We will give you legal advice about the strength of the evidence. You should not plead guilty until you receive legal advice and are satisfied that there is strong and admissible evidence. It is always for the prosecutor to prove the charge. You do not have to prove anything.
- Serious crime
- Grievous bodily harm
- Threats to kill
- Sexual offences, rape, sexual assault, child sex tourism, child exploitation material (pornography)
- Trafficking, supply, possession, and importation of a dangerous drug
- Fraud, falsification of documents, money laundering, stealing
- Computer offences
- Domestic violence applications
- Firearms and weapons
- Food safety
- Public nuisance, drunk and disorderly, trespassing
- Contravention of a police direction
- Assault or obstruct police officer
- Bomb hoaxes
- Aviation offences
- Tax offences
- Customs offences
- Criminal Injury Compensation (Victim Assist)
- Coronial Inquests
- Proceeds of Crime
- Investigations by Qld Police Services
- Investigations by Australian Federal Police (AFP)
- ASIC and Crime & Corruption Commission enquiries
- Expert witnesses
- Gathering evidence such as medical records, work records, and character references
- Police questioning
- Search warrants
- Magistrates Court bail applications
- Supreme Court bail applications
- Sentences on pleas of guilty
- Trials on pleas of not guilty
- Recording a conviction
DO I HAVE TO TALK TO THE POLICE?
Generally, you do not have to answer questions except to provide your name and address. We are often approached by clients asking for help when they are expecting a call from the police. We can speak on your behalf with the police so that you do not have to. We can give you advice about what you should and should not say. This step is very important because it can affect the whole of your case later.
HOW CAN THE POLICE LAY A CHARGE?
The police can charge you with a criminal offence in four ways:
- The police can arrest you and keep you in their custody until you are required to appear in court.
- You could be arrested but receive bail, which means you are free to go home but must attend court on a specified date.
- You could receive a notice to appear, which is a paper document which states the offence you have been charged with and the day you must appear in court. You may be issued this document on the spot or after you have been arrested and taken into police custody.
- You could receive a summons, which is a charge sworn on oath before a justice of the peace. If you receive a summons you must appear in court on the day specified in the document.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CHARGED WITH A CRIME?
The police will generally issue you with a Notice to Appear which is states the charge and also the day for the first appearance in Court. You should speak to a lawyer early after receiving the Notice. In more serious cases, the police may arrest you and take you to the watchhouse. You may be granted bail at the watchhouse. If not, bail will need to argued before a Magistrate. You should contact a lawyer immediately.
WHAT HAPPENS AT COURT?
After you have been charged with a criminal offence, you will have to appear in the Magistrates court for what is known as the ‘first mention’. The purpose of this appearance is to inform the court about how the matter is going to proceed. There are three main ways your matter could progress:
- You could plead guilty to the offence and be sentenced on the same day.
- You may have your matter adjourned for a second mention date which is usually 2-3 weeks in the future. The purpose of this is usually to allow your lawyer to prepare your case or discuss your case with the prosecution.
- Your case may be adjourned for a callover, so that you can review the evidence.
WHAT IS A QP9?
Qp9 is a document completed by the police and lists the facts and evidence of the case. If you plead guilty, the facts will be read from the Qp9 to the Magistrate. Or it may also reveal a defect in the evidence and so we can enter negotiations with the prosecutor to settle the case early or advise you to go to trial. You are entitled to the Qp9 and we can request it and then give you advice before the first court appearance.