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 Self-Defence
Self-defence is a valid defence to most violent offences in New South Wales, including assault, manslaughter and murder. If a court accepts that an accused was acting in self-defence or in defence of another person, it will acquit them of the offence. Successfully relying on the defence of self-defence requires an accused to demonstrate that they believed that their actions were necessary and reasonable in the circumstances. The defence of self defence is set out in Part 11 Division 3 of the Crimes Act 1900.
Section 418 of the NSW Crimes Act 1900 outlines when the defence of self-defence is available. That provision states that a person is not criminally responsible for an offence if they carried out the conduct in self-defence. A person carries out conduct in self-defence if they believe their conduct is necessary:
- to defend themself or another person; or
- to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of their liberty or the liberty of another person; or
- to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference; or
- to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass;
AND the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as the accused perceived them.
Onus of proof when raising self-defence
If a person charged with a violent offence wants to rely on the defence of self-defence, they must raise the defence. The prosecution then has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was not acting in self-defence. To do this the prosecution must show either:
- That the accused did not genuinely believe that it was necessary to act as they did in their defence or in defence of another;
- That what the accused did was not a reasonable response to the danger, as they perceived it to be.
What must the court consider?
There are two questions that must be asked by a court when an accused raises self-defence. These are:
- Is there is a reasonable possibility that the accused believed that his or her conduct was necessary in order to defend himself or herself; and,
- If the answer to the first question is yes, is there also a reasonable possibility that the accused’s actions were a reasonable response to the circumstances as they perceived them.
The first question is determined by considering the personal characteristics of the accused and the situation as they perceived it at the time they carried out the conduct. It is, therefore, an entirely subjective test.
The second question is determined by an entirely objective assessment of the proportionality of the accused’s response to the situation as they perceived. The accused need not have had reasonable grounds for their belief that it was necessary to act in the way they did in order to defend themselves. It is sufficient if the accused genuinely held that belief.
The jury is not assessing the response of a reasonable person but the response of the accused. In making that assessment it is obvious than some of the personal attributes of the accused will be relevant just as will be some of the surrounding physical circumstances in which the accused acted. Therefore, matters such as the age of the accused, their gender, or the state of his or her health may be regarded by the jury.
What if the accused was intoxicated?
If the accused was intoxicated at the time the acts were committed, their intoxication will be taken into account when the court is assessing their defence of self-defence. However, their intoxication will only be relevant to the assessment of the belief they held as to what conduct was necessary in their self-defence in the circumstances they perceived. A person who is drunk may perceive circumstances differently to a sober person. However, the accused’s intoxication will not be taken into account when assessing whether their response was reasonable in the circumstances.
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?
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