Sydney Criminal and Family Lawyers

Level 1, 299 Elizabeth Street

Sydney NSW 2000

 

Call us now on (02) 80657884

 

Being charged with a criminal offence can have serious long term consequences

 

We understand how important it is to get you the best possible outcome and we provide you with the legal advice
and representation you need to achieve it. 
We  appear in mentions, call-overs, bail applications, sentences, section 32 applications, annulment of convictions, defended hearings, defended jury trials and as agents for other law firms in criminal Courts of all jurisdictions including the NSW Local Court, the District Court of NSW, the Supreme Court of NSW and the Children's Court of NSW.
We explore all possible defences and we vigorously assert your rights.
 
We attend all Courts in the Sydney central business district as well as the Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern suburbs.
Also appearing at Courts in regional areas.
 
We are available to appear in urgent bail applications and are available to attend Police stations on weekends and public holidays.
 
Sydney Criminal & Family Lawyers offers an emergency 24-hour service where clients can reach a specialist 
criminal lawyer at anytime of the day or night including weekends for urgent matters.
 
We appear in the NSW Local Court, District Court and Supreme Court in defended hearings, jury trials,
appeals, bail applications and  sentencing proceedings.

 

 

Criminal Law Charges

 

Changes to Sentencing Options in NSW

 

Fundamental changes to sentencing laws in NSW were enacted under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Sentencing Options) Act 2017.

 

There is now a presumption that offenders found guilty of domestic violence will be subject to either full time imprisonment or supervision in the community by Community Corrections (Formerly known as Probation & Parole).

 

Under these new laws the following sentencing provisions have been removed:

 

  • Section 9 good behaviour bonds
  • Section 12 suspended sentences
  • Community Sentence Orders
  • Section 10(1)(b) non conviction bonds
  • Home Detention

         Remaining sentencing provisions

  • Section 10 (1) (a) non-conviction dismissal
  • Section 10 (1) (c) non-conviction bond to enter intervention program
  • Section 10A conviction with no further penalty
  • Fines
  • Section 11 deferral of sentence for rehabilitation
  • Expanded Intensive Correction Orders

           New in sentencing laws in NSW

  • Conditional Release Orders (CRO) with or without conviction replaces the former Section 9 Good Behaviour Bond
  • Community Correction Orders (CCO) replaces the former Community Service Order

     

  • Conditional Release Order (CRO) without conviction replaced the old Section 10 Good Behaviour Bond
  • A new Intensive Correction Order (ICO) replaces the old ICO. Community Corrections have the power to deal with breaches of ICOs and have a variety of options, including taking no action, warning the offender, imposing a curfew or referring the breach to the State Parole Authority if it is serious.
  • What remains in the new sentencing laws
  •  

    • Section 10 (1) (a) non-conviction dismissal
    • Section 10 (1) (c) non-conviction bond to enter intervention program
    • Section 10A conviction with no further penalty
    • Fines
    • Section 11 deferral of sentence for rehabilitation
    • Expanded Intensive Correction Orders

            Early Plea of Guilty Legislation

 

              Encouraging earlier guilty pleas will deliver swifter, more certain justice and reduce stress for victims and court delays.  

 

            The main changes

  • Early disclosure of evidence by the NSW Police Force.
  • Senior prosecutors will review evidence and confirm the charges that will proceed as early as possible
  • Mandatory criminal case conferencing between senior prosecutors and the defence.
  • Flexible and efficient case management.
  • Smarter, stricter sentence discounts for guilty pleas.
            Together, these changes will enable early decisions on the appropriate charges and encourage early appropriate guilty pleas.

 

            The early guilty plea reform is expected to:
  • reduce stress on victims by resolving criminal cases faster
  • reduce the District Court backlog, leading to swifter justice for the community
  • reduce time and money wasted on police, courts and lawyers preparing for trials that don't go ahead
  • see offenders enter programs to address their offending behaviour earlier
  • ensure guilty pleas are only entered by defendants where appropriate.

