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."
The defence of duress can be argued when the accused was essentially “forced” to commit the offence by having a very serious threat made to them or to another person. The defence of duress is rarely argued and even more rarely succeeds. It is available as a defence to all criminal offences with the exception of very serious offences such as treason and terrorism. It can be argued as a defence to murder only if the threat was to inflict death or really serious injury on a person.
The test for duress is set out at section 322O of the Crimes Act 1958. This provision states:
- A person is not guilty of an offence in respect of conduct carried out by the person under duress.
- A person carries out conduct under duress if —
- the person reasonably believes that —
- subject to subsection (3), a threat of harm has been made that will be carried out unless an offence is committed; and
- carrying out the conduct is the only reasonable way that the threatened harm can be avoided; and
- the conduct is a reasonable response to the threat.
- the person reasonably believes that —
- A person does not carry out conduct under duress if the threat is made by or on behalf of a person with whom the person is voluntarily associating for the purpose of carrying out violent conduct.
- This section only applies in the case of murder if the person believes that the threat is to inflict death or really serious injury.
The Onus of Proof of a Defence Of Duress
The accused has the onus to raise duress. This is normally done by presenting or pointing to evidence that suggests a reasonable possibility that if the facts were to be accepted, they would establish the defence of duress.
Once an accused satisfies that evidential onus, the legal onus then shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused did not carry out the offence charged under duress.
Elements of Duress for the Prosecution
To prove that an accused did not act under duress, the prosecution must disprove one or more of the following five elements:
- The accused reasonably believes that a threat of harm has been made;
- The accused reasonably believes that the threat will be carried out unless an offence is committed;
- The accused reasonably believes that carrying out the conduct is the only reasonable way the threatened harm can be avoided;
- The conduct is a reasonable response to the threat;
- The threat was not made by or on behalf of a person with whom the accused is voluntary associating for the purpose of carrying out violent conduct.
The issue as to what is meant by the phrase “reasonably believes” is a very complicated concept. There are both subjective and objective aspects which vary depending on the circumstances of the accused and the facts presented before the court. This concept also varies depending on the accused’s level of intoxication, whether the offence relates to family violence or whether someone died because of the threat.
The information contained in this section involves complex legal principles. If you do not have a good knowledge of the law, you may have difficulty in understanding these principles or how they apply to your circumstances. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced criminal lawyers.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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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.
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