A criminal conviction can significantly impact both yourself and your family. Even a minor offence such as disorderly conduct can be a burden on your career, future employment opportunities and may even prevent you from travelling overseas. Therefore it is important that you understand exactly what you are facing and what legal rights you have prior to speaking with police.
Our criminal defence lawyers have over 25 years of combined experience and have dealt with various criminal defence and disciplinary matters. By obtaining strong, comprehensive legal advice at the early stages of your matter you maximise your chance of obtaining a positive outcome.
Our strong team of criminal defence lawyers can provide you with advice if the police are wanting to question you or you have been charged with any of the below:
- Homicide related offences including murder and manslaughter;
- Drug related offences;
- Serious assault charges;
- Sexual offences, including allegations of child sexual abuse and historical sexual offences;
- Property offending such as property laundering, armed robbery, burglary and stealing;
- “White collar” offences such as fraud and stealing as a servant;
- Criminal damage offences;
- Firearms and weapon related offences; and
- Traffic offences.
D.G. Price & Co. can prepare you for all stages of your legal matter including:
- the provision of primary advice prior to an interview with police and the criminal investigation process;
- preparing an application for bail;
- representation at initial court appearances;
- preparing and entering a plea of guilty or not guilty; and
- representation at sentencing hearings and trial.
D.G. Price & Co. can also assist you with:
- Applications for bail;
- Spent conviction applications;
- Criminal appeals against convictions and sentences;
- Restraining order applications, responses and/or breaches of restraining orders;
- Applications for an extraordinary driver’s license; and
- Steward’s Inquiries and professional disciplinary matters.
Bail is the authorised release of a person who has been charged with a criminal offence (the accused) from custody. Bail gives the accused the right to remain at liberty rather than in prison or a detention centre whilst waiting for the charge to be finalised in court. Police bail may be granted after a person has been arrested and given notice to attend Court. If police bail is not granted a police officer must bring the accused person before a Court as soon as practicable for a Magistrate to decide whether or not Court bail will be granted.
In considering whether bail will be granted the police or Magistrate are to consider factors which are set out in Schedule 1, Part C of the Bail Act 1982. These factors are whether , if the accused is not kept in custody, will he/she:
- Fail to appear in Court in compliance with the terms of a bail undertaking;
- Commit an offence;
- Endanger the safety, welfare, or property of any person; and
- Interfere with a witness or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.
In considering the above the police or Magistrate must also take into account the following:
- The severity of the offence and the circumstances in which it occurred;
- The accused person’s character and background, including prior convictions, associations, home environment, residential situation and their financial position;
- History of prior grants of bail; and
- The likelihood of a conviction based on the current evidence, and the likelihood of a jail term being imposed if the accused is convicted.
Where bail is not immediately granted by a police or a magistrates the accused will be held in custody until his or her next court appearance. D.G. Price & Co. can assist in preparing an application for bail.
Spent Conviction Applications
A spent conviction means, that in most circumstances, you are not legally obliged to disclose to anyone your past criminal conviction and any information relating to it. A spent conviction will not appear on a National Police Clearance record.
Generally you can either make an application for the conviction to be ‘spent’ at the time of your sentencing or following a ten year ‘offence free’ period you can make an application to the Commissioner of Police or a Court to have a conviction declared ‘spent’.
A spent conviction unfortunately does not mean that the conviction disappears completely. The conviction will remain a part of your criminal record known as a ‘History for Court’ which is held by the police and there are some exceptions where you will have to disclose your History for Court such as:
- Applying for certain jobs like a police, prison or transport officer;
- Applying to work in a certain place like a school, hospital or child care centre;
- Applying for a special license ( security agents, child care providers, casino employees or to hold a firearm); or
- Applying for an Australian visa.
If you are unsure whether a spent conviction could benefit you, contact D.G. Price & Co. to discuss.