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CRIMINAL LAWYER SYDNEY

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When facing criminal charges, it is critical that you have the right criminal law firm in your corner. Having our criminal defence lawyers on your side means you get a responsive, empathetic and judgement free 5 star rated service, and a drive to win your criminal cases. This probably explains why our expert criminal defence team has become sought after nationwide.

We operate on the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty and leave judgment to the judge! It is imperative that you are similarly upfront and honest with your criminal defence team to ensure you are well represented by our criminal law firm.

Charged with a criminal law offence?

The best criminal lawyer advice you will receive from any criminal law firm upfront is criminal law 101 – you have a right to silence. Whilst it may not always seem that way, you are not required to take part in any police interview or give any statement. The Police will process your paperwork and then if they decide to release you, you will be served with a Court Attendance Notice accompanied by Police Facts or brief. If you have been charged you should seek legal advice from a criminal lawyer immediately. Our Sydney criminal law firm offers a 24 hour hotline where expert criminal lawyers will advise you of your rights and attend the police station as required.

If the police refuse bail, you will be taken to court to make a bail application (Court Bail). The court will apply the ‘unacceptable risk test’ to examine whether a person will fail to appear at future criminal proceedings; commit a further serious offence; endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community; or interfere with witnesses or evidence.

If you have serious charges that carry a term of imprisonment then an additional test of show cause will be examined. Here our expert Sydney criminal lawyers will have to show the court why your detention is not justified.

Do I need a criminal defence lawyer if I am not granted bail?

If your bail is refused by the local or district court, you can apply to have your matter heard at the Supreme Court by a single judge. It is highly recommended that you engage criminal defence lawyers with a proven track record to make a bail application on your behalf.

Defending your criminal case

The onus of proof rests with the prosecution meaning you are not required to prove that you are not guilty of the criminal offence, but the police have to convince the Court beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty. Case law indicates that this phrase, basically means that the court must have no doubt that there is any other explanation for what happened other than that you committed the offence. If your criminal solicitors or Sydney criminal lawyers are able to create doubt that you committed the offence you have been charged with, then the Court is likely to find you not guilty of the offence. Whilst this sounds simple enough, having the right law firm and criminal defence can make or break your case whether or no it is a serious crime or a less serious criminal charge. For example, there are partial and/or complete defences that can be raised to the magistrate or judge(s) which could result in no penalty or a reduction of penalty. Expert criminal lawyers note that these include:

  • Self Defence – used reasonable or equivalent force to defend yourself.
  • Duress/Necessity – You were forced to act the way you did either due to threat or fear and/or necessity.
  • Consent – The consent of the alleged victim can be used as a defence to a sexual assault charge. 
  • Automatism –  including uncontrolled acts, sleepwalking, under anesthetic, suffering from some forms of epilepsy or concussion,  
  • Mental Impairment – Mental health at the time of the incident may be a factor that the Court will consider in making a decision in your criminal law matter if it is raised a defence. This may lead to a court order for your detention in a fitting institution until such time when the Court is satisfied that your release will not be an endangerment to the community. 
  • Claim of right – where a person believes they have a legitimate claim to certain money or property
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Will I get a Criminal Record?

If you are found guilty of an offence and convicted, that charge will be recorded against you and you will have a criminal record. Your record is usually valid for 10 years and then the charge will no longer appear on your criminal record when most searches are conducted. Where a working with children check is required and/or health care positions regulated by AHPRA such as (nurses and carers) it may always appear. Further complications may arise if you have a convictions such as sexual assault of a child, drug offences, domestic violence or assault charges. That’s why it’s so important to have the best criminal lawyers in Sydney to represent you.

