Our criminal team team will give you the best advice and make certain you are treated respectfully before the Law. We ensure that our clients are treated fairly and equitably and we accept instructions in Legal Aid funded cases.
Our law firm often represents many good people who may have been caught speeding, drink driving and other matters where this is their first offence and there are particular circumstances which act to minimise their offence.
Each offence has a range of options that a Magistrate may consider when sentencing. They are:
1 When a person enters an early guilty plea and admits their mistake, the Court has the discretion to take this into account. This is set out in Section 22 of the Crimes (Sentencing and Procedure) Act 1999 which allows for the imposition of a lesser penalty than otherwise would have been imposed. This can result in a 10-25% discount depending upon the particular circumstances of the case. 2
Under Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing and Procedure) Act 1999 enables the court, upon a plea of guilty or finding of guilt to order a dismissal of the charges without recording a conviction either with or without conditions. The court will consider 4 factors when considering to impose a Section 10 decision:
a) the person’s character, their previous record, age and mental health;
b) the nature of the offence;
c) the circumstances at the time of the offence; and
d) any other matter that the court feels relevant.
In some cases conviction may become spent if the penalty did not exceed 6 months in prison and the conviction is not for a serious offence. If a conviction becomes spent there is no need to disclose. In general for children if no convictions after 3 years and for adults if there are no convictions after 10 years the conviction is considered as spent.
Our experience is that in every worthwhile case, if the submissions to the court are prepared carefully, we can often obtain either a Section 10 or minimum sentence for our clients. The statistics from the courts show that if a person is legally represented the chances of having a case dismissed is doubled. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced criminal lawyers, conveniently located in Sydney CBD to discuss your case.