Any criminal offence is classed as a serious breach of the Crimes Act and the matter will be referred to either the local court or supreme court for determination if necessary. Criminal law and criminal procedure exists to protect the community from harm with punitive penalties given if harm is caused.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence then you should seek legal advice immediately. Jameson Law have a team of highly specialized criminal lawyers who can assist you with your matter.
What Is The Basic Principle?
The basic principle of criminal law is the notion that an individual must be considered guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for a criminal conviction. Convictions are sought against defendants by public prosecutions if prosecution believe a guilty verdict can be achieved.
Each particular offence must be considered against the elements of the Crimes Act to determine whether the accused could be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The principle relies on considering whether a reasonable person would have made the same action in the same situation as the accused.
The accused will receive a public defender to assist them with their defence . Public defenders are able to put forward legal defences such as self defence, intoxication, etc, as a means of explaining the behaviour. The defence will have some influence on what sentence the defendant receives.
What Are The Sentencing Options?
No matter the offence committed, there are a range of sentence options which you could be subjected to. They include the following:
- Good behaviour bond;
- Suspended Sentence;
- Period of licence disqualification;
- monetary fine;
- Term of Imprisonment; etc
The sentence is designed to be both punitive and deterrent of future behaviour. The punishment is also designed to deter not only the individual but the community for committing the same or similar criminal offences.
Are Some Offences More Serious Than The Others?
Some offences are definitely more serious than others and they will carry heavier punishments depending on the circumstances. Traffic offences for example are usually considered less serious than sexual assault offences.
A sexual offence is a violation of an individuals most basic human rights and sexual touching can cause emotional, psychological and physical harm. Any offences relating to violence, domestic and personal violence, usually cause more harm than other offences such as traffic infringements.