7 - FAQ's
I've been asked to attend a police interview at the station. What should I do?
Short answer- you call me before you do anything. There is too much at stake for you to attend any potential interview without legal representation. Authorities do not question my clients without me there. The same advice goes if you're arrested- call me before you say anything.
I was charged with drink driving. I've never been to court before and am so embarrassed and stressed. Should I just plead guilty quietly?
No, call me and let me guide you through the process. The consequences of a drink driving conviction are immediate and can have significant impact on your life. You may very well have a defence, there may be other charges waiting for you if the circumstances of your arrest were more complicated, or you may need to get back behind the wheel because your job or family depend on you. You need all the facts and expert legal advice before you work out a strategy to deal with this and move forward.
Can't I just get a legal aid lawyer for my criminal charge?
You can if you meet certain income criteria, and it can be a complicated process. Most importantly, it can be a long process- you may have been arrested, interviewed, given a statement and had a case built against you by the time you next appear in court fill out a legal aid application form. If you have been arrested you need legal representation immediately. I attend my clients as soon as I am instructed to protect their interests and prevent unnecessary complications before they evolve. If I can keep you out of the criminal justice system I will, and the sooner I start the better. In any case I am a listed category 4 legal aid provider so would canvas this with you as soon as I meet you if it is an option.
My son has been charged with drinking in a public place while he was on holiday over the New Year. The police told him it's best to plead guilty by letter.
This situation is a sore point for me. Young people making rash decisions, being charged with "minor" offences and being encouraged to resolve those without legal advice, in their absence, often without a judge present! A conviction for any offence, even if it's not laid under the Crimes Act 1963 has huge potential for negative consequence on anyones life, especially a young person. Add some parental instinct for "consequences" to these factors and it can be a recipe for disaster. Your son needs prompt experienced legal advice. No conviction, criminal or otherwise is "minor".
How long does it take to get a limited licence?
An application for a limited/work licence can take up to 2 weeks to prepare your affidavit, get an affidavit from your employer, obtain approval from the police prosecutor and get a date set for the hearing of your application. You should see me as soon as you can to start the legal process. If you know you are over 100 demerit points then it will pay to get the application prepared in advance of you being served to minimize the time you cannot drive.
I've been charged with drink driving for the 3rd time. Will I go to jail?
If you have been charged with Excess Breath Alcohol (3rd and subsequent), the penalties you face are significantly harsher than the last time. I will meet with you and discuss every single factor to do with the circumstances that led to your arrest and help you navigate you way through this situation. You may decide you need to make a major life change, and I can certainly assist if that is the case. If you wish to defend this charge I will do so to the utmost of my ability. Either way I will represent your best interests and work with you every step of the way.
Can you still apply for a limited licence if the police oppose it?
Absolutely. The judge will determine whether the application is successful. Police opposition can be met by careful submissions on your behalf and by the judge imposing special conditions.This is where it is imperative to have experienced Counsel to represent you and properly prepare your application. Your application can be tailored to anticipate and address any concerns. At our first meeting, I will cover all likely areas of concern then and there, so you can have a clear understanding of how the process will unfold.