ACT Criminal Law
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NSW Criminal Law
QLD Criminal Law
VIC Criminal Law
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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."
Right to Silence (Qld)
The right to silence is recognised as a fundamental common law right in all Australian states and territories. In Queensland, this right has been codified in Section 397 of the Police Powers and Responsibility Act, which states that a person’s right to refuse to answer questions is protected, except where they are required to answer under legislation. The right to silence is based on the principle that the burden of proving an accused guilty of an offence beyond a reasonable doubt is born by the prosecution, and an accused cannot be compelled to self-incriminate.
Case law on the right to silence
In the 1991 case of Petty & Maiden v The Queen, it was established that a jury may not draw an adverse inference against an accused person because they refused to give an account to the police when interviewed.
However, this rule cannot be relied on when an accused answers some questions but refuses to answer others.
Section 431 of the PPRA outlines the right to silence as follows:
1. A police officer must caution a person prior to questioning them;
2. The caution must be given in, or translated into, a language which the person is reasonably fluent in;
3. If the police officer suspects the person does not understand the caution, they may ask them to explain it in their own words.
4. If necessary, the police must further explain the caution.
This provision sets the standards that police must adhere to when questioning a person in Queensland. The police must inform the person being questioned of their right to silence and that what they say may be used as evidence against them. The law requires police to be certain that the person understands their right to silence before they proceed to interview them. This may mean using an interpreter or asking the suspect to repeat the caution in their own words to ensure they have understood it.
What if the police don’t caution a suspect?
If the police fail to caution a suspect before an interview or if they do not give the caution in a way they can understand, this can affect the admissibility of the evidence they give during the interview. When admissions are made after a person was not properly cautioned, the defence will usually challenge the admissibility of the interview in a pre-trial proceeding called a voir dire. If the court considers that the police officers failed to adequately explain the suspect’s rights to them, it will exclude the interview from evidence and the prosecution will not be able to rely on it. This is to ensure that police comply with the law and that the police are not allowed to secure a finding of guilt after failing to uphold the rights of an accused.
Exceptions to the right to silence
Section 431(5) of the PPRA contains an exception to the right to silence where the person is required to answer questions under legislation. An example of this is when police ask a person to provide their name and address. Section 41 of the PPRA, provides that a person must provide police with their details in certain circumstances, such as when police find them committing an offence or suspect on reasonable grounds that they have done so. Failure to provide these details to police when asked can amount to a criminal offence
Should you exercise your right to silence?
At times it can be advisable to cooperate with police when they suspect you of an offence as this can result in a more lenient penalty. However, it’s important to remember that the right to silence is protected by law and that you cannot get into any trouble because you chose to exercise that right. The prosecution must ultimately prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an accused is guilty. The accused is not required to prove their innocence by giving their account of what happened.
If police invite you to take part in an interview it is always a good idea to seek legal advice before agreeing. If you require legal advice or representation in a criminal law matter or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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