Section 10

Having experienced criminal defence lawyers to make suitable submissions in your criminal case can be pivotal in achieving a good outcome in your criminal case. Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 sets out that a court may dismiss charges or impose conditional discharge of an offender without recording charges against their criminal record. Our Sydney criminal lawyers clarify that without proceeding to conviction, a court that finds a person guilty of an offence may make any one of the following orders:

  1. an order directing that the relevant charge be dismissed, 
  2. an order discharging the person under a conditional release order (in which case the court proceeds to make a conditional release order under section 9), 
  3. an order discharging the person on condition that the person enters into an agreement to participate in an intervention program and to comply with any intervention plan arising out of the program.
What outcome can I expect? Indictable offences A judge sentencing a person convicted on indictment may, in addition to or instead of any other punishment, impose a fine up to 1,000 penalty units: s 15(2) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. Section 15 does not apply where another provision empowers the imposition of a fine for the offence: s 15(1). Fines may be imposed in addition to or instead of any other penalty that may be imposed for the offence: s 15(3). Therefore, fines may be imposed under s 15 in addition to, or instead of, any of the following dispositions: imprisonment intensive correction order (ICO) community correction order (CCO). A fine cannot be imposed in addition to a conditional release order (CRO) in respect of the same offence: s 9(3) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. Certain indictable offences may be heard summarily under the Criminal Procedure Act 1986. The maximum fine that a magistrate hearing such matters may impose is set out in s 267(3) Criminal Procedure Act (maximum penalties for Table 1 Offences), being 100 penalty units or the maximum fine provided by law for the offence, whichever is the smaller fine. Section 268 Criminal Procedure Act sets out the maximum penalties for Table 2 offences. The maximum amount of a fine is generally the amount prescribed for the offence. Where a person is convicted of an offence at common law or indictment, the penalty is at large. The fine imposed should not be excessive: Smith v The Queen (1991) 25 NSWLR 1 per Kirby P at 13–18, and Mahoney JA at 24.
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Sydney Criminal Law Court Process and Criminal Proceedings

STEP 1

Service of Court Attendance Notice

This is where police serve you with a Court Attendance Notice (CAN). This may be done at the police station if you are detained, or at your home.

STEP 1

STEP 2

First Court Mention

The date, time and Court that you need to attend can be found at the top of the first page of your Court Attendance Notice. Your matter will be listed for mention before a Magistrate at which time, you can elect to either:

1. Adjourn the matter to obtain legal advice if you have not already done so in which case your matter will be listed on another day for mention; or

2. Enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Note: entering a plea of guilty means that you admit that you are guilty of the charge although you may not agree with everything written in the police facts. Entering a plea of not guilty means you do not admit to the charge. The matter will be adjourned to another day for hearing if you plead not guilty or sentencing may be done on the spot for summary offences if you enter a plea of guilty.

If your matter is considered an indictable offence, it may be necessary to move the matter to the District Court or the Supreme Court depending on the severity of the offence. 

STEP 2

STEP 3

Second Court Attendance or Hearing

If you adjourned your matter at the first mention, it is expected that you have either sought legal representation and will enter a plea at that time. You must elect whether to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  The matter will be adjourned to another day for hearing if you plead not guilty or sentencing may be done on the spot for summary offences if you enter a plea of guilty.

If you entered a plea of not guilty at the first mention, your matter will be heard by a judge on that day and you will receive a verdict/conviction on that day. Depending on the severity of the offence, the hearing may go on for a number of days. The police would have served your criminal defence lawyer with the Police brief which sets out all the criminal investigation conducted and evidence they have in your matter. Your Solicitor would also have advised the Police of any witnesses required to attend the hearing. 

It is highly recommended that you have a good criminal lawyer if your matter is proceeding to a hearing.

STEP 3

STEP 4

Representations

If you enter a plea of guilty, you are entitled to make representations to the police to drop some or all charges based on lack of evidence or overcharging. If you bring on a Solicitor early in your case, they are able to do this early on and try to get some or all charges dropped before you get to this stage.

STEP 4

STEP 5

Hearing

Your matter will be heard and you will receive a verdict on the last day of your hearing/trial. Generally speaking, you will be called to give evidence in the witness box along with any other witnesses in the matter.

STEP 5

STEP 6

Court of Appeal

If you are dissatisfied with the Outcome, speak to a experienced criminal lawyer about your prospects of filing an appeal in the Court of Appeal.