We have extensive experience in the following areas of Serious Criminal Charges commenced by the Police

 

State Matters Commenced by the NSW Police Service

  • Bail Applications
  • AVOs
  • Common Assault
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Weapons charges
  • Malicious Wounding
  • Aggravated Maliciously Inflict Grievous Bodily Harm
  • Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
  • Affray, Click the following links to s93C Crimes Act and the leading case in relation to affray Colosimo and Ors v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s93c.html
  • http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2005/854.html     
  •  Aggravated Burglary
  • Break/Enter Commit Serious Indictable Offence
  • Malicious Property Damage
  • Armed Robbery
  • Guideline Judgement in relation to Robbery  R v Henry Barber 1999.htm
  • Arson
  • Assault Police
  • Blackmail
  • Drug charges : Drug Possession, Drug Trafficking, Drug Cultivation and Drug Importation
  • Centrelink Fraud
  • Commonwealth Fraud charges
  • Goods in Custody Suspected Stolen
  • Intent to Commit Serious Computer Offence
  • Kidnapping
  • Obtain Financial Advantage by Deception
  • Larceny
  • Shoplifting
  • Production of Child Pornography 
  • Sexual Assaults
  • Allegations of Child Abuse
  • Appeals to the District Court and the Court of Criminal Appeal
  • Breaches of parole, bail and Community Service Orders
  • Parole Applications
  • Click the following links to the following legislation:   61I.     Sexual assault 61J.   
  • Aggravated sexual assault 61JA.   Aggravated sexual assault in company 61K.   
  • Assault with intent to have sexual intercourse 61L.    Indecent assault 61M.   
  • Aggravated indecent assault 61N.    Act of indecency 61O.    Aggravated act of indecency 61P.   
  • Attempt to commit offence under sections 61I-

Commonwealth Australian Federal Police Matters

 

Importing and Exporting Drugs or Precursors

Serious drug offences, particularly importations, are rarely committed by one person. In most cases they involve multiple players working at different levels and in different ways.

As a result, we often have to rely on extension of criminal liability provisions involving conspiracy, joint commission or accessorial liability in order to prosecute all those involved in an importation.

Prosecuting drug importation offences are a major part of our work and attract some of the highest penalties imposed by courts.

Key legislation

Main offences

  • s.307.1(1) Criminal Code—importing commercial quantities of border controlled drugs or plants
  • s.307.11(1) Criminal Code—importing commercial quantities of border controlled precursors.

Penalties

The maximum penalties for importing/exporting border controlled drug offences are:

  • Life imprisonment for s.307.1 Criminal Code—importing/exporting commercial quantity of border controlled drugs/plants
  • 25 years’ imprisonment for s.307.2 Criminal Code—importing/exporting marketable quantity of border controlled drugs/plants
  • 10 years’ imprisonment for s.307.3 Criminal Code—importing/exporting border controlled drugs.

The maximum penalties for importing/exporting border controlled precursors are:

  • 25 years’ for imprisonment s.307.11 Criminal Code—importing/exporting commercial quantity of border controlled precursors
  • 15 years’ imprisonment for s.307.12 Criminal Code—importing/exporting marketable quantity of border controlled precursors
  • 7 years’ imprisonment for s.307.13 Criminal Code – importing/exporting border controlled precursors.

Partner agencies

 

Serious Drugs

Intercepting illicit drugs and precursors at the border prevents them from entering the Australian community. We prosecute a significant number of cases relating to serious drug offences, often involving the importation of drugs and precursors.

Importation

Serious drug offences, particularly importations, are rarely committed by one person. In most cases they involve a number of players who are involved at different levels and in different ways. As a result, we often have to rely on extension of criminal liability provisions involving conspiracy, joint commission or accessorial liability in order to prosecute all those involved in an importation.

