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."
Imprisonment is the most severe penalty that courts in Western Australia can impose. Imprisonment is a sentence of last resort and must only be imposed where no lesser penalty is appropriate. Sentences of imprisonment can be suspended for a designated operational period where the court considers this appropriate. Prisoners can apply for parole once they become eligible. People charged with criminal offences in Western Australia can also be imprisoned if they have been refused bail by police or by a court or if they have failed to pay fines.
Western Australia has 16 government-run prisons and one private prison housing over 6,000 adult prisoners. Offenders between the ages of 10 and 18 can be sentenced to youth detention in Western Australia. Western Australia has only one detention centre for young people, which is located in Canning Vale.
Imprisonment in Western Australia is ordered under the Sentencing Act 1995 and regulated by the Prisons Act 1981.
If a person is refused bail in Western Australia, they will be kept in prison on remand until the charges are finalised or until a court grants them bail. If the person is found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment, the time they have spent in prison on remand will be taken into account when their term of imprisonment is set.
Sentences of imprisonment
A court can sentence an offender to imprisonment when they have been found guilty of an offence which carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment. Under Section 35 of the Sentencing Act, a court must provide written reasons when sentencing a person to imprisonment. These reasons must explain why no lesser sentencing option was appropriate.
Western Australian courts cannot impose a sentence of imprisonment unless the aggregate term is at least three months. There is an exception to this where the person is already serving a sentence of imprisonment for other offences (Section 86).
Where a West Australian court imposes a sentence of imprisonment of less than six years, the offender is eligible to be released on parole after serving one-third of the sentence. If the term imposed is greater than six years, the offender can apply for parole when they have served two years less than two-thirds of the term.
When a prisoner becomes eligible for parole, they can apply to the Prisoners Review Board of Western Australia (formerly the Parole Board) to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community. The Board will allow this if it considers the prisoner is not an unacceptable risk to the community.
An order for indefinite imprisonment can only be made if the court is satisfied that the offender’s release would be a danger to society because of:
- The exceptional seriousness of the offence;
- The risk they will commit other serious offences;
- Their character, including any mental or physical conditions affecting them and the number of other offences they have committed;
- Any other exceptional circumstances.
A defendant sentenced to indefinite imprisonment may be released by way of a parole order (Section 101).
In Western Australia, there are particular offences to which a mandatory sentencing regime applies – for example, home burglaries and assaults on custodial officers. Persons found guilty of home burglary offences that involve serious physical or sexual violence must be given a sentence of at least 75% of the maximum term that applies to the offence and where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, a minimum of 15 years imprisonment has to be imposed for an adult offender and a minimum of three years for a juvenile offender.
Mandatory minimum sentences have been introduced in response to public pressure for the government to be ‘tough on crime’ and a perception that many sentences are too lenient. Mandatory sentencing laws in Western Australia have led to an increase in the incarceration rate, particularly for Indigenous people. Both the Law Council and the Law Society of Western Australia have publicly opposed mandatory sentencing, saying it is ineffective and that such regimes undermine the independence of the judiciary.
Western Australia has minimum, medium and maximum security prisons. Where a prisoner is held depends on their security rating, any health issues they have and the types of educational or rehabilitation programs they would benefit from. Where a prisoner’s family and friends are will also be a factor in deciding where to hold them. A prisoner can progress from maximum through to minimum security based on their behaviour and their participation in programs, however other factors will also be taken into account – for example, the type of offending and their history.
Visiting someone in prison
All WA prisons allow visitors; however, visiting hours differ depending on whether the prisoner is on remand or serving a sentence. Appointments to visit a prisoner need to be made 24 hours in advance.
Visitors must present ID when visiting and should expect to be subjected to a search when entering the prison. This may involve a metal detector, drug particle detector, pat-down search or strip search. Visitors are required to abide by a dress code and a code of conduct.
If you require legal advice or representation in relation to a criminal matter or 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?
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
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Melbourne VIC 3000
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Canberra ACT 2601
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Perth WA 6000