Criminal Law Advice

Police Arrests

If you are possibly going to be charged or interviewed you are entitled to take a lawyer with you to the police station to protect your interests. For further information, please refer to the section titled ‘Police Station Interviews’. Click here to open the section in a new tab or window.

Traffic Offences

The public are not normally aware that it is not always mandatory to take away driving licences on .05 charges.

Driving whilst disqualified is a serious criminal offence and is likely to lead to a jail term.

Dangerous driving is one of the few traffic offences which carries a jail term for a first offender.

Culpable driving is not a traffic offence. Culpable driving causing death is similar to manslaughter and needs the appropriate legal skills that most lawyers don’t have.

Coroners Court

All parties can apply to have a lawyer represent them at a Coroners Court hearing (this includes witnesses or interested parties).

Note: The rules of evidence do not apply in the Coroners Court and sometimes it can be important to protect your interests against allegations which may be inadmissible in criminal courts.

Intervention Orders

Intervention Orders can be taken out by an aggrieved party in the absence of the defendant.

This means orders can be made having far reaching consequences (eg. being prohibited from entering your own home) in your absence. This requires a further court hearing to have the case argued and injustices dealt with by the court after a full examination of all the relevant issues.

Bail

If you are arrested and then charged normally the Police will grant bail at the Police Station.

However, if Police do not grant bail it will be necessary to apply to a court to have bail set. This is a specialist area.

If a Magistrate refuses bail, it is often possible to then apply to the Supreme Court.

Committals

When a person is charged with an indictable offence, that person can always elect to have the case heard by a jury of twelve rather than by a magistrate.

However, if the indictable offence is of a certain level of seriousness, the case can only be heard by a jury of twelve if the accused is pleading not guilty, or a Judge in the County or Supreme Court if pleading guilty.

Before a jury trial can take place a committal is heard in the Magistrates’ Court. The purpose of the committal is for the prosecution to establish to a Magistrate that there is enough evidence against the accused to justify the trouble of a jury trial.

If there is not enough evidence a Magistrate will dismiss the case then and there.

If there is enough evidence the Magistrate cannot make a finding of guilt merely refer the case to a jury of twelve.

Trials

Jury trials are conducted in the County Court and the Supreme Court. The jury decide the case, the Judge only acts as an umpire.

Tax Cases

Prosecutions can be initiated by the Australian Taxation Office. Prosecutions can also be referred to the Australian Federal Police.

As a general rule all these matters can have serious implications particularly if you learn the Federal Police are involved or will be involved.

Your First Step

It is wise policy to consult Brendan Wilkinson, Barrister and Solicitor, for a free first consultation in these types of cases.

  • Free first interview.
  • All clients will deal with Brendan Wilkinson personally.

Brendan Wilkinson, Criminal Defence Lawyer

Melbourne and Ballarat

Level 4 116 Hardware St

Melbourne VIC 3000

ph. 9670 1987 /  0438 670 198

brendanwilkinson@bigpond.com