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."
The Defence of Duress
The defence of duress is available in relation to almost all criminal offences. However, it is rarely raised and even more rarely succeeds. It can be argued where the offence was committed only because the accused was put under enormous pressure to commit the offence and believed that they or someone else would be seriously harmed or killed if they did not comply.
What must be proven?
To make out the defence of duress, the accused must call evidence establishing the following:
- that an actual threat of death or serious injury was made to the accused or another person,
- that the threat was of such gravity that a person of ordinary firmness of mind and will, and of the same sex and maturity as the accused, would have yielded to the threat in the way that the accused did, and
- that the accused acted as they did because of the threat which was still acting on their mind at the time of the criminal act.
For such a threat to be effective it must be continuing and be seen to be continuing and a threat will not be seen to be continuing and effective if the accused had a reasonable opportunity to render the threat ineffective.
The onus of proof
An accused who wishes to rely on the defence of duress bears an evidentiary onus. This means they must call evidence that raises the defence. Once the defence has been raised, the prosecution must prove that the accused acted voluntarily and in order to do so must eliminate any reasonable possibility that he acted under duress.
When can the defence of duress not be argued?
The defence of duress cannot be argued in relation to very serious offences such as murder, treason and terrorism offences. This is because the criminal law considers that some actions are so serious that they cannot be excused even under extreme circumstances. However, courts have held that the defence of duress can be relied on by a person charged as an accessory to murder if they were forced to assist through threats of death or serious harm.
The defence of duress cannot be argued where the duress was foreseeable. The most common example of this is where the accused has chosen to associate with criminals.
The defence of duress in different states
The precise laws on the defence of duress vary between different states and territories. While in common law jurisdictions like Victoria, the defence of duress can only be argued where a threat of physical harm was made to a person, Queensland has extended the defence to cover threats to property. However, the defence can only be relied on where the response to the threat to property was proportionate.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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