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The Federal Elections have been announced for Saturday, 21 May. Pre-polling booths are open at various locations around the country. Postal votes must have been received by the AEC by the 13th day after the election.

Don’t forget to cast your vote at a polling booth on Saturday, May 21 between 8am and 6pm (local time).

This month we explore:

  • Voting
  • Super-for-housing Policy
  • A New PR Pathway for Short-term Visa Holders
  • Payment Plans

Voting is Your Civic Duty

Unless you have a valid and sufficient reason, failure to vote in an election is an offence under Section 245 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, which states that ‘It shall be the duty of every elector to vote at each election’.

Examples of valid and sufficient reasons are:

  • Incapacitation due to illness or injury,
  • Physical obstruction, such as, that of natural events or accidents, 
  • Or competitive claims of public duty. For example, an intending voter was on his way to the poll, but was diverted to save someone’s life, to prevent crime, or assist with a disaster.

It is not enough to simply show up at the polling booth on the day and have your name marked off. Your ballot paper must be completed and submitted. This may sting slightly if the candidates don’t represent your every interest, but voting must still be done. Should you fail to vote, the maximum penalty is $210.00.

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Is this housing plan a super great or super bad idea?

In the lead up to the elections, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed plans to allow home buyers to withdraw up to $50,000 from their superannuation to get into the property market. The policy would allow first-time home buyers to invest “a responsible portion” of their own super into their home.

According to Morrison, voters should have the right to use their super funds to buy their first homes. This super-for housing policy was the centrepiece of a campaign speech that held out the promise of a “better future” should Australians back him at the election.

Jason Clare, Labor housing spokesman, dismissed the plan on the grounds it would throw “fuel on the fire” of the housing market. The line of thought behind it is that giving buyers more money would drive up prices in an already heated market.

Industry Super Australia chief executive Bernie Dean estimated that the use of super savings would drive up property prices by: 16 per cent in Sydney, 9 per cent in Melbourne, 8 per cent in Brisbane and 14 per cent in Perth.

The Super Home Buyer Scheme would start by July 2023. There will be no price caps on the income someone could earn, or the value of the property they wish to buy.

However, it could be used only by:

  • People buying their first home 
  • Who have saved at least 5% of the deposit, 
  • And who would live in the home for at least one year.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese was critical of the Government’s scheme, and tweeted that ‘Superannuation was designed by Labor to give people comfort and security in their retirement. We will always defend your super’. Encouraging people to withdraw from their super to buy housing would cost the Government more down the line, Mr Albanese said. Labor’s policy, planned to “tackle the housing crisis” is called Help to Buy — under this policy, a Labor Government would pay for up to 40 per cent of new houses, and will be available for up to 10,000 households a year.

In Australia, becoming a homeowner is a right of passage. It can be both an exciting and stressful time in your life, from finding the perfect property to getting finance to achieve the great Australian dream. 

In NSW, there are strict rules and regulations around property transactions. They are covered by the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW). While you don’t need a solicitor or licensed conveyancer to purchase property, it is highly recommended you speak with one of our experienced solicitors to help you navigate the complex conveyancing process involved and avoid the pitfalls of conveyancing.

Our property lawyers are fully insured and covered through professional indemnity insurance. Contact our office for advice on buying a home.

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New PR Pathway!

A new PR Pathway for short-term visa holders will be available on 1 July 2022! 

Please see below eligibility requirements:

1. Have held, or hold a 457 visa that was applied for and granted before 18 April 2017, or

2. Hold a 482 or 457 (applied for after 18 April 2017) and are in a nominated occupation on a short-term list and were in Australia for 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021.

Eligible visa holders will have the opportunity to benefit from a new or continued pathway to permanent residency, while employers sponsoring foreign national employees in Australia in “short-term” occupations will have the opportunity to retain them, where they might have been previously restricted.

In Australia, eligibility for permanent residency is determined by the Department of Home Affairs, a department of the Australian Government which is responsible for immigration decisions, including the granting of permanent residencies and Australian citizenship.

