuses to allow an interlock device to be installed.​​​​​

    If you would like to ask the magistrate for an exemption order, you should get legal advice.

    Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration (if it could be imposed)

    The court may make a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) declaration if you have been found guilty of three or more serious traffic offences over the five years before your court date (including the case you are in court for).

    If you are declared a habitual traffic offender, you will be disqualified from holding a licence for at least a further five years more than any court ordered disqualification.

    In certain circumstances, the magistrate may decide to reduce your period of disqualification to less than five years (although not less than 2 years) or to cancel (quash) the declaration completely. Telling the magistrate why you believe the disqualification period is too harsh or unfair may help reduce the period of time you are disqualified under the HTO declaration. 

    Icon - alertIf you are found guilty of a third serious driving offence in a five year period but the magistrate does not declare you a habitual traffic offender, you will automatically be declared a habitual traffic offender by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and disqualified for a further five years.

    Icon - alertIf you are concerned that the court will make a HTO declaration, you should get legal advice before you go to court.

    If you have already been declared a HTO, you may be able to get the declaration quashed.

    For more information, see Losing your licence in the 'After court' section of this topic.

    Remorse

    You can tell the magistrate how you feel about the offence, for example, if you are sorry you committed the offence. You should also tell the magistrate if you have apologised to the victim (if there was one), and whether you have paid for any damage you have caused. If you did pay for damage it is a good idea to bring receipts.

    Court orders you would like to suggest

    You should tell the magistrate what orders you would like the court to make, for example, you could ask for a fine or a section 10 dismissal.

    You should use the words 'I would ask the court to consider...".

    To help you work out what might be an appropriate order to ask for, you should get legal advice.

    For more information, see:
     

    Checklist: Checklist: submissions.

    Sample: Sample submissions. ​