ACT Criminal Law
National Criminal Law
NSW Criminal Law
QLD Criminal Law
VIC Criminal Law
WA Criminal Law
With a cramped time frame, she did in 3 days what another firm dilly-dallied for 7 months. Lisa kept me informed. Helena made me feel comfortable in a sticky situation.
I will definitely be using your company in the future if needed. Lisa kept me at ease also there were no grey areas with great advice. Helana is a great front of house.
My legal matter concerning an application for a Domestic Violence Order was managed by Mr Thomas Allen. I am grateful for the outcome he obtained. Without Mr Allen and his ongoing support, I would be certain of a different result. It has been an extremely stressful period. Mr Allen’s astute ability to liaise on my behalf and his expertise was invaluable and for which I am grateful as I am now able to move forward. Thanking you
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your representation and help. Fingers crossed for the next step and parole. I just want to say that from the first phone call to your office, your service has been outstanding and have put my mind at ease. I am glad I picked your number to ring.
Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
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."
Alibis: A Vital Part of the Criminal Law (ACT)
“Alibi” is one legal term which many laypeople would feel confident defining. An alibi is of course, “a claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place” (Oxford Dixtionary). But don’t expect to see any dramatic revelations from the floor of Canberra courts in the middle of a trial with a defendant suddenly standing and shouting, “But I wasn’t there, and I can prove it!” In Australian courts, a defendant who plans to advance an alibi in their defence must give notice to the prosecution.
Giving notice of an alibi
Strict rules cover the revelation of an alibi in the Australian Capital Territory. Section 288 of the Crimes Act 1900 provides that a defendant must give notice to the prosecution (and thereby the police) within 14 days of his or her case being committed from the Magistrates Court for trial for an indictable offence (serious matters that have to be dealt with in the Supreme Court).
On the day of committal, the defendant receives a notice about what constitutes an alibi and the requirements of the court if the defendant is to raise an alibi. If the alibi notice is not given by the defendant within 14 days then the defendant must not call any other person to give evidence in support of an alibi without the court’s permission. If notice is given of an alibi, the notice has to meet certain requirements. It has to include the name and address of the person who can give the evidence supporting the alibi or, if the name or address is not known to the defendant at the time they give the notice, any information in their possession that might be of material assistance in finding the person.
If the name or the address is not included in the notice, the court has to be satisfied that the defendant, before giving the notice, took, and, after giving the notice, continued to take, all reasonable steps to ascertain the name or address. If the defendant subsequently ascertains the name or address or receives information that might be of material assistance in finding the person, the defendant needs to “forthwith” give notice of the name, address or other information.
If the person cannot be found by name or address, the defendant must immediately give notice of any information they have that might be of material assistance in finding the person. The same applies if the defendant later receives any such information.
Section 288 concludes by saying:
“Evidence in support of an alibi means evidence tending to show that by reason only of the presence of the defendant at a particular place or in a particular area at a particular time they were not, or were unlikely to have been, at the place where the offence is alleged to have been committed at the time of its alleged commission.”
Case law on alibis
Dates are often critical in cases involving alibis. This can be seen in the recent ACT Supreme Court matter of R v Masina (No 3) ( ACTSC 154). In that matter, the defendant filed an Alibi Notice and the Australian Federal Police further investigated but the Crown did not seek to amend the indictment so as to specify a range of dates. The Crown contended it was sufficient to establish the incident occurred on a date that was a “reasonable approximation” of the date actually charged.
The charges involved were serious: one count of sexual intercourse without consent (Crimes Act, s54(1): maximum penalty 12 years imprisonment) and three counts of committing acts of indecency (Crimes Act, s60(1), each carrying a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment).
In assessing the evidence in that case, Justice Mossop referred to “the most commonly cited discussion of the significance of dates”, being the dissenting judgment of Bray CJ in R v Pfitzner (1976) 15 SASR 171 at 185:
“Whether the date alleged in an information is vital to the charge must depend on the circumstances. So long as it is clear that the controversy turns on the events of a certain occasion, it may not matter if the date of that occasion is misstated if the occasion itself is clearly identified and both parties have directed their cases towards it …. But obviously if a man is charged with committing an offence on Saturday and comes prepared with an alibi for Saturday, he cannot be convicted of committing the offence on Friday or Sunday, unless perhaps the information is amended and the trial adjourned to enable him to meet the new case.”
Mossop J said where an alibi existed, fairness to the accused required “that the case be determined on the basis that it is either made out beyond reasonable doubt in relation to the specific date or dates alleged or not at all”. Mossop J found all elements of the alleged offences proved (being that the accused intentionally penetrated another person and committed acts of indecency upon that person; that the other person did not consent to the penetration or other acts; that the accused did not reasonably believe that the other person had consented to the penetration and other acts). However, the date, while not an element of the offences charged, proved critical. His Honour quoted various cases where it had been found that dates could be “material to the integrity of the criminal process”, noting particularly the judgment of Derrington J in R v Jacobs  2 Qd R 541:
“The correct view is that the nature of the allegations in the Crown case may be such that the prosecution is fixed to a certain date and it would be wrong to countenance any departure from that point when it is especially relevant to proof, alibi or the like.”
Therefore, Mossop J, concluded: “I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt … that the elements of each of the offences charged are established.
“However, there is a reasonable doubt as to whether the offending alleged occurred in the period specified in the indictment … a verdict of not guilty must be recorded.”
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
In a recent ACT Magistrates Court decision, a man has been found not guilty of both menacing driving and property…
There are many situations in which legal, political and moral considerations clash. This is occurring in a matter currently before…
Two different views of the one piece of CCTV footage made all the difference in the 2020 ACT Supreme Court…
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
91 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
Nishi, 2 Phillip Law Street
Canberra ACT 2601
22 St Georges Terrace Perth