Being charged with an offence is a traumatic experience. At Family Focus Legal, our experienced solicitors can ensure you get the best possible outcome, whether you are entering a plea of guilty and being sentenced before the Magistrate or defending the charges at a hearing.
The Court Process
If you are entering a plea of guilty to the offence or offences for which you have been charged, it is important to make submissions to the Magistrate regarding the circumstances of the offence, including any mitigating factors which may help to reduce your sentence.
We will also work with you to obtain relevant documents which will assist in your sentencing matter such as good quality character references.
In some cases submissions can be made for no conviction to be recorded against you. This is known as a Section 10 (CRIMES (SENTENCING PROCEDURE) ACT 1999).
Often we will negotiate with the police to have charges amended or withdrawn depending on the facts of the case.
Defending the Charges
If you enter a plea of not guilty, the police are required to serve a brief of evidence within the time ordered by the Court.
We then receive your instructions on the brief. Usually two weeks after the brief of evidence is served the matter then goes back to Court for you to either confirm or change your plea.
If you confirm you plea of not guilty, we then indicate to the Court the number of witnesses the defence will be calling and who will be cross examined in the hearing. The Court is also told how long the hearing is estimated to take.
The Magistrate will then give a date for the hearing. Although it can be nerve wracking to be in a hearing defending charges that have been laid against you, at Family Focus Legal we ensure you are properly prepared for the matter and assist in reducing your stress and anxiety.
In some circumstances we will brief a barrister to appear in your matter.