Currently, there are three main forms of permanent residence visas in Australia, namely:

  • Family-stream permanent residence visas;
  • Work-stream permanent residence visas; and
  • Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas.

Permanent residency visas fall into a range of categories, but most will depend on whether you have family ties to an Australian citizen or permanent resident, meet particular skills requirements or have a nomination from an employer or Australian government agency, or if you are bringing business and/or investment into Australia.

If you think you may be eligible or want an eligibility assessment, contact our office and our staff will be happy to help.

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Payment Plans Now Available

We get it, legal advice and representation can feel out of reach when you are unable to pay your legal fees. It can be a huge mental burden to bear. 

But you no longer have to feel anxious and worried about paying your legal fees all at once.

Jameson Law has partnered with RapidPay. Now you can pay your next legal bill over 10 weeks, interest-free, with RapidPay’s buy now, pay later payment plans. 

You can now easily access premium legal advice and representation today. Get in touch with our office for a consultation now. 


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Traffic Offences NSW

Traffic offences are among the most common legal issues brought before courts in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. These offences range from minor infractions like speeding to more serious transgressions such as drink driving or dangerous driving. In this article, we will delve into the dynamics of traffic offences in NSW courts, the consequences offenders typically face, and the various outcomes they can expect.  Types of Traffic Offences Traffic offences in NSW are classified into several categories, depending on their severity and impact on road safety. Some common traffic offences include: Speeding: Exceeding the speed limit as set out in the road rules. Drink Driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Dangerous Driving: Operating a vehicle in a manner that puts others at risk. Reckless Driving: Driving with willful disregard for the safety of others. Running Red Lights: Ignoring traffic signals and disobeying road rules. Driving Without a License: Operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license. Court Outcomes and Legal Consequences The landscape of traffic offences in NSW is vast, with New South Wales having specific regulations and laws. Whether it’s a minor traffic offence like breaching the speed limit slightly or a major traffic offence like causing grievous bodily harm due to negligent driving, the consequences can be significant. Fines: One of the most common penalties for a traffic offence in NSW is a fine. The fine amount can differ significantly, depending on the specific traffic offence. Speeding fines, for instance, vary based on how much the speed limit was exceeded. In school zones, the fines can be significantly higher, reminding drivers to drive safely around our young ones. Demerit Points: Many traffic offences in NSW result in demerit points being added to the offender’s driving record. The way demerit points work is that if a driver accumulates too many within a set period, they risk licence suspension. It’s crucial to understand your demerit point balance. During double demerit periods, penalties for offences like mobile phone use while driving or not wearing a seatbelt become even more severe. Licence Suspension: More grievous offences like drink driving, predatory driving, or excessive speeding may lead to a direct licence suspension by the court. The suspension period depends on the gravity of the offence and prior convictions. Mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program: Repeat offenders, especially those with a driving offence related to alcohol, may find themselves mandated to this program, ensuring the safety of all on NSW roads. Community Service Orders: The local court can order traffic offenders to engage in community service, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment for the offence. Imprisonment: Major traffic offences, such as causing death or grievous bodily harm, can result in imprisonment under the crimes act. A criminal defence lawyer can provide guidance in such severe cases. Good Behavior Bonds & Probation: The court might give traffic offenders these as an alternative to harsher penalties. Adhering to the conditions, such as attending rehabilitation or reporting regularly, is crucial. Criminal Record: Traffic offences, especially major ones, might lead to a criminal record. This can have ripple effects, impacting employment or travel plans. Double Demerits: Especially during holiday periods, the penalty for the same offence can double, emphasizing the need for safe driving. School Zones: A special mention as speeding or other offences in these zones carry heftier penalties to ensure children’s safety. Different Licence Types: In NSW, unrestricted class and professional driver licence holders have different demerit point limits. It’s essential to know the rules pertinent to your licence type. Red Light & Mobile Phone Offences: Breaches like these are common and can result in demerit points and fines. Local Court & Legal Repercussions: If you find yourself facing a major traffic offence, it’s advisable to consult a criminal defence lawyer. They can guide you on navigating the road transport act and potentially assist in reducing penalties or guiding through a conditional release order. Final Thoughts on Traffic Offences in NSW: The importance of understanding and adhering to the road rules cannot be stressed enough. From minor offences to more severe ones, the consequences can be lasting. It’s always best to drive safely, be aware of your demerit point limit, and avoid accumulating too many in a three-year period to prevent licence suspensions. Demerit Points Demerit Points: Many traffic offences result in demerit points being added to the offender’s driving record. If an individual accumulates too many demerit points within a specific period, they may face license suspension. Many traffic offences result in demerit points being added to the offender’s driving record. If an individual accumulates too many demerit points within a specific period, they may face license suspension. In a nutshell… Traffic offences in NSW courts are treated with varying degrees of severity, depending on the type of offence and the offender’s history. The outcomes and consequences can range from fines and demerit points to license suspension, community service, or even imprisonment in extreme cases. It is essential for individuals facing a traffic offence to seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defence lawyer to understand their rights and potential outcomes, as well as explore avenues for defence or mitigation. Road safety is a top priority in New South Wales, and the enforcement of traffic laws plays a crucial role in achieving that goal.

