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."
Suffocation & Strangulation and Persistent Family Violence (WA)
On 9 July 2020, the Family Violence Legislation Reform Act 2020 established two new offences under the Criminal Code. These were the offence of suffocation & strangulation and the offence of persistent family violence. This article outlines what is involved in each of these offences and the penalties that apply.
The offence of Suffocation & Strangulation
As set out under section 298 of the Criminal Code, a person commits a crime if the person unlawfully impedes another person’s normal breathing, blood circulation, or both, by manually, or by using another aid blocking (completely or partially) another person’s nose, mouth, or both or applying pressure on, or to, another person’s neck.
Should the court not be satisfied that all elements of the offence of suffocation & strangulation have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, common assault pursuant to section 313 of the Criminal Code is a prescribed alternate offence.
The statutory penalty as set out under the Criminal Code is 7 years imprisonment if committed in circumstances of aggravation, or, in any other case, 5 years imprisonment.
Should the matter be dealt with in the Magistrates Court (a court of summary jurisdiction), the statutory maximum penalty for suffocation and strangulation is 3 years imprisonment and a fine of $36,000 if committed in circumstances of aggravation, or, in any other case, 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.
Persistent Family Violence
Under 300 of the Criminal Code, a person commits a crime if the person persistently engages in family violence. In addition to this charge, an accused may be charged with a prescribed offence as an alternate. It was Parliament’s intention should the persistent charge be unsuccessful; the accused may still be convicted of a prescribed offence (see below for prescribed offences).
What is ‘Persistent Family Violence?’
A person persistently engages in family violence if the person does an act of family violence on 3 or more occasions each of which is on a different day over a period not exceeding 10 years.
The charge must specify the period during which it is alleged the acts of family violence were committed, however, the dates need not be specified. The court is not empowered to order a prosecutor to provide further particulars of the dates and circumstances of the offences.
What is an Act of Family Violence?
The term ‘act of family violence’ is defined under the Criminal Code and it refers to a number of prescribed offences already contained in the Criminal Code. This includes:
- Common Assault pursuant to section 313 of the Criminal Code;
- Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm pursuant to section 317 of the Criminal Code;
- Suffocation & strangulation pursuant to section 298 of the Criminal Code;
- Indecent Assault pursuant to section 323 of the Criminal Code;
- Criminal Damage pursuant to section 444 of the Criminal Code; and
- Breach of a Family Violence or Violence Restraining Order pursuant to section 61 of the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA).
How is the evidence assessed?
For a person to be convicted of this offence, the court need only be satisfied of the general nature and character of the acts of family violence, and not the particulars of those acts as opposed to how the court would deal with individual charges which requires all elements of the charge to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This means that each juror, or the trier of fact, must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person committed an act of family violence on at least 3 separate occasions within the alleged period.
The statutory penalty as set out under the Criminal Code is 14 years imprisonment.
Should the matter be dealt with in the Magistrates Court (a court of summary jurisdiction) the statutory penalty is imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of $36,000.
Should a person be convicted or acquitted of a persistent family violence offence, the person cannot, in separate or subsequent proceedings, be found guilty of a prescribed offence constituted by an act that was subject of the evidence for the purposes of proceedings.
The legislation makes it clear that nothing in the Criminal Code, allows a person to be punished twice for the same act. This is consistent with the common law principle of double jeopardy which means that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offence.
Seek Legal Advice
If you require legal representation in relation a charge of suffocation & strangulation or in any other legal matter, contact Armstrong Legal.
The court considers offences all family violence offences serious and almost always imposes strict protective bail conditions until the accused is either acquitted or sentenced. Our criminal team will help you to navigate the court system and represent you at your hearings with a goal to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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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.
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