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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."
Sentencing Considerations For Young Offenders (Vic)
Under the Victorian Sentencing Act (1991) a person who is charged with criminal offences is classified as a young offender if they are sentenced when they are younger than 21. However, at common law, there is no particular age when an offender is no longer considered youthful. This means that a person’s youth may be taken into account at sentencing even if they are over 21. Youth is often treated by courts as a mitigating factor at sentencing. However, the mitigating impact of an offender’s youth decreases as they age. While young offenders may be sentenced more leniently than older offenders, other sentencing considerations will sometimes be found to be more important than the youth of an offender.
Why is youth a factor in sentencing?
When courts are dealing with young offenders, particularly where the person has had no prior offences, it is usually appropriate not to impose a term of actual imprisonment, even where the offending is serious.
The courts recognize that young people are immature and may not fully understand the consequences of their offending behaviour. They also recognize that young people have all their lives ahead of them and should generally not have their professional and other prospects ruined by a youthful mistake.
R v Mills
In the 1998 decision of R v Mills, a 20-year-old was convicted of recklessly causing injury and sentenced to imprisonment for 18 months. By the time of sentencing, the defendant was 21. He appealed the sentence and the Court of Appeal found in his favour. The court found that when sentencing a youthful offender, the following considerations should be taken into account:
- The youth of the offender, particularly if they have no prior record;
- The greater importance of rehabilitation over general deterrence, as focusing on rehabilitation decreases the person’s chances of re-offending; and
- That a youthful offender should not be sent to adult prison if this can be avoided as it may lead to further offending.
Since the decision of R v Mills, the considerations it outlined have been followed by the courts and used as a starting point for understanding the sentencing considerations when dealing with youthful offenders.
Rehabilitation and young offenders
The courts have stressed the greater importance of rehabilitation over general deterrence when sentencing youthful offenders. One of the main reasons that courts emphasise rehabilitation for young offenders is that young people are considered more likely to change as they are still developing. Youthful offenders are also more inclined to be influenced by criminal behaviour in prison.
In order to maximise a young offender’s chances of successful rehabilitation, courts may order that the young person undertake specific programs. Some of these are outlined below.
The Ropes Program is a diversionary program for eligible teenagers who plead guilty to criminal offences. The program involves spending one day taking part in rope climbing activities with police rather than going through the criminal justice system.
The P.A.R.T.Y Program is an in-hospital trauma prevention program that is designed to educate young people about the consequences of risk-taking behaviours. The program involves visiting emergency rooms and intensive care units and speaking to medical staff about injuries and how they impact lives.
Drug and Alcohol Counselling
When young offenders are charged with drug or alcohol-related offences, they may receive sentences that include a requirement that they have drug or alcohol counselling.
Behaviour Change Program
The Behaviour Change Program is a VicRoads program that is compulsory for anyone who has been found guilty of drink driving or drug driving offences. It is designed to help offenders to understand the factors that contributed to the offence occurring and to avoid such behaviour in the future.
Anger Management Program
When young offenders are charged with a violent offence, they may be required to participate in anger management training as part of their sentence or as part of a diversion program.
Limitations of youth as a sentencing factor
Although the courts take into account the considerations set out above when they sentence a young offender, they often find that other sentencing considerations are more important than the consideration relating to an offender’s youth.
Other sentencing considerations that may outweigh the youth of the offender are the objective seriousness of the offences, their nature and circumstances, and the offender’s past prior criminal history.
If you require legal advice or representation in a criminal law matter or in any other legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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