A driver caught using his phone has been saved from losing his licence or facing any penalties due to the efforts of a Sydney solicitor who describes himself as the ‘little guy’s lawyer.’
The criminal lawyer, Jahan Kalantar, spoke with Daily Mail Australia about the complex world of traffic law and tips for drivers who have received fines or infringement notices.
Sydney criminal lawyer Jahan Kalantar (right) got security guard Moaz (left) off from being fined or losing his driving licence after he was caught using his phone while driving
Jahan Kalantar (pictured left) with his wife describes himself as ‘the little guys lawyer.’ He says his passion for ‘fighting for the little guy’ comes from his proud Persian heritage, a dislike of bullies and a genuine belief that one person can make a difference.
It comes after he saved a Sydney security guard from losing his licence after he was caught using his phone while driving on his provisional learner licence.
The penalty for offending drivers caught using a mobile phone on on a learner or P1 licence is a $362 fine and loss of licence.
The security guard, named Moaz, disputed the penalty in court, after recommendations from Mr Kalantar and the top lawyer represented him in court.
‘He got me off everything, no fine, no penalty, no loss of licence – living life,’ the man said.
So how did Mr Kalantar get Moaz back on the road?
The top lawyer explained the judge granted his client leniency after reviewing his personal circumstances and his need for a driver’s licence to get to work, despite the fact that Moaz pleaded guilty to the offence.
‘Moaz is a security guard at a hospital and used his car to drive approximately 90 minutes to work each day and also to drop his younger sister to school.
‘He does this while also attending university, and his need for a license is substantial.’
Mr Kalantar told Daily Mail Australia that traffic law is complex and recommended for people who are fined or receive infringement notices to speak to a lawyer.
Aussies have about 28 days to appeal a fine from the day it is issued.
Mr Kalantar explained it was unfair to paint all cops as having a ‘revenue raising’ attitude. Pictured are cops outside a Woolworths in Sydney
‘Traffic law is notoriously tricky as there are many rules, pieces of legislation and exceptions that most people do not know about.’
‘My advice is always to speak to a lawyer about your case, there is usually some strategy that can be deployed to better the situation.’
When asked if there was an issue, in his view, of police becoming too focused on ‘revenue raising’, Mr Kalantar responded that each police officer was ‘unique’ and that it was ‘unfair to paint them all with that kind of attitude’.
‘I have noticed an increase in cases being brought and tickets issued when compared to earlier in my career, discretion would likely have been applied.’
The expert lawyer gave important recommendations for drivers to give them the best chance of a defence if they find themselves receiving a fine or penalty.
He called on Aussies to seek legal advice before contesting a fine in court.
‘Receive advice before you elect to take a matter to court, he explained. Often taking a matter to court will result in a substantial increase in the penalty, and the risk is not worth the reward.
‘If costs are a major issue, many community legal centers have drop in legal clinics where you can receive free legal advice in relation to matters including traffic,’ he said.
He also explained one of the simplest ways to avoid fines was to not break the law.
‘Invest in the right equipment for your car, including a proper cradle, hands-free Bluetooth system and other accessories. Whilst the outlay might sting, it is much cheaper in the long run.’
According to Rachael Shaw, partner at Shaw & Henderson legal firm, one of the biggest mistakes people make is paying off a fine before deciding they want to contest it.
‘Once people pay a fine or partly pay a fine or enter a payment plan, it’s almost impossible to undo that,’ she told Yahoo! News.
Rachel Shaw (pictured) partner at the Shaw & Henderson legal firm says Aussies have about 28 days to appeal a fine from the day it is issued
‘Often people pay a fine and not appreciate it attracts demerit points, and once they realise they have this many points before their licence is disqualified it is too late to go back and look at that fine again.’
The most common traffic offences include speeding, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt, not indicating when turning a corner, stopping within 10 metres of an intersection, driving an unregistered car and driving through a red light, according to the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.
‘LITTLE GUY’S LAWYER’ REVEALS HIS TOP TIPS FOR AUSSIES BATTLING POLICE FINES
Jahan Kalantar describes himself as ‘the little guys lawyer.’ He says his passion for ‘fighting for the little guy’ comes from his proud Persian heritage, a dislike of bullies and a genuine belief that one person can make a difference.
Jahan Kalantar (pictured outside court) has shared his top tips for Aussies battling police fines
1. Most people will benefit from having a dash-cam that objectively records both internal and external views. This will prevent any miscommunication and will create evidence that can be relied upon in a dispute.
2. Make sure you know the restrictions on your license. While it may be difficult to know every rule that you are subject to, you will really benefit from knowing most of them.
3. Receive advice before you elect to take a matter to court. Often taking a matter to court will result in a substantial increase in the penalty, and the risk is not worth the reward.
4. Traffic offender programs are a valuable source of information for people who may be facing traffic charges and the court views attendance at these programs with great suppor.
5. Find a good traffic lawyer and save their number. The advice they give you can potentially help you save both stress and money in dealing with the court system.
6. If you are a learner or P plater, double check your plates EVERY TIME. They blow off or get stolen with some regularity, and the fine and points they attract are not small.
7. If you believe you have a valid reason to challenge a decision, seek a review. Reviews enable you to put your case forward before taking a matter to court.
8. If costs are a major issue, many community legal centers have drop in legal clinics where you can receive free legal advice in relation to matters including traffic.
9. Remember that driving is a privilege and that magistrates will be balancing your interests with those of the community. This means that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.
10. Invest in the right equipment for your car, including a proper cradle, hands-free Bluetooth system and other accessories. Whilst the outlay might sting, it is much cheaper in the long run.