Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
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."
Murder and manslaughter are among the most serious criminal offences in Victoria. They are strict indictable offences and must be finalised in the Supreme Court after a committal hearing in the Magistrates Court. There are several different manslaughter offences in Victoria. Manslaughter is also available as an alternative verdict when a person is charged with murder but cannot be found guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
Voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of a person where mitigating factors are present. An example of this is where a fatal assault is committed in circumstances amounting to provocation, meaning that voluntary manslaughter, rather than murder, is the appropriate verdict.
Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a person without intent to kill, such as in a car accident that results from reckless driving or a death that results from an illegal and dangerous act. For a court to find a person guilty of involuntary manslaughter, it must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the death was the result of an illegal act, an omission, an act of neglect or a failure to take reasonable care.
Under section 5 of the Crimes Act, a person found guilty of manslaughter is liable to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 25 years.
If manslaughter is committed in circumstances of gross violence, the court must impose a sentence with a non-parole period of ten years.
There are a number of defences that can validly be advanced in response to a manslaughter charge.
Self-defence is a complete defence to murder or manslaughter which leads to an acquittal. It can also be a partial defence to murder, which leads to a finding of guilt for manslaughter.
If an accused who is charged with manslaughter carried out the act in self-defence, then the accused is not guilty. (Crimes Act, Section 322K). The defence of self-defence is applicable to all assault offences and personal violence offences.
In considering whether the accused genuinely believed that the act was necessary, all the characteristics and circumstances of the accused at the time of the offence will be taken into account. The court must then determined whether the accused’s actions were reasonable in the circumstances as they perceived them.
Where a person charged with murder believed their conduct was necessary in self-defence, but the infliction of death is found not to have been a reasonable response, the accused may be found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. This is also known as the defence of excessive self-defence.
In Victoria, provocation was abolished as a defence to murder in 2005. Although the defence of provocation no longer exists in Victoria, the state now has the alternate verdict of voluntary manslaughter, which can be delivered in circumstances where a person was killed in response to provocation.
Single punch manslaughter
Under Section 4A of the Crimes Act, which was introduced in 2014, a person in Victoria can be found guilty of manslaughter after delivering a single punch to another person’s head or neck if that one punch causes the victim’s death. This is the case even if the victim dies from an impact other than the punch itself. For example, if A punches B and B falls over and hits his head on the road and dies, A is guilty of single punch manslaughter.
When a victim dies as a result of a single punch in circumstances where the victim was not expecting to be hit and the offender knew that the victim was not expecting to be hit (commonly known as a coward’s punch), the accused must be sentenced to a minimum non-parole period of ten years. (Sentencing Act, section 9C).
In July 2020, a new offence of workplace manslaughter was introduced into the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. The offence is contained in section 39G and aims to prevent workplace deaths and to deter people from non-compliance with workplace safety laws.
Workplace manslaughter is committed when a person who is not a volunteer engages in conduct that is negligent and amounts to a breach of a duty owed to another person and causes the death of that other person. Employers, partners and other duty holders may be charged with workplace manslaughter.
The maximum penalty for workplace manslaughter is imprisonment for up to 25 years for an individual and a fine of up to 100,000 penalty units (currently $16,522,000), for a body corporate.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
WHERE TO NEXT?
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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