Knowledge

I have been Arrested?
The Right to Remain Silent
We encourage anyone that is arrested to seek legal advice immediately. You have the right to remain silent, unless statutory requirements state otherwise. For example, it is an offence to refuse to answer questions regarding the identity of a driver of a motor vehicle. You are required to provide your personal particulars, such as name and address. It is an offence to refuse and or provide false personal particulars. We suggest that you disclose the details on your driver’s licence.
 


I have received a Summons?
What Now
The bottom of the Summons has a date, time and location of when you have Court. It is vital that you attend Court when you have it as there are serious consequences for non attendance.


 
Common Offences: Summary Offences / Minor Indictable Offences / Major Indictable Offences?
What’s the Difference


Summary Offences?
Summary offences are the less serious charges out of the three common offences. They are heard in the Magistrates Court by a Magistrate. Summary offences make up the majority of offences in the criminal justice system. They can include disorderly behaviour, drink driving and drug driving, minor property damage and minor assaults.


Minor Indictable Offences?
Minor indictable offences are one of the two categories of indictable offences. Minor indictable offences are heard in the Magistrates Court by a Magistrate, but can be heard in the District Court by a Judge or Judge and Jury, by election. They can include more serious assaults and assaults which cause harm, property damage over $2500.00, deception over $2500.00, some indecent assaults and some trespasses.


Major Indictable Offences?
Major indictable offences are one of the two categories of indictable offences. They are the most serious charges out of the three common offences. They are heard in the superior Courts, District Court / Supreme Court, by a Judge or Judge and Jury. Major indictable charges begin at the Magistrates Court for the Committal Stage. It is here that the Director of Public Prosecutions presents the evidence that they would rely upon to provide the charge. It if from there that a plea of guilty or not guilty is entered and the person will be committed up to the superior Court. They can include murder, manslaughter, rape, arson and assaults which are more serious.



Criminal Convictions?
Without Conviction
A criminal conviction can have serious and long term consequences. In particular these can include consequences in relation to employment and travel. If you have been charged with a criminal offence and the behaviour was out of character, the Court might use its discretion to sentence without conviction.  
 


Legal Aid?
Money Matters
Some individuals may have financial problems with accessing legal representation and advice. We welcome matters of legal aid. Legal aid applications are available from our office and we can help you with your application.