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."
Do I have a Valid Defence?
Despite what the police might say, being charged by the Police with an offence does not mean that you will be found guilty of that offence. It is also true to say that Police are human and do make mistakes in other cases they may be biased or act illegally.
There are many reasons why you may be found not guilty by the court, we have listed a few below:
- The police don’t have enough evidence to prove that you committed the offence;
- They cannot prove that you had possession of the drugs;
- The police have acted illegally or improperly;
- A witness may not attend court;
- The Police have charged you with the wrong offence;
- You are able to rely on a recognised defence.
Common Defences to Drug Charges
You had Drugs for Personal Use and Not for Supply
The law (section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985) provides that if a person has a quantity of drugs more than the trafficable quantity of that drug, they are deemed to have it in their possession for the purpose of supply. This is commonly referred to as deemed supply.
The law (section 29(a)) states that an offender will not be deemed to have the drug for supply if they prove they had it in their possession for a purpose other than supply (for their own use).
The criminal lawyers at Armstrong Legal have been very successful in defending clients for supply drugs utilising this defence. On occasions it may be necessary to call an expert witness to establish the amount of drugs in your possession was not excessive.
Police Cannot Prove that you Possessed the Drugs
The police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knew of the existence of the drug in your physical custody or control. Quite often the police will find drugs within a car or in a house during a search warrant. The police must prove that you knew of the existence of the drug within the car or house and you knew that the substance was a drug. Where a car or house is used by many people it may be that the police cannot prove that it was you who had possession of the drugs and not someone else.
Duress – Forced to Sell Drugs
The defence of duress involves an extremely serious threat to an accused or their family involving the death or serious injury of the accused or their family. This defence is rarely raised in a criminal trial.
An accused must call evidence about the following:
- The making of an actual threat,
- That the threat must be of death or serious injury to the accused or his family,
- That the threat was of such gravity that a person of ordinary firmness of mind and will, and of the same sex and maturity as the accused, would have yielded to the threat in the way that the accused did, and
- That the accused acted as he did because of the threat which was still acting on his mind at the time of the criminal act.
- For such a threat to be effective it must be continuing and be seen to be continuing and such threat will not be continuing and effective if the accused has a reasonable opportunity to render the threat ineffective.
Onus of Proof
The accused bears an evidentiary onus (call evidence that raises the defence). Once the accused discharges the evidentiary onus the prosecution must prove that the accused acted voluntarily and in order to do so must eliminate any reasonable possibility that he acted under duress.
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?
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000