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."
Going to Court in NSW
This is a brief guide for those who are appearing before the criminal courts in New South Wales for the first time. It is important to remember that there can be very real and serious consequences if you fail to act appropriately in court.
Understand the charge/s and know the maximum penalties
It is important to be clear about what offences you have been charged with and what the maximum penalty is for each of them. The penalty that the court ultimately decides to impose will often be much less than the maximum penalty. However, it has the power to impose any sentence up to the maximum under the legislation. The maximum penalty may be a fine or a period of imprisonment.
Know how to plead
In a criminal matter, you can either plead guilty and proceed to be sentenced or plead not guilty and proceed to a contested hearing. At the first mention, you will generally be asked by the Magistrate how you intend to plead. You may or may not enter your pleas at the first mention.
Pleading not guilty
If you did not commit the offence or have a legal defence (such as self-defence) or a factual defence (such as an alibi) you should enter a plea of not guilty. This means that your matter will not be finalised at the first mention. Your matter will be listed for a hearing date where you will be required to give evidence and call witnesses in your defence. Depending on how busy the court is and how complicated your matter, this may be several months away.
If you committed the offence and do not have a legal or factual defence, you should generally plead guilty. If you are pleading guilty, your matter may be finalised on the first mention, or it may be adjourned to another date for finalisation. If there is supporting material such as character references or medical reports to gather, you should adjourn your matter long enough to allow you to do this.
When your matter is finalised, you or your lawyer will be given an opportunity by the Magistrate to provide an explanation for your offending and to make submissions in your defence.
Be Prepared when going to court
Make sure you are well prepared when attending court. If the court is to take into account your circumstances, it will require documentation and evidence. If you have material to tender, such as character references, letters of apology or certificates of completion of programmes, make sure you bring three copies of these to court so that the court, the prosecution and the defence can all retain a copy.
General Etiquette when going to court
It is important to conduct yourself appropriately when inside a courtroom. Failure to do so can result in being ejected from the court, or being charged with the offence of contempt of court.
Some helpful tips on etiquette include:
- Treat the Magistrate/ or Judge with respect;
- Be punctual. Matters are usually all listed to begin at either 9:00 am or 9:30 am depending on the court location and hours of operation.
- Be patient. Your matter will not necessarily mean be called on at the time it is listed to begin. You should go to court prepared to be there all day.
- Dress appropriately. Smart casual or business attire is best.
- Do not use profanities (unless asked by the court to repeat exactly what was said).
- Be aware of personal hygiene.
- Turn off your mobile phone and remove hats and sunglasses before going into the courtroom.
- Take a pen and paper in case you need to write down an adjournment date or other information.
- Do not take food or drink into the court room.
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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