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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."
The Criminal Trial Process (WA)
Defending a criminal charge can be very daunting, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system. Trials can occur in the Magistrates, District, or Supreme Court. The procedures that will be followed are slightly different depending on which court a matter is being finalised in. This article outlines the criminal trial process in the Magistrates Court.
Indictable, offences, summary offences and ‘either way’ offences
The court in which a trial is held usually depends on the seriousness of the offence. For example, in Western Australia common assault is a ‘summary’ offence, meaning that it is always heard in the Magistrates Court. Assault occasioning bodily harm is an ‘either way’ offence, meaning that it can be finalised in the Magistrates Court or in the District Court. A charge of grievous bodily harm is a strictly ‘indictable’ offence which means that it can only be finalised in the District Court on ‘indictment’. Murder, attempted murder, and manslaughter are finalised only in the Supreme Court as these very serious crimes.
Early Trial Process
Once the accused enters a plea of not guilty, their matter will usually be adjourned to a ‘trial listing date’. On this date, the matter will be allocated the earliest available date for trial. The length of a trial depends on many things, including how many charges are being contested and how many witnesses are being called. It may take as long as a year before a matter comes to trial.
Before the trial date, the prosecution will serve the defence with a brief of evidence that contains all the statements, interviews, CCTV and other evidence that the prosecution intends to rely on at trial.
Disclosure of the brief of evidence is provided automatically for ‘either way’ offences and indictable offences. However, for summary offences, the defence must ask the Magistrate for an order for disclosure. The magistrate will decide whether disclosure is appropriate in the circumstances. Once the defence has received disclosure, it will be able to determine the strength of the prosecution case. Where the prosecution case is strong, it may be advisable for the accused to change their plea and finalise the matter without a trial.
Trials in the District and Supreme Court are generally decided by a jury. In a Magistrates Court trial, there is no jury. The Magistrate is the judge of both fact and law. Prior to and during a trial, the accused is treated as innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution has the burden of proving the accused guilty of every element of the offence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. This means that the only logical explanation that can be inferred from the evidence is that the accused is guilty of the crime.
The Magistrates Court Criminal Trial Process
A criminal trial begins with the prosecution opening its case and outlining to the court what must be proven to establish guilt. The defence will then advise the court of any facts that are agreed between the parties, and where the defence’s case diverges from that of the prosecution. In other words, the defence will highlight what significant issues are in dispute.
The prosecution will then call its witnesses, who will tell their version of events. Once a witness has given their account of what happened, the defence will cross-examine them. The prosecution then may re-examine the witness to clarify any issues that have arisen during cross-examination.
Once all the prosecution witnesses have been called, the prosecution may play a ‘video record of interview’. This is a video recording of the interview the police had with the defendant.
Once the prosecution has closed its case, the defence will open its case. An accused person is not obliged to give evidence in their defence at a trial. No adverse inference can be drawn if the accused chooses not to give evidence. There are many reasons that a person might not want to give evidence, including something as human as sheer fear of doing so. Whether or not to give evidence in their defence is a decision for the accused to make in consultation with their lawyer.
If the accused does give evidence, their lawyer will ask them to tell their version of events. They will then be cross-examined by the prosecution. The defence may wish to re-examine the accused to clarify any issues that have arisen during cross-examination.
After all witnesses have been called, the prosecution will begin its closing submissions, summarising the strengths of its case and attempting to persuade the court that the person should be found guilty. The defence will then make its closing submissions and highlight the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
After the court has heard all the evidence, the magistrate will decide on the facts and law. Finally, the magistrate will then arrive at a verdict based on all the evidence.
It is important that any person accused of criminal offences receives thorough legal advice prior to trial. It is crucial that the lawyer makes the accused aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution case and the strengths and weaknesses of the defence they plan to run.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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