Frequently Asked Questions
I have been charged with a Traffic Offence.
The Road Safety Act is a complex and ever evolving piece of legislation. Most traffic offences are covered by this Act.
The parliament often changes the law in reaction to a particular defence which exposes a loophole in the legislation. This means that technical defences to traffic offences are becoming increasingly difficult to run successfully.
The Act prescribes mandatory minimum penalties for certain offences such as drink driving. If you have been charged with a traffic offence you should consult Lewenberg & Lewenberg immediately. We have the experience and expertise to advise you whether you have a viable defence to the charge or whether it is a matter of seeking to minimise the potential loss of licence and penalty
The Police want to interview me in relation to a Criminal Offence.
Prior to formally being interviewed, you have the right to call a friend or relative to let them know your whereabouts. You also have the right to call a legal practitioner in order to obtain legal advice. You should exercise your rights and obtain expert legal advice.
You have the right to silence the exercise of which, usually can not be used against you to infer anything, on the other hand, anything you say to the police can later be used in evidence against you. This can seriously prejudice any defence which may be available to you in the future.
I have been charged with a Summary Offence and have to go to Court.
Summary offences are those which are viewed as less serious, examples include minor assaults, shopthefts trespass and traffic offences. These types of offences can only be heard and determined in the Magistrates Court.
You should consult an experienced criminal defence lawyer immediately to discuss your options.
I have been charged with an Indictable Offence and have to go to Court.
Indictable offences are those offences which are viewed as more serious than summary offences, there are two types of indictable offences, those which are triable summarily (those indictable offences which are capable of being dealt with by the Magistrates Court) and those which are not.
An overwhelming majority of indictable offences triable summarily are heard in the Magistrates Court. There are many advantages and in some cases disadvantages to proceeding in this way, you should discuss these with an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer so that you understand your rights and the options available to you.
Why Lewenberg & Lewenberg?
We have the experience and expertise to handle your case to the highest standards including the preparation and presentation at Court to ensure the best outcome for you.
How much is it likely to cost?
It is difficult to state with any precision what the costs are likely to be, that is because it largely depends and the nature of the case and at which stage the matter is finalised.
Often, we will not charge you for a brief initial consultation at which time we will have a clearer picture of your case and the approximate cost. In addition, pursuant to the Legal Profession Act 2004, we will not charge you anything until we have outlined our fee structure to you in writing.
What is the Diversion Program?
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, in some circumstances, you may be eligible to participate in the Diversion program which would allow you to avoid a formal finding of guilt and a consequent criminal history.
At Lewenberg & Lewenberg, we have the experience and expertise to advise you, and in appropriate cases, negotiate your participation in the Diversion program.
Applications for Bail
According to the Law in Victoria, if you have been charged with a criminal offence, the starting point is a presumption in favour of bail. This presumption can sometimes be displaced when a person has been charged with certain types of offences such as drug trafficking, very serious assaults involving the use of weapons and the alleged commission of further offences whilst already on Bail.
If you have not been bailed, the police have an obligation to bring you before a Court as soon as possible. It is at this stage that an application for bail can be made on your behalf to a Court.
If someone you know has been remanded in custody, you should consult an experienced criminal Defence lawyer urgently to discuss the making of a bail application.