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 and Other Homicides (WA)
Murder and manslaughter are among the most serious criminal offences that can be committed in Western Australia. In Western Australia, the Criminal Code Compilation Act governs murder, manslaughter and other homicide offences. The Act prescribes mandatory minimum sentences that can be imposed on both adults and children who are found guilty of these offences.
The Road Traffic Act 1974 also contains offences that involve causing death.
Definition of murder
Under Section 279 of the Criminal Code Compilation Act, a person is guilty of murder if they:
- Intended to cause the death of a person (regardless of whether or not they intended to kill the person who was killed); or
- Intended to cause an injury that is likely to endanger the life of a person; or
- Cause death by an act done in pursuit of an unlawful purpose and that is likely to endanger human life (regardless of whether or not they intended to hurt anyone).
Penalty for murder
An adult offender who is found guilty of murder must be sentenced to imprisonment for life unless:
- It would clearly be unjust to impose a life sentence in the circumstances; and
- The offender is unlikely to be a threat to the safety of the community when they are released (in which case the person must be sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years).
A child offender who is found guilty of murder is liable to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life or detention until they are released by order of the governor.
An adult who commits the offence of murder in the course of an aggravated home burglary is liable to imprisonment for a maximum period of life and a minimum period of 15 years.
A juvenile who commits a murder in the course of an aggravated home burglary is liable to a maximum period of life imprisonment and a minimum period of three years. Courts must impose a conviction on the offender and must not suspend any part of the term of imprisonment imposed.
Under Section 280, where a person unlawfully kills a person in circumstances that do not amount to murder, they are guilty of manslaughter. The maximum penalty for a charge of manslaughter is life imprisonment. For an accused to be found guilty of manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt, the death of the victim must have been reasonably foreseeable.
If manslaughter is committed in the course of an aggravated home burglary, minimum penalties apply as follows:
- For an adult offender, imprisonment for 15 years;
- For a child, imprisonment for three years.
Defences to murder and manslaughter
The most commonly raised defences to murder are self-defence and provocation.
It is a full defence to murder if the accused acted in self-defence. For this defence to succeed, the accused must have had reasonable grounds to believe that their actions were necessary in self-defence or in defence or another person.
If the accused was acting in self-defence but used excessive force (in other words, their actions were not a reasonable response to the threat they faced) this is a partial defence to a charge of murder. Where it is established that the accused’s actions were excessive self-defence, the accused will be found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.
In Western Australia, provocation is a partial defence to murder. If provocation is successfully raised, the accused will be found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder. The defence applies where there was provocative conduct by the victim which caused the accused to lose their self-control and kill the victim. The provocative conduct must have been serious enough that it could have caused an ordinary person to lose their self-control and kill the victim (Section 246).
Other criminal defences such as the defence of mental impairment and immature age (where an accused is under the age of 14) may also be applicable where a person is charged with murder or manslaughter
Unlawful assault causing death
Under Section 281, a person commits a crime if they unlawfully assault a person and the person dies as a result of the assault. The maximum penalty for this is imprisonment for 20 years. This offence is different to manslaughter in that a person can be found guilty of it even if the death of the victim was not reasonably foreseeable.
If unlawful assault causing death is committed during an aggravated home burglary, the court must impose a term of imprisonment no less than:
- For an adult, 15 years;
- For a juvenile, three years.
Dangerous driving causing death
Under Section 59 of the Road Traffic Act 1974, a person is guilty of a crime if they cause the death of a person by causing an accident whilst under the influence or by driving in a dangerous manner. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 20 years.
Careless driving causing death
Section 59BA of the Road Traffic Act states that a person is guilty of a crime if they cause the death of another person’s by driving without due care and attention. The maximum penalty for this offence is three years imprisonment or a fine of 720 penalty units.
If you require legal advice or representation in relation to a homicide offence or in any other 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.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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Melbourne VIC 3000
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Canberra ACT 2601
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Perth WA 6000