If you are charged with a crime, you probably already know that you will need a lawyer. If you decide to contest the charge and have to go to court, however, you might not know that you need a barrister. Criminal barristers in Melbourne are the people who represent you in court, and a good one will probably be able to either get you off or substantially reduce the sentence you are given.
Although it is advisable to have a barrister on your side whenever you are in court, there are some situations where the complexity of Victorian law, the wide range of possible charges you could face or the possible maximum sentence means that you really need the best criminal barristers in Melbourne you can find.
- If you are charged with a violent offence
The problem with being accused of violent offences such as assault is that the sentence you face, and possibly even the crime you are charged with, depends so much on the consequences to the alleged victim and the circumstances of the assault.
If the victim dies, or suffers so much damage that death is a possibility, then you can be charged with murder or attempted murder – especially if it is proved that you attacked them unprovoked. If you get into a fight where the other person is at least as responsible for it as you, however, and no-one is badly hurt, you may walk away with a fine.
Because the various assault-related crimes vary so much in their sentencing, you should consult criminal barristers in Melbourne on deciding your best legal strategy.
- If you are caught with drugs
Similar to assault, there are a number of different charges you can face if you are caught with illegal drugs, and confusingly some are federal crimes and some are state offences.
What crime you are charged with (possession, trafficking, importation, cultivation and manufacturing) will depend on where you got the drugs from and what you plan to do with them, with sentencing based on the quantity you are caught with. If you have the poorly defined “commercial quantity” of illegal drugs you can face life in prison on a federal charge.
The best case scenario for you is to have your charged reduced to possession, which means you only had drugs for personal use. If your criminal barristers in Melbourne can get the charge brought down this far then often police will simply drop the prosecution.
- If you are accused of “white-collar” crimes
In Australia activities such as fraud and insider trading can result in hefty gaol terms, and if you are being investigated for crimes like this then you need to speak to your criminal barristers in Melbourne immediately.
There isn’t really a way to justify these crimes, however if you can convince the police or judge that you were only tangentially involved, or were not the ringleader, then you can get a reduced sentence and possibly avoid serving time.
- When you apply for bail
If you are arrested, there will often be a delay between being officially charged and your trial. During the delay, before you are convicted of any crime, you can apply for bail which means you pay the court a certain amount of money which is returned to you when you show up at the trial with your criminal barristers from Melbourne.
Although generally the police will need to prove that you are a flight risk to prevent you from being granted bail, if you are charged with a violent or sexual offence you may need to prove that there is a very low risk of you reoffending. If your bail application is contested you will certainly need the help of criminal barristers in Melbourne – and preferably the leading lawyers in the area.