If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence, or if you think you may be charged with an offence, you should see a criminal lawyer in Sydney (or in your city or area) as soon as possible. Obtaining professional advice in a timely manner can result in a better outcome for your case.
Types of Offences
Criminal law is a broad area, but good criminal lawyers will usually be able to represent you for any type of criminal charge. Assault, breaking and entering, drug offences, fraud, manslaughter and murder, robbery, sex offences, and weapons charges all fall under the criminal law area. Many criminal lawyers also look after clients who have been charged with traffic offences.
The initial consultation will usually involve you telling your criminal lawyer about what happened, and giving your lawyer all relevant facts. Your lawyer may then tell you what they can do for you and your case. If you have any questions about the solicitor/client relationship and process, consult the Law Society of NSW website for more information.
Once you’re a client, your lawyer might proceed to give you specific advice and guide you through all your options. If you’re already in custody, your lawyer can come to you for the first consultation, and they can help you apply for bail if applicable.
A good criminal lawyer will tell you about the case process, the defences that may be available to you, and guide your expectations for each stage of the process, from the charges being laid to sentencing. They will explain their strategy for your case to you at the start.
Your lawyer will give you important background information, such as the seriousness of your case and how you should plead. They can tell you about the penalties you may be facing. They’ll also take you over the procedure, such as when you might expect to go to court and what will happen when you do.
Once you’re in court, they’ll work to represent your case in the best possible way, including preparing a good defence and arguing for lesser sentences and penalties where possible.
Depending on your situation, your lawyer might be able to assist with obtaining a lighter sentence or penalty in your case. By identifying any weaknesses in the case and helping you prepare a good defence, they might be able to argue for a lesser charge, or perhaps even a dismissal of the charge, to the extent that you’re left without a criminal record.
Choosing a Lawyer
There are a few things to look for when choosing a criminal lawyer in Sydney. All practicing lawyers must be admitted to practice. You’ll want a lawyer who has experience in the relevant area, and is committed to defending your case. Look for a lawyer with specialist accreditation from the Law Society of NSW. Those with accreditation need to have passed special exams set down by the Law Society in addition to having a minimum amount of work experience in the speciality area.
Other things to look for include a no-obligation first consultation, fixed fees so you know how much you’ll be paying from the start, a good success rate, and a genuine concern for your case and outcome. This may be reflected in their professionalism, efficiency, and how quickly they attend to your queries.
You’ll want the best outcome for your case, and choosing a good criminal lawyer might be the best way to improve your chances of a lighter sentence, or even for having your charges dropped.