Impact of Technology On Criminal Law

Technology is shaking things up in Australian criminal law. Think about all the evidence from our phones, computers, and social media – it’s everywhere, and it’s changing how we do things in court. Technology is a part of every area of our lives nowadays, and that is no less true in criminal law. Cybercrime is on the rise, with identity theft and other new forms of online theft creating new crime scenes for our criminal justice system to deal with. As Cybercrime rates go up, our police officers are using more and more digital evidence from smartphones, social media profiles and computers. Navigating our ever-changing criminal justice system has never been so important. With technological advancements presenting new forms of criminal activity, the legal landscape is extremely dynamic. However, with this, has also come raised concerns about privacy concerns as police officers and law enforcement agencies have more and more access to our online information. Electronic discovery tools have become essential in managing vast amounts of electronic data in legal proceedings, and the emergence of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has presented unique challenges in cases involving financial crimes. Courts are also more and more moving online, making legal proceedings much faster, as online filing systems and videoconferencing are more and more utilised. In short, technology is significantly impacting criminal law, changing almost everything that we do! This article will dive into some of those changes. For any questions, or concerns about technology in the courts or if you feel you have been the victim of a cyber crime, reach out to Jameson Law today for a free consultation! How are Police Officers and Law Enforcement Professionals using Technological Advancements? Digital Forensics: In New South Wales, police officers and law enforcement agencies rely on state-of-the-art digital forensics tools to help analyse and combat crime that can be found in electronic evidence. Nowadays, electronic evidence could be anything that exists online! Text messages between two people, a PDF file, and messages on WhatsApp, Snapchat or Imessage all could be used as electronic evidence. Moreover, things like CCTV cameras and their footage, or GPS data from a phone or running watch could be used by police forces to help discern criminal behaviour or used in a computer forensics case. These tools are instrumental in uncovering critical information stored on various devices, such as smartphones, computers, and storage media. By meticulously analyzing digital footprints, officers can trace communication records, retrieve deleted data, and establish connections between suspects and criminal activities. This technology not only helps police officers conduct investigations faster, but it also ensures the preservation and integrity of electronic evidence, ultimately helping people strengthen their legal cases. These tools are really helpful for finding important information on things like phones, computers, and storage devices. Police use them to look closely at digital clues, like messages and things that were deleted, to connect suspects to crimes. This technology makes investigations faster and keeps electronic evidence safe, which helps catch bad guys and make legal cases stronger. Here are 3 examples of digital forensics being put to use in the creation of a ‘digital crime scene.’ In a workplace harassment case, a series of offensive text messages sent by the accused employee to the victim’s mobile phone served as compelling electronic evidence. These messages not only substantiated the plaintiff’s claims but also established a pattern of harassment, contributing significantly to the case’s outcome. In a complex fraud investigation, electronic evidence took the form of bank transaction records and digital financial statements. These documents were instrumental in illustrating the suspect’s embezzlement activities, offering a clear financial trail that supported the prosecution’s case. In a high-stakes criminal trial, electronic evidence came in the form of surveillance camera footage from a convenience store. This footage captured the defendant’s actions during the alleged robbery, providing indisputable visual proof that played a crucial role in the court’s decision-making process. Surveillance: Surveillance technology plays a pivotal role in maintaining public safety. In New South Wales, a network of cameras, both stationary and mobile, assists law enforcement in closely monitoring public spaces. These cameras are vital tools for identifying potential suspects, tracking their movements, and gathering crucial evidence. Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology is also widely employed to identify and locate vehicles associated with criminal activities, allowing officers to swiftly respond to incidents and bolster security across the state. The police’s reliance on technology in criminal investigations has evolved significantly. In the past, the call to action was simple: “If you’ve seen something, contact Crime Stoppers.” But today, the landscape has changed dramatically, with technology becoming a critical tool in crime-fighting. Citizens’ use of technology, including dashcams, smartphones, CCTV in homes and businesses, body-worn cameras, and even cyclists with head cameras, has created a vast reservoir of potential evidence, changing how police approach crime scenes and dramatically altering criminal justice throughout the state. According to the University of South Australia’s Professor Rick Sarre, “So much is recorded, and cameras can’t lie.” Nowadays, it’s not just traditional cameras that are being used by police forces to help bring about criminal justice. Fitness trackers, smartphones, dash cameras and even Google Nest cameras are all tools that help police officers bring about criminal justice. The significance of dashcam footage for law enforcement has grown substantially. In-car computers and in-car computer cameras have been a huge technological advancement that helps criminal justice cases. While it aids in resolving traffic-related violations, its role extends to solving homicide cases as well. As Professor Murray Lee from the University of Sydney pointed out, citizens, often without realizing it, are becoming integral to what he terms a “web of surveillance,” which provides vital evidence for the police. Nevertheless, it’s essential to recognize that there are constraints, and the public frequently undervalues the potential of fundamental technology in the realm of crime investigation. However, Technology in criminal justice is also a double-edged sword. While it enhances surveillance and evidence collection, it also raises significant privacy concerns about the intrusiveness of police

