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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 (Vic)
Persons who are being sentenced for criminal offences often tender character references to the court. A character reference is a statement made by a person with a good reputation in the community who knows the defendant. The statement will include details of the person’s personality and character and give the court a better understanding of their personal life. No matter what type of offence the person is being sentenced for, a character reference may give them the opportunity to show the court that they are an honest person, and ultimately, may lead to a more lenient sentence.
A character reference can help convince the court that the crime committed was a one-off event and that the person is usually not inclined to commit offences. It is important that it be written by someone who knows them enough to make this distinction clear to the court.
A reference may be written by any person in the community that you choose. However, a reference will carry more weight if it is written by someone who is not a family member or personal friend, but an employer, colleague or business associate. If the person being dealt with by the court is undertaking rehabilitation or counselling, they may also wish to have the health practitioner who is overseeing them write a reference.
How to structure a character reference
The court requires that character references be set out in a formal fashion. They should be typed, dated and signed and should be on letterhead where appropriate. Written references will only be accepted if they can be clearly read and understood.
Ideally, a character reference should be addressed “To the Presiding Judge/Magistrate”. It is also acceptable to begin a reference with “Your Honour”.
The reference should make it clear that the writer knows that the person is being sentenced for criminal offences and that they know the nature and circumstances of the offences. A character reference that does not refer to the criminal offending will not be given any weight.
What to avoid when in character references
The court will not accept character references that include insulting or aggressive language towards the offender, victim or the court. Character references should be written in a formal and respectful tone.
Character references must not include any legal opinions or make any suggestions as to the penalty that the court should impose. The court will also not allow any personal opinions about whether the charges laid were appropriate.
What a Character Reference should set out
Victorian courts require character references to cover the following points in particular detail:
- The referee should introduce themself and provide their personal details, including full name and occupation;
- The referee must explain their standing in the community and their relationship to the offender.
- The referee should explain that they are aware of the charge against the offender and know how the offender is pleading;
- The referee must give their opinion of the offender’s character, using examples of their past interactions with the offender;
- If the offender is seeking a non-conviction, the referee should explain to the court how they will be disadvantaged if convicted of the offence;
- The referee must also state whether or not in their opinion the offence was a one-off or whether the offender is receiving relevant medical or treatment.
Different references for different charges
Despite the points set out above, there is no single way to write a character reference. Each offence has different elements that will require the referee to address different aspects of the offender’s character to support the case.
Drink Driving Charges
When a person is being sentenced for drink driving or traffic offences, the character reference will need to include specifics as to how they have rehabilitated themself. The reference should also explain to the court what steps the offender has taken to ensure they will not drive after drinking alcohol and they are aware that their actions were wrong.
If a person is being sentenced for an assault, the character reference will need to focus on their non-violent character. If the offence was a one-off, the reference will need to explain that the person is not usually violent. If the offence is not a one-off, the reference will need to outline to the court what steps the offender is taking or will take (for example, counselling or anger management) to correct their behaviour and avoid future offending.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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