ACT Criminal Law
National Criminal Law
NSW Criminal Law
QLD Criminal Law
VIC Criminal Law
WA Criminal Law
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."
Criminal Defences (NSW)
A criminal defence is an argument used to justify the actions of a person charged with a criminal offence. A defence may be legal (such as self-defence) or factual (such as an alibi). Legal defences can be complete or partial. They all have their roots in the common law and some are now codified in legislation. Some offences have specific defences that apply to them and these are set out in the Crimes Act 1900. This article outlines criminal defences in New South Wales.
The following can be argued as complete defences.
Claim of right
If a person charged with a stealing offence has a genuine belief that they (or someone else they are acting on behalf of) has a legitimate claim of right to the money or property allegedly stolen this it is a complete defence.
Honest and reasonable mistake of fact
Honest and reasonable mistake of fact is a defence to offences of strict liability (such as speeding). It applies where an accused had an honest and reasonable belief in a state of affairs which, if it existed, would mean that they were innocent of any offence. It does not apply if the mistake is a mistake of law.
If a person is severely impaired by mental illness, they may rely on this as a complete defence to criminal offences. For this to succeed the accused must prove that they did not understand ‘the nature and quality’ of their actions due to their mental illness. This means that they must prove that they either did not know what they were doing or that they didn’t understand that it was wrong.
If a person is charged with a violent offence such as assault or murder, they have a complete defence if they were acting in self-defence or in defence of another person. If the accused raises self-defence, it then becomes the responsibility of the prosecution to prove that they were not acting in self-defence.
For self-defence to succeed, the defendant must prove that they had reasonable grounds to believe that what they did was necessary in self-defence. The principle of proportionality is key to assessing this. The accused’s actions must have been proportionate to the threat faced as they perceived it.
The defence of necessity operates where circumstances cause a person to break the law to avoid serious consequences. This will only succeed if the accused can prove that they genuinely believed that what they did was necessary in response to an emergency situation. An example of where this may be argued is where a person speeds to get a seriously injured person to hospital before they die.
Duress is argued where an accused committed an offence only because of serious threats made to themselves or another person if they did not commit the offence. For this defence to succeed, the accused must show that they committed the offence only to avoid the threat being carried out.
Duress cannot be argued in relation to murder or manslaughter.
Consent is most often raised as a defence in sexual assault cases. A person is not guilty of sexual assault if the complainant consented to sex with them.
Consent may also be advanced as a defence in assault cases (ie the complainant consented to being assaulted – for example, in a fair fight). However, a person cannot consent to serious harm so this defence is not available in assault matters where the victim suffered serious injury.
While not a defence as such, an accused’s intoxication may be taken into consideration when assessing whether they had a specific intent. A specific intent offence is an offence where the prosecution must prove that the accused specifically intended to bring about a specific result. An example of this is maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm. To find a person guilty of this offence it isn’t sufficient for the prosecution to prove that grievous bodily harm was inflicted; it must also prove that it was intended to be inflicted. An intoxicated person might not be capable of having that specific intent.
Partial defences only apply to murder charges. These do not result in acquittal but lead to a conviction for the less serious offence of manslaughter. They lessen the offender’s culpability but do not excuse or justify their actions.
Provocation is based on a claim that the victim provoked the accused to the extent that they temporarily lost their power of self-control. It must be established that the victim’s actions would have caused any reasonable person to act as the accused did.
Diminished responsibility is based on a claim that the accused was suffering from an abnormality of the mind at the time of the alleged offence which substantially impaired their mental responsibility. This cannot be relied upon to excuse the accused if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the offence.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
In New South Wales, a person accused of murder can use extreme provocation as a ‘partial defence’. If a person…
Intoxication is sometimes thought to be a criminal defence. Rather than a defence as such, intoxication by alcohol or drugs…
The Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 (NSW) was assented to in June 2020 and will replace the…
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
91 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
Nishi, 2 Phillip Law Street
Canberra ACT 2601
22 St Georges Terrace Perth