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What to Keep in Mind When Using an Assault Lawyer

November 17, 2012

An assault is a type of criminal offence that can attract serious penalties, such as imprisonment and fines. Using a qualified and experienced lawyer is important to make sure that you have adequate representation and expert advice on your case. These are some of the major issues to keep in mind, and the questions to ask, when using an assault lawyer in NSW.

Acting Quickly for Advice

It’s advisable to seek advice as soon as you are charged, or if you think you may be charged. An experienced criminal lawyer can be a valuable advisor in helping you understand your assault charge, what you should do next, the options available to you, and the procedural issues to be aware of. Getting expert advice quickly is vital in obtaining the best possible outcome.

Questions to Ask Your Lawyer

You’ll want to find an experienced lawyer, and here are some issues to talk about, and questions to ask when looking for a lawyer.

What’s Their Success Rate?

Ask your assault lawyer about their track record in assault cases. For example, what are the outcomes they’ve achieved for similar cases in the past? What are the different types of assault cases they have been involved in?

Are They an Accredited Specialist?

Finding an accredited specialist to represent you can improve the chances of you obtaining a better outcome. Not all lawyers are the same; lawyers tend to specialise in certain areas, and some lawyers have more accumulated experience in specific areas than others.

Like other Australian states and territories, the Law Society of NSW has a specialist accreditation scheme. Lawyers who are recognised by the Society under this scheme have in-depth knowledge or skills in their respective areas. Using a criminal lawyer with specialist accreditation is a good way to help make sure that you have quality representation for your case.

What Does My Charge Really Mean?

There are different categories of assault; some are more serious than others and therefore attract heavier penalties. The Judicial Commission of NSW offers some useful information about different categories of assault, and the associated penalties. For advice that’s accurate for your specific case, ask your lawyer about the implications of the charge that has been laid against you, as well as your options. Sometimes it’s possible for a criminal lawyer to argue for a lesser charge, or even for withdrawal of a charge.

What Are My Options?

You’ll also want to ask your lawyer about the different options that may be available to you. For example, are there any defences you can raise for a finding of “not guilty”? How strong is the prosecution’s case? Is there anything your lawyer can do to improve the chances of a lighter sentence, or the chance of a non-conviction?

What’s the Process?

Finding out how the long process will take and what’s involved in each step of the process will be important to you. Your lawyer will be able to explain what you should do at each stage, and outline the best strategy for the entire process. Lawlink NSW has some general information about the criminal legal process that might be useful.

What’s the Likely Outcome of My Case?

If you’re facing an assault charge, you’ll want to find out what might happen in the worst-case scenario, and what you should do. A good lawyer should be able to give you a good indication of the likely or possible outcome of your case. They’ll look at the facts and evidence and assess the potential for a particular outcome, such as a “not guilty” finding, or perhaps the likely penalty.

If you’re facing assault charges in NSW, contact Sydney Criminal Lawyers today. They’re accredited specialists in criminal law, and can provide you with suitable advice and expert guidance for every step of your case.

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