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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."
No Conviction Recorded (Commonwealth Offences)
A conviction for an offence is a significant legal and social penalty for an offender. It can restrict a person’s opportunities in areas such as employment, housing and travel. When dealing with crimes under state and territory laws, the courts have a discretion as to whether to record a conviction. However, for Commonwealth offences, there is a strict test that must be applied under the Crimes Act 1914 to determine whether no conviction can be recorded.
Commonwealth offences are covered by federal laws and include:
- sex offences committed overseas;
- drug importation and exportation;
- people smuggling;
- human trafficking;
- fraud against federal government departments;
- aviation crimes;
- online child exploitation.
Section 19B of the Act allows a court to dismiss a charge without recording a conviction, or discharge a person without conviction but with conditions. The court must apply a two-step test to make its decision.
The first step is to consider:
- the character, antecedents, age, health or mental condition of the person;
- the extent (if any) to which the offence is of a trivial nature;
- the extent (if any) to which the offence was committed under extenuating circumstances.
Antecedents has a broad meaning and includes all aspects of an offender’s background and status, including family, social and employment circumstances, and the offender’s interaction with the lives and welfare of others.
The triviality of an offence is determined by the gravity of the offence according to the statutory penalty, and the particular circumstances of the case. “Trivial” usually means the offence is minor or technical, often committed inadvertently or unintentionally.
Extenuating circumstances can excuse commission of an offence. This consideration is usually invoked only when the offending is not typical or the offender’s personal circumstances are unusual.
The second step is to consider whether it is:
- inexpedient to inflict any punishment; or
- inexpedient to inflict any punishment other than a nominal punishment; or
- expedient to release the offender on probation.
Expediency has been construed in cases as “advantageous”, “desirable” and “suitable to the circumstances of the case”.
Once the court has applied the test, it can either dismiss the charge or discharge a person without conviction but on the condition that they will:
- be of good behaviour for a specified period of up to 3 years;
- make reparation or restitution, or pay compensation, or pay court costs;
- comply with any other condition imposed by the court.
Before making a conditional release order, the court must explain to the person the purpose and effect of the order, the consequences of a breach of the order, and the possibility the order can be varied or discharged.
If the person fails to comply with a court order, without a reasonable cause or excuse, the court can issue a summons directing the person to appear, or issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. The court can then revoke the order, record a conviction, sentence the person for the original offence or take no action.
If a charge is dismissed without conviction and the person is subsequently found guilty of the same offence, they will be considered a repeat offender for the purpose of sentencing, despite the fact no conviction was recorded for the first offence.
Sabel v The Queen (2014)
Software developer Sabel was charged with two counts of accessing child exploitation material using a carriage service and two counts of possessing child exploitation material. Sabel said he had downloaded the material to research ways to monitor and block the transmission of such material on the internet. Section 19B was applied for the first offence, with Sabel placed on a 2-year good behaviour order on security of $500 for the other three offences. Sabel appealed, arguing that his good character and the fact the sentencing judge had accepted Sabel had no erotic purpose for accessing and possessing the material, meant the other three charges should have attracted the application of section 19B also. The appeal was rejected, with the court stating Sabel knew that accessing and possessing child pornography was illegal, and that saving the files was criminal and serious. It further stated Sabel’s subjective circumstances and the sentencing judge’s acceptance that Sabel had downloaded and stored the material for a commercial purpose, was reflected in the good behaviour order.
Semrad v Habiburahman (2013)
Burmese refugee Habiburahman pleaded guilty to harming a public official and damaging Commonwealth property. Section 19B was applied and a conviction was not recorded due to extenuating circumstances. Those circumstances included Habiburahman experiencing severe discrimination and persecution in Burma; years spent in immigration detention where he suffered traumatic experiences and was experiencing escalating distress an anguish; and anxiety about this family in Burma. The Court of Appeal stated that although Habiburahman’s conduct was unacceptable, “it arose out of circumstances where the accumulation of concerns regarding his own situation and that of others over a long period of time impacted upon his thought processes leading him to act in a way which was quite out of character”.
For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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