SCB LEGAL

Criminal Defence Lawyers Sydney CBD | Penrith | Norwest

Criminal Defence Lawyer preparing for Court. Criminal Defence Lawyers Sydney

Criminal Defence Assistance

Our expert criminal defence lawyers work across Greater Sydney in all Courts of New South Wales. Our team are highly experienced in the defence of criminal and traffic offences including:

  • Licence suspensions
  • Driving related charges
  • Drug charges
  • Property damage charges
  • Domestic violence charges
  • AVO’s
  • Assault charges
  • Stealing charges
  • Break and Enter charges
  • Robbery charges
  • Sexual assault charges
  • Murder charges

We are regularly in Court across Greater Sydney and as a highly experienced team, we are familiar with the Judges who preside over hearings and cases like yours. We have observed and participated in their Courtrooms for countless hours which provides us with additional insights when putting together your case.

If you have been charged with an offence, you will have been given a number of documents. It’s important that you read and understand each one fully, in order to understand the offence with which you’ve been charged and the next steps in the process. If you would benefit from some clarification about those documents or have other questions about your case, reach out to our team to organise a time to get clarity about your situation.

Click on the section below most relevant to your needs.

CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYERS SYDNEY

Under Investigation Or Charged With An Offence?

Know your position. Make a time to meet with our experienced criminal law team.

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Criminal Defences

When you speak with one of our criminal defence lawyers you will share your side of the story, we will ask you some questions and we will then ascertain where you stand and what defences might be available for your case.

The Courts are only seeking the heaviest of penalties for those who are a risk to the public and who had no reasonable excuse for having committed the crime. There are a number of defences that may be suitable for your case. Only you will know what led you to the offences you have been charged with.

There are a range of criminal defences that may be used. Depending on the charge, these may include intoxication, provocation, mental illness, duress/necessity, claim of right, honest and reasonable mistake of fact and most commonly, self-defence. We compile evidence to support the defence strategies that best suit your circumstances and can support you through the process from start to finish.

Intoxication Defence

The intoxication defence is only available for some offences. It can be argued if there is an absence of intent. For example, if someone, while intoxicated, recklessly hurt someone or damaged property, then the Court could find them guilty. The intoxication defence could not be used in this instance as there is no need for the prosecution to prove intent.

If a person is charged with an offence such as murder, and it can be proven that the cause was due to intoxication and not intent, then they cannot be found guilty of murder. They may still be found guilty of manslaughter.

Extreme Provocation Defence

In New South Wales, the defence of extreme provocation is only available if a person has been charged with murder.

Extreme provocation can be argued if there is evidence that proves that the offence occurred as a direct result of an indictable (serious) offence being committed against them or their children, that prompted the action to injure or kill someone. If it can be proven that there was extreme provocation, then you may be found guilty of a lesser charge, such as manslaughter, as opposed to a charge of murder.

If we are of the view that a defence is available, there will need to be a plea of not guilty and the matter will proceed to Trial. If you are successful in your defence, depending on the charge, you may be found not guilty or you may be found guilty of a lesser charge. If found guilty to a lesser offence, you may still receive jail time.

Mental Health Defence

If you have a mental health impairment or cognitive impairment (including intellectual disability), you may be able to have your matters dealt with under the Mental Health laws. If your matter is in the Local Court, we can make a Section 14 application (previously a Section 32 application). The Court has the power to dismiss the charges and may make an Order that you comply with a Treatment Plan which we will have prepared by an experienced psychologist or psychiatrist. This is not a defence but a possible avenue available and will result in the charges not being recorded on your criminal record.

For more serious offences, there is the defence of mental illness. If you are found not guilty by reason of mental illness, you may still be given jail time if it is a serious charge, such as murder.

It is important to know that ‘not guilty by reason of mental illness’ is a defence that can result in longer jail time than if someone pleaded guilty. That is because it will be the supervising psychiatrists who determine when that person’s mental health is stable and they are no longer a risk to themselves or others, and should be released.

