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."
Pleading Not Guilty to a Drug Charge in the Local Court
All drug possession and self administer drug charges will be finalised in the Local Court. However, some charges of supply, manufacture, cultivate and import drug charges may be dealt with in the District Court. If you have been charged with any of these offences please contact us and we will be advise you whether your matter will be heard in the Local or District Court and if your matter is to be dealt with in the District Court we will explain the court process to you.
What Will Happen in Court?
In a not guilty plea, your lawyer from Armstrong Legal will confirm your plea of not guilty to the Registrar at the first court appearance. As you are represented, there may be no need for you to appear at this mention, but your lawyer will confirm this with you. Normally your matter will be adjourned for approximately 4-6 weeks to allow the Police enough time to prepare a brief of evidence. A brief of evidence contains all the evidence that the Police intend to rely upon at the hearing of the matter. Generally, Police are not able to call additional evidence that was not contained in the brief of evidence and served on you 14 days prior to the hearing.
Police do not always serve the brief of evidence upon you by the date allocated by the Registrar. This does not necessarily mean that they will not be able to serve the brief of evidence on you later. Normally, if the Police provide a reasonable excuse for not serving the brief upon you, the Registrar will give the Police further time to serve it. It may be possible to get your legal costs paid by the Police Force if they do not serve the brief upon you when they should have.
At your second court appearance and if the Police have served the brief of evidence upon you and you still want to plead not guilty, your lawyer will ask the Registrar for a hearing date. You will be asked to complete a court listing advice that identifies the witnesses you want to cross examine and your estimate of how long the hearing will take.
You may be asked what is in issue. It is possible to subpoena a person or organisation to produce documents that may help your case. If a subpoena is issued, your lawyer will obtain a further mention date prior to the hearing to allow plenty of time to inspect the documents prior to the hearing.
Procedure at the Hearing
The Police must prove that you are guilty of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. If the Magistrate has a reasonable doubt than they must dismiss the charge.
The Police Case
The Police Prosecutor who represents the Police will call witnesses to try and prove that you committed the drug offence. Your lawyer may object to questions asked by the Police Prosecutor in certain circumstances. After the Police Prosecutor has finished asking the witness questions your lawyer may cross examine the witness. After your lawyer has finished cross examining the witness the Police Prosecutor will be able to clarify any answers in re examination. After all witnesses have given evidence the Police Prosecutor will close the Police case.
Prima Facie Case
Before you are required to answer the Police case, the Magistrate has to decide whether taking the Police case at its highest you could be lawfully convicted of the offence. Your lawyer is able to make submissions to the Magistrate as to why you could not be lawfully convicted.
Submissions – Why you should not be convicted
Your lawyer can make submissions as to why you should not be convicted of an offence. These submissions can be made without giving evidence.
The Defence Case
If you intend to give evidence, then you normally give evidence first. Your lawyer will ask you a series of questions so that you give all relevant evidence. Try to relax and give evidence as you remember the events. Remember, rehearsed evidence often sounds artificial, so try and be natural.
After all witnesses you intended to call have given evidence, your lawyer will make submissions after the Police Prosecutor upon the evidence given. The Magistrate will make their decision on the evidence given and will normally make a decision shortly after submissions are given by both parties. The Magistrate will find you either guilty or not guilty. If you are found not guilty you may be able to claim your legal costs in some limited cases. If you are found guilty then you will be sentenced.
Following is a list of penalties that could be imposed by the court if you are found guilty.
- Section 10 (matter proven but dismissed) – no criminal conviction and no loss of licence
- Good behaviour bond – A bond to be of good behaviour
- Community service order – Unpaid work in the community
- Suspended sentence – A prison sentence suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond
- Periodic detention – Part time prison sentence either mid week or weekend detention
- Home detention – A prison sentence served at your home
- Prison – Full time custody in a correctional centre
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