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."
What Does Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Mean?
Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard of proof that applies in criminal matters. It is a higher standard than ‘on the balance of probabilities’, which is the standard of proof for civil matters. Criminal matters have a higher standard of proof than civil matters because they can involve the potential loss of a person’s liberty with the imposition of a term of imprisonment.
It is worth noting that where an accused advances a defence, the defence must be proved only to the civil standard of proof (on the balance of probabilities).
The presumption of innocence
The presumption of innocence is the most fundamental principle of the criminal justice system. It is a human right, which is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It means that the prosecution in criminal matters bears the burden of proving the accused is guilty of the offences charged beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not the defendant’s responsibility to prove that they are ot guilty.
To prove the defendant is guilty, the prosecution must adduce admissible evidence before the court proving beyond a reasonable doubt that every element of the offence has been made out. Depending on the offence charged, this may include physical acts as well as a mental state, such as intention or recklessness.
Under the presumption of innocence, a person cannot be found guilty unless there is no reasonable alternative hypothesis that can be put forward that is consistent with their innocence. There must be no reasonable doubt in the mind of the decision-maker (magistrate, judge or jury) that the person is guilty.
Although the court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty, this does not mean that there can be no doubt whatsoever. However, any lingering doubt must be found to be unreasonable in order for the standard of proof to be fulfilled.
The criminal standard of proof is set out in section 141 of the Evidence Act, which states:
(1) In a criminal proceeding, the court is not to find the case of the prosecution proved unless it is satisfied that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
(2) In a criminal proceeding, the court is to find the case of a defendant proved if it is satisfied that the case has been proved on the balance of probabilities.
The Act does not provide any further information about how the standard of proof is to be satisfied.
Is reasonable doubt a defence?
Yes. Raising reasonable doubt can often be enough to prevent the prosecution from proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The defence does not have to prove that the accused did not commit the crime, but only show that there is a reasonable possibility that he or she did not do so.
Who decides if the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
It is up to the decision-maker (a magistrate in the summary jurisdiction and a jury in indictable matters) to decide whether the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Whether there is reasonable doubt is a highly subjective test. Different individuals have different ideas of what is reasonable. At times the defence may feel that an innocent person has been convicted and at time the prosecution may believe that a guilty person escaped punishment. When this happens, a party may lodge an appeal against the court’s decision.
Why do we require guilt to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt?
Having a high criminal standard of proof means that it is more likely that a guilty person will be acquitted than that an innocent person will be found guilty. The criminal justice system is premised on the idea that is it better for a guilty person to go free than for an innocent person to be found guilty.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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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?
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Sydney NSW 2000
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Melbourne VIC 3000
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Canberra ACT 2601
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