Common Assault and Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm While In Company – Community Corrections Order

Our solicitor, Mr. Wissam Philopos, represented a young man at the Downing Centre Local Court in relation to a serious matter for which our client risked serving a custodial sentence. Our client was charged with Common Assault (‘first charge’) and Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm While In Company (‘second charge’). It was alleged that the second charge occurred “in company” with a security guard. In relation to the Common Assault charge, contrary to the allegation, our client was in fact acting in self-defence of a friend. Moreover, he was not acting “in company” in relation to the second charge. In accordance with our client’s instructions, Mr. Philopos made representations in the matter, proposing that the second charge be withdrawn and replaced with a fresh charge of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (not in company). Mr. Philopos also proposed the first charge was included on a Form 1 attached to the fresh charge. Ultimately, our representations were accepted by the NSW Police. Mr. Philopos and our team at Jameson Law ensured that the charges accurately reflected the circumstances of the alleged offence and our client’s instructions. Moreover, his representation in court resulted in our client being sentenced to a Community Corrections Order with standard conditions to be of good behaviour for a period of 18 months, as an alternative to imprisonment. This was a fantastic result for our client. By thoroughly preparing our client’s case for sentence, the Magistrate found our client had excellent prospects of rehabilitation, despite having a poor criminal history. This case illustrates the importance of quality representation and the value of experience. At Jameson Law, we care for our clients’ circumstances and will work hard to ensure each case is prepared and presented in a way that ensures the Court gives full effect to every factor in a client’s favour.”


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