ACT Criminal Law
National Criminal Law
NSW Criminal Law
QLD Criminal Law
VIC Criminal Law
WA Criminal Law
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."
Criminal Defences (Vic)
When a person is charged with criminal offence and pleads not guilty, the prosecution must try to prove to a court beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the offence. The accused is entitled run a legal or factual defence. A legal defence is a defence that is based on an argument that there were circumstances that rendered their actions lawful. An example of this is an assault committed in self-defence. A factual defence is based on contesting the facts alleged by the prosecution – for example, by producing an alibi. This article outlines available criminal defences in Victoria.
For most offences under Commonwealth law, available defences are set out in the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). For Victorian offences, the defences may be set out in legislation, or they may exist as part of the common law. Common law defences are those that are described in past court decisions.
There are also time limits for the police to lay some types of charges. If a charge is laid out of time, the accused has a complete defence.
The following defences are contained in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).
If a person is charged with a violent offence such as assault, manslaughter or murder, they may be able to run the defence of self-defence. This can be argued where the person believed on reasonable grounds that it was necessary to do what they did to defend themself, another person or their property.
The belief that the actions were necessary in self-defence must have been held at the time that the acts occurred and must have been based on reasonable grounds. The response must also have been proportionate to the threat that the accused believed they were facing. The defence of self-defence can succeed even if the accused was mistaken in their belief.
Self-defence cannot be relied on as a defence in response to lawful conduct, unless the accused didn’t know that the complainant was acting lawfully.
The defence of Duress
Duress can be relied on when a person carried out an act under serious threats to themselves or to another person. It will succeed only if committing the offence was the only way that the harm could have been avoided.
The defence of duress cannot be relied on where the threat is made by or on behalf of a person that the accused is voluntarily associating with to carry out some other violent conduct.
Duress only applies in the case of murder if the threat is to kill or to cause a really serious injury.
Sudden or extraordinary emergency
The defence of sudden or extraordinary emergency applies when a person committed an offence in circumstances where it was only reasonable way to deal with an emergency situation, even though it was illegal. An example of this is speeding to get a seriously injured person to hospital.
The defence of Mental impairment
There is a specific defence in the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 which may be relied on where a person was suffering from a mental impairment at the time of an offence. The defence of mental impairment must be proven on the balance of probabilities (ie. that it is more likely than not to be true).
To be mentally impaired a person must have been suffering from some real form of mental disease, disorder or disturbance that had the effect that they either did not know what they were doing or they did not know it was wrong.
Mental impairment may be transitory or permanent and may be capable of treatment or not.
Claim of Right
The defence of claim of right can be argued in relation to offences regarding property. It can be used if a person had an honestly held belief about their ownership of or entitlement to the property allegedly stolen. The claim must be a legal right, not just a moral right. If an accused raises claim of right it is up to the defence to prove it existed.
Honest and Reasonable Mistake
The defence of honest and reasonable mistake of fact can only be relied on for strict liability offences. These are cases where the prosecution does not have to prove that the accused intended something to happen, only that it did happen. In such a case, it is a defence if, at the time of the offence, they were mistaken about or unaware of certain facts about something and, if the facts were as they believed them to be, they would not have been guilty of an offence. It does not apply if a person is mistaken about what the law says. If a defendant raises this defence it is up to the defence to prove the mistake was made.
Intoxication is not a defence in itself. Rather, it is a fact that may be taken into consideration when assessing whether the accused had the required mental state for the offence to be made out. This is only relevant to offences that involve a specific intent.
The offence of stealing, for example, requires the accused to have intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property stolen. If the accused was too intoxicated to have formed such an intention, their intoxication will be relevant in determining this element of the offence.
When a person is charged with a sexual offence where the victim is an adult, consent will usually be a valid criminal defence. Consensual sexual activity between adults is not an offence (with the exception of the offence of incest).
The Crimes Act 1958 defines consent as free agreement. It sets out 7 circumstances where a person does not freely agree to an act, such as where the person was unconscious, heavily intoxicated, or was subjected to threats of violence.
If a person accused with a sexual offence such as rape or indecent assault can convince the court that the victim consented to the sexual activity, they will be found not guilty.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
The defence of mental impairment is contained in the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness To Be Tried) Act 1997. Mental…
Most criminal offences require the accused to have acted either intentionally or recklessly as to the offending conduct. However, there…
A person charged with a violent offence has a full defence if they were acting in self-defence or in defence…
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