Precursors

When it comes to precursors, substances used to manufacture drugs and essential for producing illicit drugs, we see a huge variety in the methods people use. These range from smaller quantities being imported through the mail, often several kilograms at a time, to highly sophisticated importations of hundreds of kilograms or several tonnes via shipping containers.

Serious drug offences

Commonwealth serious drug offences apply to a long list of illicit substances including:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL)
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Methamphetamine, and
  • precursor chemicals such as Pseudoephedrine.

Drug and precursor offences are among the most serious Commonwealth offences and attract substantial penalties under Part 9.1 of the Criminal Code, including imprisonment for life for offences involving the importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

There are a range of other serious drug offences in the Criminal Code, including:

  • trafficking
  • commercial manufacture of controlled drugs, and
  • pre-trafficking in controlled precursors.

There are also provisions in the Criminal Code that extend the schedules of controlled and border controlled drugs to include substances that are analogues to those drugs listed. Drug analogues are substances that have a similar chemical structure to a drug that is listed.

There are also provisions that extend the definition of controlled and border controlled precursors to include substances that are salts, esters, and immediate precursors of the precursors listed.

We also prosecute State and Territory drug offences, usually where the investigation involves a Commonwealth agency and it is appropriate for us to conduct the prosecution.

Main offences

Serious drug prosecutions can be divided into four main categories:

Additional offences

Additional offences relating to the importation of non-narcotic drugs, specified chemical compounds and specified performance enhancing substances also exist under the Customs Act, though the penalties are significantly less than those prosecuted under the Criminal Code.

Penalties

The level of penalty associated with serious drug offences generally depends on the quantity of the illicit substance involved. There are three tiers of quantities used in the Criminal Code:

  • commercial quantity (the largest, usually measured in kilograms)
  • marketable quantity (in grams), and
  • trafficable quantity (in grams, but less than a marketable amount).

The penalties range from 2 years’ imprisonment for basic possession offences, through to life imprisonment for trafficking or importing/exporting commercial quantities of a border controlled drug.

Key legislation

Partner agencies

Practice Group Instructions (PGI)

PGI IIE/OCCT No. 1 – PDF icon Charging Guideline for serious drug offences under Part 9.1 of the Criminal Code

 

 
Traffic Law Charges

 

We have extensive practical experience in representing our clients in the most serious indictable traffic cases including dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving causing death, drug driving manslaughter and  drive in manner menacing.

 

  • Drug Driving
  • Drink Driving (click this link to the guideline judgement: High Range Drinking Driving Guideline Judgement.htm
  • Speeding
  • Drive Whilst Disqualified
  • Drive Whilst Suspended
  • Drive Unlicensed
  • Drive in Manner Menacing
  • Drug Driving Manslaughter
  • Radar Detected Charges
  • Dangerous Driving
  • Licence Appeals
  • Predatory Driving
  • Police Pursuits
  • Failing to stop and assist
  • Furious and reckless driving
  • Drive in manner menacing
  • Driving offences causing Death or grievous bodily harm

In 2016 we appeared from start to finish in a Legal Aid matter in which our client was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death. After making representations to the DPP prosecutors this charge was withdrawn and replaced with the back up charge of negligent driving occasioning death. After entering a plea of guilty our client received a suspended jail sentence on the NSW Local Court.

 

In 2009 we represented a Legal Aid client in relation to a drug driving and fatigue related manslaughter matter in which a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel thereafter colliding into 4 bicycle riders on the M4 freeway. A Public Defender appeared for our client all the way to sentence.

 

We have appeared in literally hundreds of drink and drug driving matters in the NSW Local Court. Detailed information in relation to drink and drug driving matters as well as all other traffic law charges commenced by the NSW Police can be found on our Drink and Drug Driving Page.