STEP 6
If you've been charged with a criminal offence, seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Leading Criminal Law Firm

Our leading criminal defence lawyers and traffic lawyers know and apply criminal law and traffic law respectively day in day out. This is how we have been able to maintain our outstanding track record. Our Sydney criminal lawyers have represented clients charged with a plethora of criminal offences and criminal charges keeping our experienced team up to date with the latest criminal law cases (case law) and well above law society accreditation requirements.

Legal fees for our experienced criminal defence lawyers

When facing criminal charges, our criminal law firm offers affordable fixed fee legal fees for most criminal law offences and criminal charges including but not limited to when representing clients for AVOs – apprehended violence orders, arson, assault charges, bail applications, commonwealth offences, corporate crime, cruelty to animals, damage to property, domestic violence, drink driving, drug driving, drug importation, drug offences, embezzlement, firearm offences, fraud charge, indecent assault, manslaughter, murder, offensive language and conduct, public order offences, robbery, sex offences, stalking and intimidation, stealing, tax fraud, and traffic offences. Book in a free consult with our best criminal lawyers for an outline of our fixed fees.

Types of Criminal Offence categories:

In criminal law, there are two types of criminal charges or criminal offences. Summary offences which have a maximum penalty prescribed by parliament of up to 2 years imprisonment, and indictable offences. 

The maximum penalties for all prescribed criminal charges are set out in the Crimes Act 1900 No 40.

These are offences which are considered less serious. The Summary Offences Act 1988 NSW sets out the offences that are considered summary in the criminal justice system, and the penalty for each offence. These include:

  • Offensive Behaviour:
    • Offensive conduct
    • Offensive language
    • Obscene exposure
    • Obstructing traffic
    • Unauthorised entry of vehicle or boat
    • Damaging fountains
    • Damaging or desecrating protected places
    • Climbing on or jumping from buildings and other structures
    • Continuation of intoxicated and disorderly behaviour following move on direction
    • Possession of liquor by minors
    • Violent disorder resulting in Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs)
  • Dangerous Behaviour:
    • custody or use of knives and offensive implements
    • selling knives to children
    • custody or use of laser pointers
    • Loitering by convicted child sexual offenders
    • Intimidatory use of vehicles and vessels
    • Prostitution
    • Minors in sex clubs
    • Unauthorised Public Assemblies
    • Hunting on private land

 Indictable offences are the more serious charges that are generally penalised by incarceration; that is, the maximum penalty is imprisonment although you will not necessarily be sentenced to imprisonment.

The following criminal offences are brought under the Crimes Act NSW 1900:

  • Offence against a person 
    • Homicide, such as murder and manslaughter 
    • Conspiracy to murder 
    • Attempts to murder 
    • Domestic Violence
    • Documents containing threats
    • Suicide 
    • Acts causing danger to life or bodily harm
    • Possessing or making explosive etc with intent to injury the person 
    • Assaults (assault charges)
    • Assaults and other actions against police and other law enforcement officers 
    • Sexual Offences against adults and children, such as

      indecent assault, sex offences, sexual touching, sexual act, sexual assault with intent to have intercourse (without actually doing so), persistent sexual abuse of a child, procuring or grooming child under 16 for unlawful sexual activity

