Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Courts in the ACT
The ACT’s court system is unique because, unlike most other Australian jurisdictions, it does not have a distinct intermediary court, such as a District or County Court.
The system is a product of the Territory’s unique place in the Federation. Unlike the states, there are only two levels of Government in Canberra: Commonwealth and Territory, with the municipal or shire council level absent. Indeed, the Commonwealth was the only government responsible for the Territory right up until the granting of self-government in 1989.
ACT Magistrates Court
This is the lowest court in the hierarchy and it is where all criminal prosecutions begin. Less serious matters, known as “summary only” matters, and carrying a maximum penalty of not more than two years’ imprisonment, must be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
Where the maximum penalty is longer than two years but not more than five years, the Prosecution can elect to have it dealt with summarily in the Magistrates Court. If such an election is made, the Court cannot impose a penalty beyond a fine of $5000 and/or two years’ imprisonment.
The ACT Supreme Court
The ACT Supreme Court has the role of both an intermediary court (such as a state District Court) and a state Supreme Court. This is where the most serious matters will be decided.
If an offence carries a maximum penalty of more than 10 years, it must be dealt with in the Supreme Court, however there are some exceptions to this rule.
The first of those exceptions is if the charged offence relates to money or property. If so, then the maximum penalty for the particular offence must be more than 14 years before it is required to be finalised in the Supreme Court.
The other exceptions are for certain offences of burglary and robbery which carry 20 and 25 years as maximum penalties, depending on the particular version of the offence that has been charged.
Where an offence carries a maximum penalty of more than five years but not more than 10 years, or where it is one of the exceptions mentioned above, the defendant can determine to keep the matter in the Magistrates Court. This is called “consenting to the jurisdiction” of the lower court. In relation to burglary and robbery offences, the consent of the Prosecution is also required, and if the matter involves money or property, the amount of money or value of property must not exceed $30,000. If it does, the matter will be required to be finalised in the Supreme Court. When suchcases are dealt with in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalties are a fine of up to $15,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment.
The Supreme Court conducts jury trials and determines appeals against sentences and convictions imposed in the Magistrates Court .
ACT Court of Appeal
The ACT Court of Appeal was established in 2001 to exercise full general appellate jurisdiction, including the hearing of appeals by three judges from judgments of single judges of the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeal consists of the Territory’s four resident judges and 18 additional judges of the Supreme Court, whose primary commission is as a judge of the Federal Court, and who are called on to sit in the ACT only from time to time.
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is not strictly an ACT Court, despite being physically located in the ACT. The High Court is the highest court in Australia and hears appeals from each of the states and territories. It is possible that an ACT criminal matter will proceed to the High Court, but such instances are exceedingly rare.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000