CRIMINAL & TRAFFIC LAW

The criminal justice system is daunting and being charged with a criminal offence can be life changing. With so much at stake – your family, your financial future, and your freedom – it is a system that you should not have to navigate alone.
Our experienced criminal law team has assisted many clients during some of their most vulnerable and unpredictable moments. We are experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable, and understand that our clients often face multiple challenges. We take a holistic approach to help you get back on track and handle all areas of criminal law, including:
  • Traffic and driving offences
  • Drink driving
  • Drug offences
  • Serious indictable offences
  • Theft and robbery
  • Property damage
  • Breach of intervention orders
  • Assault and sexual assault
  • Diversions
  • Children’s Court matters

Traffic offences

Common traffic offences include registration and licensing matters (driving unlicensed or whilst disqualified or suspended), refusing to stop at a breath testing station or refusing to provide a breath sample, drink and drug driving offences, speeding, driving dangerously and hoon offences.
The penalties for a traffic offence will depend on the seriousness of the offence. They may range from the imposition of fines, loss of demerit points, driver’s licence suspension, and vehicle impoundment, to imprisonment for more serious offences.
For offences incurring a fine and/or loss of demerit points, you may choose to take the matter to court. If you do, you will need to decide if are going to plead guilty or not. You are allowed to represent yourself at court, but it is wise to seek legal advice before your hearing.
If you have been charged with a more serious traffic offence, you will need to attend court. These types of offences usually include driving while suspended, excessive speeding and dangerous driving, and hoon related offences.
Most traffic offences are heard in the Magistrates’ Court as summary matters, however, more serious offences such as those causing serious injury or death may be dealt with as indictable matters and heard in the County or Supreme Courts. The court process can be confusing and the strength of answering to a criminal charge may be improved considerably by obtaining timely, dependable legal advice.

Going to Court

Competent legal advice can make a big difference to the outcome of a traffic or criminal matter. If you are facing court, it is important to understand the process and to be equipped to answer the charges.
Depending on the circumstances, an imposed penalty may be reduced if there is appropriate reason to do so. This requires a well-prepared case with supporting evidence. In determining a matter, a court may consider the accused person’s:
  • character, work history, prior criminal history and family circumstances
  • involvement in the community
  • any underlying medical (or other) issues relevant to the offence
  • dependence on a driver’s licence (for traffic matters) for work or other reasons such as the need to travel for ongoing medical treatment and the consequential impact the loss of a licence has or will have

Diversion Programs

In some cases, diversion programs may be available to people charged with an offence, rather than having the matter proceed through court. Diversion plans will require the person to fulfil certain requirements such as writing a letter of apology to a victim, obtaining counselling or other treatment, attending educational programs, and/or doing community work. Satisfying all conditions of the plan may result in having the charges dropped and having no criminal record.

The Children’s Court of Victoria

The Children’s Court of Victoria is a specialised court for children and young persons. It has a family division and criminal division, dealing respectively with matters concerning the care and protection of children and criminal cases involving children and young people (apart from certain excluded criminal matters).

A key feature of proceedings dealt with in the Children’s Court is that there is a primary focus on the rehabilitation of the child when sentencing, as opposed to punishment and deterrence.

Our lawyers are experienced in appearing in the Children’s Court and providing advice tailored to child offenders.

We are experienced criminal lawyers and have hand-picked and built trusted relationships with a network of barristers with the requisite knowledge and expertise to advocate on your behalf should we need to brief counsel.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 1800 99 31 32 for expert legal advice.