11 months ago · Glenda Morgan · Comments Off on What to do if you have been charged with a criminal offence
When you have been charged with a criminal offence in Queensland Australia, there are certain things that you can do to help your case.
The first thing that you should do is ensure that you understand the charges against you and what penalties could be imposed if found guilty.
Next, determine whether or not it would be worth hiring a lawyer for assistance in court proceedings. If this seems like the best option for your situation, speak with a qualified defence attorney as soon as possible about how they might be able to help defend your rights and interests during the process of prosecution.
You do not need to panic and hire a lawyer if you can’t afford one. There are some Queensland criminal lawyers who offer pro bono (free) services in certain cases with particular conditions attached to them.
Although the consequences of a criminal offense are life-changing, there are ways to lessen the burden. This article will help you understand the process as this will give you a few helpful steps to deal with this situation.
Know your rights
Criminal cases can be tricky but you have rights, too. If convicted of a criminal offence case, your right to speak the truth is still yours and there are also certain actions that must occur:
- The judge has the power to impose any sentence up until or including life imprisonment
- You need not answer questions in court unless they ask if you want legal representation (legal advice)
- All confessions made by an accused person while under arrest shall be recorded on audio-visual recording equipment for use as evidence during trial proceedings
- Your attorney will work with police investigators who conduct interviews after making arrests so anything said cannot incriminate them later down the road.
Understand the charges against you
You have to understand the charges against you and how they apply socially, legally, or otherwise. You also must comply with your rights within this process while preserving any evidence that may be relevant for future events.
The more time it takes you to come forward might result in a worse outcome than if you admitted guilt early on.
There are many different charges that you may face during your time in the country. You need to be aware of these and understand what they entail, so make sure not to break any laws!
Seek legal counsel from a reputable criminal defense attorney
If you are facing any criminal charges, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Finding a criminal defence attorney might be difficult and can take a lot of time. However, you will want to find an attorney who has experience in criminal law for the best chance at success.
You don’t want your lawyer to be unfamiliar with this area of practice so make sure to do some research before choosing one.
What happens if you cannot afford a lawyer?
Not all defendants can afford to pay for a lawyer, but some criminal lawyers offer free legal services in certain cases with the condition that they are pro bono.
A pro bono is a legal service provided by lawyers who work for free or donate their time, typically to people in need.
In Queensland, a few lawyers have begun offering free legal help with the caveat that they’re only available for clients who meet clear and specific criteria such as being under 18 or over 65 years old.
Consider all of your options, including taking a plea deal or going to trial
When people are accused of violent crimes, they need to consider every possible outcome: taking a plea deal or fighting in court.
If someone is charged for either homicide (murder) and/or aggravated battery (assault), there are two options on how these charges can be dealt with; plead guilty or go through a jury selection process which goes into an actual courtroom where this case will be heard and decided.
By your own admission, you made a mistake. Why not take the plea deal and try to make it better for yourself?
You have to admit that this is one of those situations where taking a plea might be best for everyone involved.
Understand what type of sentence you are likely to receive if convicted
If you are convicted of a crime, then it is likely that your sentence will be determined by the type and severity of the offense.
A criminal conviction can have many different consequences on an individual’s life depending on what they were charged with; for example, if one was caught in possession or distribution of drugs then their punishment might involve being put into jail to serve time until further notice.
Another possibility would include community service as well as fines paid out every month either through garnishment from wages or payments made at court-ordered intervals so long as there are no other violations committed during this period.
Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help
A defense attorney can help by giving advice for legal action and negotiating with the prosecutor to get your charges dropped or reduced. They can help you get your life back on track after an arrest.
If you have been arrested for a criminal offence, it is crucial to know that the arrest does not mean guilt. A qualified and reputable attorney can help guide you through the process of understanding your rights, charges against you, possible outcomes if convicted and more.