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
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."
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.”
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