    • Misconduct with regard to corpses
    • Termination of pregnancy performed by unqualified person
    • Concealment of birth of a child 
    • Kidnapping
    • Procuring for prostitution 
    • Child prostitution 
    • Child abuse material 
    • Voyeurism and related offences 
    • Record intimate image without consent
    • Distribute intimate image without consent
    • Threaten to record or distribute intimate image
    • Bigamy
  • Offence relating to Public Order
    • Riot and affray 
    • Explosives and firearms offences including possession, supply, firing and trespassing with use
    • Contamination of goods, including threatening to contaminate  with intent to cause public alarm or economic loss
    • Bomb and other hoaxes
    • Criminal Groups 
    • Unlawful gambling
    • Consorting 
    • Public Threats or indictment of violence
  • Fraud, including intention to defraud or deceive 
  • Identity Offences 
  • Money Laundering 
  • Cheating at Gambling 
  • Criminal Destruction and Damage 
    • Destroying or damaging property, including threatening to destroy or damage property, and destroying or damaging property with the intent to injure person 
    • Interfering with a mine 
    • Causing damage etc to sea, river, canal and other works
    • Sabotage
    • Threaten to sabotage 
    • Bushfires 
  • Offences relating to transport services
    • Offences relating to aircraft, vessels etc
    • Offences relating to railways etc
  • Corruptly receiving commission and other corrupt practices 
  • Blackmail 
  • Forgery 
  • False and misleading information 
  • Commonwealth offences
  • Computer offences 
  • Offences relating to escape from lawful custody 
  • Terrorism 
  • Public justice offences 
    • Interfering with the administration of justice 
    • Interference with judicial officers, witnesses, jurors etc 
    • Perjury, false statement etc
  • Attempts
  • Abettors and Accessories - that is people who assist someone to commit a crime or are in any way involved before or after the crime is committed, including harbouring someone who has committed an offences.

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Street Address: 368 Darling St
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Street Address: Level 4, John Maddison Tower, 86 Goulburn St
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Frequently Asked Questions.

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.

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 defence Law on hand to, ready to guide you through your criminal law cases. Therefore, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australian all have similar but different laws and criminal procedures. Jameson Law works with barristers in regional NSW and interstate ensuring you have the best chance at justice.

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. 
If you are an adult and have not committed a criminal offence in the past ten years, it is likely that any past convictions will no longer appear on your criminal record. However, just like your Snapchat photos, they never really go away. Any convictions will still be noted in your criminal history and may need to be disclosed. For example, when applying for jobs in certain industries. Your criminal record is anything that you have plead guilty to or been convicted of. Your criminal history includes everything including AVOs, withdrawn or dismissed charges, not guilty verdicts, etc. Offences may continue to appear in your criminal record if: 1. A prison sentence of six months or more was imposed 2. They are convictions for sexual offences 3. They are convictions against companies or other corporate bodies.

This is why it is essential to get the absolute best defence as soon as you are aware of your legal issue.

If you are charged with a criminal offence, the process differs depending on the Summary offences and offences prosecuted summarily in the Local Court: – Issued Court Attendance Notice – First Mention –   Plead guilty  -> sentenced on the day –  Plead not guilty – Service of Brief of evidence – Defence reply to brief – Hearing- sentence on the day, if found guilty Indictable offences: – Committal in Local Court – Matter transferred to District or Supreme Court – Plead guilty   -> Sentence – Plead not guilty – Trial – Convicted – Acquitted –  Sentenced
ABH or Actual Bodily Harm involves physical contact that results in the victim receiving an injury. For example, slapping someone across the face leaving a scratch, red mark, bruise, etc. The maximum penalty for ABH is five years imprisonment. If it is an aggravated offence, e.g. it was committed in company with another person, the maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment. GBH or Grievous bodily harm involves physical contact that results in the victim receiving a significant, potentially life altering injury. For example, punching someone to the head resulting in brain injury. This category of assault is at the highest end of offending and there are a number of sub-categories. The maximum penalty for recklessly inflict GBH is ten years imprisonment. If it is committed in company with the another person, the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.
Indictable offences are dealt with by way of indictment in the District or Supreme Court. They involve a maximum penalty of more than two years imprisonment. Examples include:
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Dangerous driving occasioning death
  • Drug trafficking
Depending on the seriousness of the offence, the Prosecution has the discretion to deal with some indictable offences summarily. Examples include:
  • Stalking and intimidation
  • Identity offences
  • Animal cruelty
  • Unauthorised use or possession of a firearm
A summary offence is an offence that is not dealt with by indictment and is heard in the Local Court. The maximum penalty that may be imposed is no more than two years imprisonment. Examples include:
  • Drink driving
  • Drug driving
  • Common assault
  • Shop lifting
  • Resist arrest
  • Assault officer in the execution of duty

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