Duress or Necessity Defence

This defence may be argued if the crime was committed under duress. That is, someone was coerced into breaking the law against their will and against their better judgement and if it were not for the necessity that the duress presented, they would not have broken the law or committed the crime. A key element to using this defence is that if they had not broken the law, the consequences would have been even more dire.

Claim Of Right Defence

This defence may be raised successfully where the offence involves stealing and it can be proven that there was a genuine belief that there was a legitimate claim on the item/s that were taken. In this situation the person charged for the offence or charged as an accessory to stealing may have a defence.

Self Defence

This defence may be argued where there is evidence to support that the person charged would not have committed a crime, had they not been not been attacked or faced with a threat to themselves or another person, their property, to prevent trespassing of premises or land or to prevent or end a situation where there was unlawful deprivation of liberty. If the force used in self-defence does not match the degree of the threat posed, it can be considered excessive and the person may be found guilty.

Honest & Reasonable Mistake Of Fact Defence

This defence is only available for some offences. If available, it can be raised if there can be evidence provided that supports there was an honest, rational and objectively reasonable belief that inadvertently resulted in an offence being committed. When determining this defence, the person charged must be able to show that their individual belief was genuine and honest. The test for determining whether the offence was a reasonable mistake is an objective test based on whether a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have also made that mistake.

For example, a driver who was suspended from driving, was unaware their licence was suspended and subsequently charged with driving while suspended. They would likely need to prove that they did not receive the Licence Suspension Notice and therefore they honestly believed that they were not suspended and that the mistake was reasonable.

CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYERS SYDNEY

Pleading Not Guilty?

You need our professional legal advice to put together a strong defence to support your case.

In Which Court Will I Need To Appear?

Although most criminal cases can be dealt with in the Local Court, more serious cases which are called indictable offences or strictly indictable offences can proceed to the District or Supreme Courts. Our team assists clients in all Courts.

Our team has extensive experience in both minor and serious offences. We support clients with minor traffic offences through to serious crimes including robbery, sexual assault and murder.

Can I Appeal A Court’s Decision?

If you are unhappy with a Magistrate’s decision in the Local Court, you can lodge an appeal to the District Court. You can appeal from the District Court or Supreme Court but you must have ‘Grounds of Appeal’. Your lawyer will advise if your grounds for appeal will be seen as sufficient or may provide you with advice for how to support your application to appeal.

An appeal to the District Court must be filed within 28 days from the date of the decision. If you did not lodge your Appeal within 28 days, you can still lodge an Appeal within 3 months but you must ask for the Court’s permission.

If your matter was dealt with in the District Court or Supreme Court, you do not have an automatic right to Appeal the decision and will need to obtain legal advice about whether you can Appeal.

For traffic offences, if you wish to appeal demerit points from a traffic infringement, you can apply for an Appeal to the Local Court. For more information, visit our dedicated Traffic & Licence Matters page.

If you wish to apply for bail after being refused bail, or wish for the conditions of bail to be changed, then that may be achieved with the support of a lawyer. For more information, visit the Bail Appeals section of this page.

Court Representation | Criminal Defence Lawyers Sydney

Our team has significant experience and excellent success rates with criminal law cases. When you are seeking a criminal lawyer to provide advice or represent you in Court, you need a team that will help guide you through the Court process, minimise the confusion that can sometimes come with the process, as well as advise you on whether your case has a chance of going to a higher Court.

Our criminal defence lawyers will meet with you and can provide you clarity about your next steps. The best outcomes are often achieved when early legal advice is sought from a team of lawyers like ours, who have exceptional knowledge and success rates.

We have significant Courtroom experience and having spent countless hours observing and reviewing judgments made, our team has significant insights into how judges are likely to rule and vary in their judgements. We see this as the competitive edge that is essential in developing a comprehensive strategy for our client’s cases.

CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYERS SYDNEY

Friend Or Family Member Been Charged With A Criminal Offence?

Contact our experienced team to ensure they receive the best legal representation. Three office locations and Urgent After Hours contact available.