Whether you are dealing with a simple traffic infringement, facing a drink driving charge, attending the District Court on trial for a serious indictable offence, or appealing the severity of your sentence before the Court of Appeal, we can help you.
We regularly deal with criminal and police matters, and our principal has a wealth of experience working as a legal officer for the NSW Police Force and on several Royal Commissions. We have an excellent working relationship with some of Australia’s leading criminal barristers whom we can brief on your behalf, if needed.
We can represent you in various courts and assist with a range criminal offences such as:
- Drink driving and traffic offences (including negligent and dangerous driving)
- Drug offences, possession, cultivation, dealing
- Public order offences
- Firearms and weapons offences
- Arson, robbery, larceny, break and enter, theft, malicious damage
- Sexual offences – sexual assault, indecent assault
- Apprehended Violence Orders
- Fraud charges and tax offences
- Appeals and defended hearings
- Bail applications
What to do if you are facing Criminal Charges
If you or somebody you know has been charged with a criminal offence, getting legal advice that you understand can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. We recommend obtaining advice at your earliest possible convenience so we can explain the charges to you, the possible outcomes, and obtain your instructions and any evidence required to present your case to the court.
Drink Driving & Traffic Offences
Facing a serious traffic offence can be very distressing. The likelihood of losing your driver’s licence for a long period, being penalised and having a criminal conviction recorded will have a significant impact on your life, your job and your family.
Traffic matters generally proceed quickly and the court process can be confusing. The strength of answering to the charge will be influenced by obtaining dependable, timely advice. It is important to get legal advice immediately after the offence occurs.
Most traffic and driving offences in New South Wales are set out in the Road Transport Act 2013. Common offences include registration and licensing matters (driving unlicensed or whilst disqualified or suspended), driving under the influence (DUI), prescribed concentration of alcohol charges (PCA) at the various ranges, and speeding and dangerous driving.
Applications for Bail
Bail is the process of releasing a person accused of a crime from custody, pending a court hearing. If you have been arrested for an offence the grant of bail will allow you to return to a familiar environment whilst you prepare for your case. Police bail is determined by the police after the time of arrest. If bail is refused, then an application can be made.
When considering a bail application, the starting point is generally whether there is an ‘unacceptable risk’ in granting bail which cannot be mitigated by imposing certain conditions. Additionally, bail must be refused for certain types of serious offences unless the accused can show that his or her detention is not justified.
The ‘unacceptable risks’ that must be assessed are that the accused may:
- fail to appear in court;
- commit a serious offence;
- endanger a victim or other persons;
- interfere with a witness or evidence.
If one or more of these risks cannot be alleviated by imposing conditions, then bail may not be granted.
In determining the existence of an unacceptable risk, the court considers several factors including the personal circumstances of the accused, their community ties, criminal history, the seriousness of the crime, the strength of the Prosecutor’s case and how long the accused will spend in custody if bail is refused. Risks of violence or criminal association or previous non-compliance with bail, bail conditions, Apprehended Violence Orders or parole will weigh against the application.
A successful grant of bail will generally have conditions imposed which should be carefully explained by your lawyer.
Apprehended Violence Orders
An Apprehended Violence Order is an order made by a court against somebody (the defendant) in circumstances where a person in need of protection (the PINOP) can show that he or she has reasonable grounds to fear that the defendant may engage in personal violence, or intimidating or stalking behaviour against the PINOP.
The court may make interim and provisional orders in urgent situations. An interim order can be made in the absence of the defendant and must be made when the defendant has been charged with a serious offence such as an assault or domestic violence.
A police officer who believes that a person is in imminent danger of domestic violence and it is necessary to ensure the safety and protection of that person and his or her children, may bypass the usual application process and request a provisional order via telephone, facsimile or other communication process.
The court may impose whatever restrictions and prohibitions on the defendant’s behaviour considered necessary for the protection of the PINOP and any children of the PINOP.
The AVO will restrain the defendant from assaulting, harassing, threatening, stalking or intimidating the PINOP. The order can also prevent the defendant from approaching the PINOP, accessing the premises of, or attending the PINOP’s place of work.
What happens if an Application for an AVO is served on me?
The issue of an AVO against you does not result in a criminal record, however breaching an AVO is a criminal offence which can result in a conviction. This is a serious matter, so it is important to understand the breadth of orders issued and ensure compliance.
If you are served with an application for an AVO you can either consent to the AVO being made or oppose it. We strongly recommend opposing an AVO if you consider the circumstances do not warrant its issue. If you do not turn up on the court date, then the AVO is likely to be granted in your absence.
If you have had an AVO issued against you, we recommend you obtain urgent legal advice. We can advise on the process involved and represent you in court.
We recognise that appearing before a court is daunting, and can be a life-changing experience, so we aim to take some of the stress out of this difficult time. We make sure you are fully informed, but don’t make unrealistic promises and don’t give guarantees. We will work according to your instructions, communicate regularly, and prepare your case so we can represent you in the best way possible.