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What happens in Criminal matters?

What is Criminal Law

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What happens in Criminal Matters?

The Criminal Procedure Act is a New South Wales legislation and accordingly, the Criminal procedure is not a Commonwealth uniform procedure and therefore different in every state. The Criminal Procedure Act sets out how Criminal Law matters should be managed. All Jameson Law’s Criminal Law Solicitors are well aware of the Criminal procedures and how the Criminal justice system is run. We have some of the best names in Criminal Lawyer Sydney on hand to guide you through your matter.

Do I have to go to Court and how does the Court decide if I am guilty?

You are required to attend Court on every date your matter is listed unless you have legal representation and they ask for you to be excused on the next occasion. If the Court excuses you then you do not have to attend the next mention however you still have to attend your hearing or sentencing. 

With the current COVID-19 restrictions, the Courts are attempting to reduce attendance as much as possible. It is recommended that you wait outside the Courtroom until your matter is called or the time your matter is listed and then step into the Courtroom when it is your turn. If you have legal representation, they may advise you to wait outside for your safety and the safety of others. If you have travelled overseas in the last 14-days and/or have the flu, cold or like symptoms, you should not attend Court. If you have legal representation, they can appear on your behalf. Otherwise, contact the Court to advise why you are unable to attend.

What does Criminal Law Mean?

Generally speaking, everyone in Australia understands the concept of Criminal Law. What they don’t know however is that the criminal justice system is one of the broadest areas of law.

Australia’s criminal justice system and criminal law legislation are derived from the English common law legislation. Criminal law is most dominantly handled by each state, with only several exceptions being tried at a federal level, including fraud or sexual misconduct, for example. The Criminal Code Act 1995 of the Commonwealth of Australia defines offences and sets out the elements of an offence, being the things that need to be established in order to prove that a person is guilty of an offence.

Each state is governed by its own legislation, unrelated to other states in Australia, for example NSW law is different to Queensland (QLD) or Victoria (VIC). In NSW, the Criminal Justice System is governed by the Crimes Act 1900 which specifically sets out the elements and maximum penalties for criminal offences.

Generally, New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria follow common law jurisdictions, while the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia, follow a criminal law replacing the common law, except in cases of ambiguity.

It’s also worth mentioning that in Australia, criminal law legislation is different from civil law legislation in that civil law relates to non-criminal laws.

In 2007, Law reform has seen family violence added to the list of criminal offences in NSW and is governed by a separate legislation known as the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007. The Act defines domestic violence offence as ‘an offence committed by a person against another person with whom the person who commits the offence has (or has had) a domestic relationship. The Act makes it clear that ‘offence’ includes an offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995 of the Commonwealth. In a nutshell, the Criminal Code Act 1995 of the Commonwealth lists the acts that would be considered an offence. Note that the Criminal Code Act deals more with Commonwealth Criminal Law, noting that it is Commonwealth Legislation.

Each Australian state has its own criminal law although it is generally uniform in terms of what constitutes a criminal offence. New South Wales criminal law and its criminal justice system is different to other states such as Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

What does it mean when I receive a Court Attendance Notice (CAN)?

All criminal matters are commenced in the Local Court (unless the criminal offence is more severe in which case it may be moved to the district court or supreme court. Note: it is rare for a criminal law matter to be heard in the High Court of Australia). In order to bring charges against an accused, the Police must personally serve a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) on the person. The CAN should set out the charges, including the section of the Act under which they are being charged, Police facts of the incident, and notice of the date and time on which the matter is listed and which Court they are required to attend. 

If you have been served with a Court attendance notice and charged with any of the above offences, it is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible before the date on which your matter is listed. You will see the date, time and Court that you are required to attend at the top of the first page of the Court attendance notice. 

Speak to a lawyer today

The criminal procedure to bring a criminal law matter is serving a court attendance notice which sets our the criminal offences you are being charged with and the details of your court attendance. it is recommended that you consult with a solicitor as soon as you receive this document. Call or book in with the best Criminal Lawyer sydney today.

Should I use Legal Aid Criminal Lawyer Sydney?

Whilst Legal aid from the outset is a fantastic service, unfortunately, it is often a hit and miss. If you are eligible for legal aid and definitely cannot afford a private lawyer to represent you then it may be worthwhile seeking an initial consultation at the very least so that you have a broader scope of understanding. Our fees are a lot more affordable than you may think, and you will have access to some of the best minds and lawyers in the criminal defence lawyer space.

How do I know how serious my offence/charge is?

Indictable offences are more serious charges than summary offences. Each section in the Crimes Act sets out the elements of an offence and the maximum penalty. However, depending on the facts of the case and the evidence available, the penalty can be anywhere between charges being dropped and the maximum penalty for the offence. It is important that you seek legal advice to determine how serious your specific case is, regardless of how serious the charge actually is. In many cases, representations may be made to the police setting out reasons why some or all charges should be dropped and this will save you the hassle of having to go to Court or at least avoid a hearing. Select your criminal offence from the menu to see details regarding the seriousness of your offence and respective punishment, imprisonment and/or fine.  

Accessory to crime

Most people are unaware of their criminal responsibilities, particularly when it comes to criminal liability. Remember you do not have to commit an act to be found guilty of the offence in question, simply being an accessory to an offence before, after or during the act is enough to be found guilty under criminal law.

What areas of criminal law do you cover?

Common areas, including more serious offences. Including but not limited to:

Institutional abuse
Institutional abuse is among the most common cases we encounter, with both men and women subject to institutional abuse. While it doesn’t necessarily entail sexual abuse, in many cases, it does, and sexual assault is part of the Criminal Code. We handle such cases with confidentiality and cautiousness to ensure the best possible compensation outcomes.

Children-related Issues
The children’s court is frequently confronted with issues of child protection, children’s rights, custody arrangements as a result of divorce, parental responsibilities, and more.

Because we understand how far the impacts of such situations can go in the memories of children, we work rapidly and efficiently to establish protective measures against children’s trauma and minimize time spent in a children’s court. You and your children are fully protected with us!

We have a track record of achieving outstanding results when it comes to drug offence charges, ranging from demolishing the possibility of a criminal conviction, dropping charges through negotiations, securing “not guilty” verdicts in court trials, and more.

Our drug offences include commercial drug charges, drug importation charges, drug possession charges, and cultivating prohibited plant charges. We also work with minor possessions of prohibited drug offences, providing you with legal representation throughout the process!


Fraud is considered one of the most scheming criminal offences, and accordingly, it is punished severely by the court system’s penal code and criminal code. As specified by Australia’s penal code, the penalties can go as high as ten years of imprisonment.

Accordingly, understanding the criminal law adequately and reaching out for professional legal advice to be your intermediary with the criminal justice system is a must. We specialize in forgery, identity crimes, tax fraud, Medicare fraud, and ID fraud.


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