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
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."
Preparing for Court
If you are going to enter a plea of guilty at court or are considering entering a plea of guilty, it is very important you are well prepared.
Even a charge which you may consider to be a minor offence could carry a large maximum penalty and the court has a discretion about whether you should or should not receive a conviction on your criminal record.
Traffic offences can also include a period of licence suspension. By preparing thoroughly for court you are increasing your chances of a better outcome.
For All Criminal Law Matters
- Obtain effective character references
- Draft a personal statement
- Engage Armstrong Legal to act for you
For All Traffic Offences
- Attend a Road Trauma Awareness Seminar
For Assault Matters
- Complete a course in anger management
- Receive alcohol counselling if you have an alcohol problem
- Agree to a final intervention order if one is being sought
For Drug Matters
- Receive drug counselling if you have a drug problem
- Attend a Road Trauma Awareness Seminar (drug driving offenders only)
For Intervention Order Matters
- Ensure that you comply with any interim orders
- Agree to a final intervention order if you are pleading guilty to an associated charge
Obtain Effective Character References
In our experience, a well-drafted court character reference can have an impact upon the sentence that is imposed by the court. We believe that a court character reference must paint a picture of your character. If your character references don’t help you stand out from the other offenders in court then you will be dealt with just like all the other cases. Most court character references make statements like this “James Brown is hardworking, energetic and generous with his time and money”. We believe that these references have very little impact upon the sentence imposed by the court. As some magistrates and judges comment “I have never read a bad character reference.” But by the use of examples, illustrations and stories a referee can bring your character to life.
Draft a Personal Statement
A personal statement is often the best way to express your remorse for your actions, demonstrate that you have insight into the offence and promise to the court you will not commit more offences in the future. A good personal statement will not shift blame to a victim or deny the facts of the offence. The precise wording of the document is very important. Some personal statements contain sentences like this, “I am sorry for having to come to court”. Such a statement may seem insincere to a magistrate or judge and gives the impression that you are only sorry that you had to come to court. A personal statement should emphasise your remorse to the victim and the community for the offending conduct. Often a thoughtful and unreserved personal statement will help you in achieving a better sentencing outcome.
Attend a Road Trauma Awareness Seminar
Completing a Road Trauma Awareness Seminar demonstrates to the magistrate or judge that you are serious about improving your driving behaviour. The Road Trauma Awareness Seminar is designed to increase people’s understanding of their social obligations, particularly where they relate to traffic laws. When sentencing a traffic offender, a magistrate or judge may take into account any changes of attitude displayed since the offence. The Road Trauma Awareness Seminar is regularly reviewed by the Monash University Accident Research Centre and is regarded highly by the courts. The course is for 2.5 hours and is held throughout Victoria.
Receive Drug Counselling
It is common practise where an offender has a number of drug related offences on their record for a magistrate or judge to question the offender as to whether they have a drug problem. If you do have a drug problem it is wise to have drug counselling to help you abstain from drugs. Under the Sentencing Act 1991 the court must take into account your rehabilitation and how it may be best facilitated.
Complete a Course in Anger Management
Completing a course or counselling sessions in anger management demonstrates to the court that you are serious about ensuring that you will not commit similar offences in the future. Upon completion of the course you should obtain a report from the organisation providing the counselling/training. This course or counselling will also help you in writing your personal statement to the court. You should explain to the court what you have learnt and what strategies you will use in the future so you do not come back before the court.
Receive Alcohol Counselling if you have an Alcohol Problem
It is common practice where an offender has a number of alcohol related offences on their record for a magistrate or judge to question the offender as to whether they have an alcohol problem. If you do have an alcohol problem it is wise to have alcohol counselling to help you abstain from drinking. Under the Act the court must take into account your rehabilitation and how it may be best facilitated.
Agree to a Final Intervention Order
If you are pleading guilty to an assault offence and the victim of the assault (or the police on their behalf) is seeking an intervention order, it is exceptionally difficult to defend an intervention order application. Ordinarily, any application for an intervention order will be listed at court before any criminal charge. If you are considering entering a plea of guilty, it is in your interests to agree to the making of the order (on a by consent and without admissions basis) as it demonstrates to the court that you are keen to ensure that the victim is adequately protected in the future.
However, please note that you may no longer be allowed to possess a firearm licence or firearms if you agree to an intervention order.
Ensure that you Comply with any Interim Orders
If you have been charged with an assault offence, you may also be served with interim orders or a family violence safety notice. It is very important that you read through that document very carefully because any breach of the conditions contained in the document may constitute a criminal offence. Any breach of interim orders or a family violence safety notice indicates to the court that you have no regard for conditions imposed on you and have little regard for the safety of the victim. It is not a defence to any criminal charge if the victim tries to provoke or entice you to breach the conditions.
Engage Armstrong Legal to Act for you
Armstrong Legal has a team of criminal lawyers who specialise in representing clients charged with criminal offences. These lawyers appear daily before all criminal jurisdictions in Victoria.
What this means for you:
- Your lawyer will know the magistrate or judge and how best to approach them;
- Your lawyer has specialist knowledge as to what penalties and orders to ask for; and,
- Your lawyer knows what to say and more importantly what not to say.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
The family violence scheme is a scheme set up by Fines Victoria to allow survivors of family violence to apply…
When a Victorian court decides on the appropriate sentence to impose for a criminal offence, it must consider the principles…
The Victorian Sentencing Act 1991 sets out the purposes for which courts may make sentencing orders. These are deterrence, community…
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.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
91 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
Nishi, 2 Phillip Law Street
Canberra ACT 2601
22 St Georges Terrace Perth