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."
Evidence Insufficient For Property Damage Conviction (ACT)
Two different views of the one piece of CCTV footage made all the difference in the 2020 ACT Supreme Court decision of Hall v Davis. In that case, the defendant was found guilty of property damage consisting of scratching a motor car and facing a maximum penalty of a fine of $160,000 and/or 10 years imprisonment. He appealed on the ground there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction.
Evidence considered on appeal
Magistrate Glenn Theakston was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the scratch had been made by the gentleman charged. However, Justice Michael Elkaim saw things very differently when the man appealed to the ACT Supreme Court.
The evidence against the appellant was made up of the following items:
- Three recordings of CCTV footage.
- The concessions made by the gentleman that he was the person seen in the footage.
- The evidence of the owner of the vehicle to the effect that the damage would have occurred within the two days before the events shown in the CCTV footage.
- The presence of a scratch on the back of the vehicle, which could be seen in a photograph.
Supreme Court findings
“I was asked to view the CCTV footage which I did, both in its “normal” configuration and with the benefit of the zoom function,” the Judge concluded. “There is no doubt that the appellant walks past the rear of the vehicle. There is no doubt that he was at one stage in a position approximate to the area of the scratch.
“However, in my view, to go further than the above observations is to make a quantum leap that cannot be derived from the CCTV footage, either on its own or in combination with any of the other evidence in the case.
“I accept that the presence of the appellant at the rear of the vehicle gives rise to a suspicion. But of course, that is not enough. I also note that there was, in terms of time, significant opportunity for the offence to have been carried out by another person, noting the notorious prevalence of random ‘keying’ of vehicles in car parks.”
As His Honour noted, “It is often said that different persons viewing the same event will reach different conclusions.” However, the fact that the judge had a different view to Magistrate Theakston did not mean that his view prevailed. “If the Magistrate’s findings were open to him the appeal would fail,” Justice Elkaim found. “However, I am of the view that the findings made by the Magistrate, in particular his conclusions about what can be derived from the CCTV footage, were not open to him, to an extent that his conclusions have led to an unsafe and unsatisfactory result.”
The appellant was awarded his costs in running the contested hearing in the Magistrates Court.
This decision is a reminder of the importance of good representation in contested matters and the need to thoroughly interrogate the strength of each and every piece of evidence relied on by the prosecution. It calls to mind the old proverb, “Lawyers and painters can soon change white to black.”
If you have been found guilty of a matter and wish to appeal, like the gentleman above, you need specialist assistance. The team at Armstrong Legal Canberra deal only in criminal and traffic law.
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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.
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