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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."
What is a Committal Hearing? (Qld)
When a person in Queensland is charged with a criminal offence, they are given a first mention date in the Magistrates Court. If the matter is a summary offence it will be finalised in the Magistrates Court. Some indictable matters can be finalised in the Magistrates Court as well but serious indictable offences must be transferred to a higher court. Before a matter can go to a higher court, it must go through the committal hearing process.
In Queensland, the District Court and the Supreme Court hear all serious indictable offences. The Supreme Court handles the most serious indictable offences, like murder and manslaughter, drug trafficking and rape. The District Court deals with matters such as drug supply, indecent treatment of a child, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlawful wounding and causing grievous bodily harm.
Brief of evidence
Before a charge can be committed to the District Court or Supreme Court, a brief of evidence must be served on the defence by the prosecution. The brief of evidence must contain all the evidence that the prosecution is relying on against the accused. This will generally include witness statements, an electronic record of interview, any CCTV footage of the incident, police statements and so on.
A committal can proceed by way of an oral committal hearing or a hand-up committal. An oral committal is usually held where the accused is planning to plead not guilty. A hand-up committal usually occurs where the accused is planning to plead guilty.
In an oral committal, prosecution witnesses will attend and have their evidence tested in cross-examination. A Magistrate will then determine whether there is a sufficient prosecution case for the matter to proceed to a higher court. If the Magistrate determines that there is enough evidence for a jury to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person is guilty, they will commit the matter to a higher court. If they consider the evidence insufficient to support a finding of guilt, the matter will be dismissed.
If the magistrate is satisfied that there is enough evidence to commit the matter, the defence then has the opportunity to present its case. However, there is a lot of risk in the defendant giving evidence during a committal hearing as the prosecution may use what they said against them during the trial. In most cases, the defence leading evidence at a committal is more detrimental than helpful.
The purpose of a committal hearing is not to determine guilt. It is simply to assess the evidence. The accused may be legally represented, and this is to be advised. The committal stage is an important stage in the progress of a serious indictable matter and a great deal of consideration should be given to whether an oral committal hearing should be held.
Advantages and disadvantages of a committal hearing
There are advantages and disadvantages to holding an oral committal hearing. Advantages include the possibility of the charges being dismissed without the need for a trial. It is also an opportunity for the prosecution case to be tested.
The disadvantages of holding an oral committal hearing are that it can give the prosecution a heads up on the argument the defence is planning to run at the trial. An oral committal can also give the prosecution witnesses the opportunity to practice and prepare for a jury trial, meaning they will know what to expect and may perform better. Lastly, an oral committal is costly to prepare and run and if the evidence is strong enough for the matter to proceed, the accused will still have the cost of running a trial.
Committals without an oral hearing
In most cases, an indictable offence charge will be committed to a higher court without an oral committal hearing. A defence solicitor will review the brief of evidence, and if there is sufficient evidence to proceed then the matter will be committed by consent. This can occur in two ways.
Firstly, it can occur by way of ‘full hand up’ committal. This consists of the prosecution handing up the brief of evidence to the magistrate, who will review it to make sure there is sufficient evidence for the matter to be committed to a higher court, and then commit the matter.
Secondly, it can occur through a Registry Committal. This is the administrative avenue of committing charges outside of court. The defence must have been served with all the evidence and witness statements beforehand. The magistrate will adjourn the matter to allow it be completed, and the next Magistrates Court date will be vacated once the Registry Committal has occurred. The matter will then be transferred to the District or Supreme Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in a criminal matter or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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