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      Charged with Affray and assault, no conviction

      Our client is a 22-year-old professional rugby player. He was in the Sydney CBD with 3 friends.

      While walking out of ‘The Star’ he was attempting to hail a taxi. The driver refused to allow our client into the taxi and began verbally abusing our client.

      Our client and a friend approached the driver side window.

      A physical altercation ensured with bystanders having to step between the parties. The taxi driver sustained cuts to his face and significant bleeding.

      As a result, our client was charged with Affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The Police facts sheet alleged that our client had punched the driver numerous times and attempted to choke him.

      He was also issued with a banning notice from the Star.

      Our client’s instructions were that he had only slapped the driver.

      He had spoken to other lawyers who advised him that he would have to accept the Facts Sheet and charges and that he could not avoid a conviction.

      We took a different view.

      We immediately began writing ‘representations’ to have both charges withdrawn in lieu of our client pleading guilty to a charge of Common assault.

      We also began negotiating for the Facts Sheet to be heavily amended to delete any references to our client punching the driver and the driver being injured.

      We also were able to have the banning order revoked. Ultimately our amendments to the Facts were agreed.

      We provided our client with our specialised character reference and apology letter guides. We obtained references confirming that he was heavily involved in charity work and that a criminal conviction would affect his ability to travel and it could lead to fines and suspensions from the NRL.

      We made lengthy oral submissions in Court, stressing the low objective seriousness of the offending as well as our client’s need to be conviction free.

      The magistrate accepted our submissions and exercised her discretion not to impose a criminal conviction.

      We were also able to use our public relations specialists to ensure that the case did not garner any media attention.

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