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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."
Character Reference (Qld)
A character reference is a statement for the court from someone who can comment on an offender’s character. It is used to help determine an offender’s sentence after conviction, by allowing the court insight into the offender’s life beyond the facts of the offence and submissions from the prosecution. References often tell of an offender’s positive values, employment history and community involvement. They can be written by people such as close friends, family members, employers, teachers, community members or counsellors.
What to include
There is no specific list of what should be included in a character reference but there are general guidelines. A reference should include:
- the length of time you have known the offender;
- the basis of the relationship or connection e.g. teacher, employment supervisor;
- the circumstances in which you interact, including how frequently you see each other;
- observations about the offender’s character, personality and behaviour, focusing on positive traits, and any times these have been displayed;
- acknowledgement of the offences, and any guilty plea;
- any hardships or sacrifices for the offender as a result of the charges e.g. loss of employment, financial losses, reputational damage;
- any positive lifestyle changes the offender has made since the offences.
Tailoring the reference
The reference should be tailored to the offence.
- Assault charge: the referee should describe the offender’s character relating to violence, such as whether the offence is a rare or one-off incident.
- Driving charge: the consequences of a loss of licence should be spelled out. For instance, an employer could state the offender will lose their job, or a spouse could state that children will miss out on sport due to having no one to transport them to games. If the offence was drink driving, the referee could explain how the offender is striving to be responsible when drinking alcohol.
- Drug charge: a referee could point to the offender seeking treatment and rehabilitation, or that the offence was a one-off incident. A sports coach referee could point to the impact of an offender’s likely suspension or expulsion from the sport for drug use. An employer could point to the impact of a conviction on the offender’s ability to obtain work in their chosen field.
- Dishonesty charge: a referee could try to explain the reason for the offending, such as financial difficulty. They could also point to any reparation attempts made by the offender.
What not to include
Because a reference is used only after a person has been convicted, the reference must not make any claim that the referee believes the person is not, or is unlikely to be, guilty.
It should not try to excuse the offender’s behaviour or blame the victim of the offence, nor criticise the law or police.
The reference should not speak about the offender in glowing terms because this may have an adverse effect on the sentence imposed. The reference should also not state the offence is “out of character” if the person has a history of the offence, so the referee should investigate before writing the reference.
It also should not suggest any type of penalty, because this is for the magistrate or judge alone to determine.
There are general rules for the presentation of character references. These include:
- addressing the reference to the Presiding Magistrate (Magistrates Court) or Presiding Judge (District or Supreme Court);
- beginning the reference with Your Honour;
- signing and dating the reference;
- stating any formal positions held by the referee and using letterhead if possible;
- handing the original to the magistrate or judge, after copies have been made by the solicitor;
- a reference being about 1 page and no longer than 2 pages;
- providing 1, 2 or 3 quality references;
- remembering that providing a forged or fraudulent reference is an offence.
If the sentence is heard in the Magistrates Court, the referee is not usually required to be in court. In the District or Supreme Court, the referee may be required to give evidence if the prosecution decides to question the contents of the reference.
If an offender is unable to obtain a character reference, they should ensure the court is aware the offending behaviour is out of character, the offender is remorseful and is unlikely to repeat the behaviour. If the offence prompted therapy or counselling, a letter confirming this from the therapy provider or counsellor may be helpful.
For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Lawyers.
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