 

 

  NSW Public Defenders Sentencing Tables

Arson

Assault / Wound / GBH / Affray 

Repealed Offences

 

Break and Enter 

Bribery

Dangerous driving

Drugs

 Amphetamines - Import

Amphetamines - Manufacture

Amphetamine -Supply

Cannabis - Cultivate

 

Cannabis - Import

 

Cannabis - Supply

Cocaine - Import  

Cocaine - Supply 

Ecstasy - Import

Ecstasy - Supply  

Gammabutyrolactone - GBL

Heroin - Import

 

 

Heroin - Supply

 

Precursor

 

Escape

Firearms Offences

Fraud

Justice Offences 

Kidnapping 

Manslaughter

Money Laundering / Proceeds of Crime 

 Murder & Associated Offences

 

By Year Sentence Imposed

Receiving    

Robbery

Sexual Assault Offences

Victim Aged 16 years or Older

Victim Aged 16 years or older - Repealed Offence

Victim Aged Under 16 Years

Note: s.25AA (NSW) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act applies to sentences imposed on or after 31.8.2018 - a court must sentence an offender for a child sexual offence in accordance with the sentencing patterns and practices at the time of sentencing, not at the time of the offence.

 

Victim Aged Under 16 Years - Repealed Offences

Note: s.25AA (NSW) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act applies to sentences imposed on or after 31.8.2018 - a court must sentence an offender for a child sexual offence in accordance with the sentencing patterns and practices at the time of sentencing, not at the time of the offence.

 

Child Pornography / Child Abuse Material

 

Terrorism

s.101.1 Cth Code - Engage in Terrorist Act

s.101.4 / 101.5 Cth Code - Possess Things / Collect or Make Documents Connected with Terrorist Act

s.101.6 Cth Code - Do Act in Preparation for Terrorist Act

s.102.3 Cth Code - Membership of a Terrorist Organisation

s.102.6 / 102.7 Cth Code -  Getting Funds To, From or For 
a Terrorist Organisation / Providing Support to a Terrorist Organ isation
 
Associated Web Links
 

 

NSW Local Court
Case Management in Criminal Proceddings in the NSW Local Court
Domestic Violence Matters
Domestic Violence Matters  2/2012  [PDF 101kb]
Local Court Bench Book

 

Lawlink

 

Supreme Court of New South Wales

 

NSW District Court

 

Criminal Law Survival Kit

http://www.criminallawsurvivalkit.com.au/

 

Criminal Procedure Act 1986 as at 14 May 2020

 

http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cpa1986188/

 

Criminal Procedure Regulation as at 23 June 2020

 

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2017/437

 

Austlii

http://www.austlii.edu.au/

 

Crimes Act 1900 NSW as at 3 June 2020

 

http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/

 

 

 

Allegations of Child Abuse

 

The old saying "spare the rod and spoil the child" is no longer tolerated.
Discipling a child by corporal punishment with the use of an object such as a belt or wooden spoon is now a serious
  • criminal offence constituting Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. We are involved in this type of matter at present.
    If an accused person has been charged with ABH constituting child abuse he or she might rely on a claim of
  • right pursuant to section 61AA, Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Under S61AA the Court considers the age if the child,
  • the degree of physical force used and whether the wound caused is of a temporary nature. However, the use of a
  • physical object is never condoned under Australian law or the International Convention for the Protection of Children.
    If you have been charged with this type of offence no doubt JIRT and or Docs will become involved. 
    You must be vigorously defended. Otherwise not only could you face the full weight if the criminal law but your relationship
  • with your family could be irretrievably damaged forever.
    We employ our knowledge, skill and experience to deal with this type of charge so we would seek that the Court would
  • be satisfied that no risk of harm is posed to the child so that a client charged with Child Abuse may be restored to his
  • partner and family without a criminal record.
    In certain circumstances a client might be bailed to treatment pursuant to section 11, Crimes (Sentencing Procedure)
  • Act 1999. If the client complies with attending parenting courses and psychological treatment then in certain
  • circumstances we would seek that when the matter returns to Court that the matter is then dealt with pursuant to
  • section 10(1)(b) of the same Act so that the offence is proven without the Court proceeding to record a criminal conviction.

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