Our client was charged with aggravated common assault following an incident involving a boarder at our client’s home. We considered the evidence and were of the view it could not withstand cross-examination and advised our client to defend the charge at trial. At the same time, we encouraged the prosecution to drop the charge, which they declined.
On the first day of trial and under cross examination the complainant gave such an inconsistent version of events that before cross examination had even concluded the Magistrate took the unusual step to pause proceedings to remark that he found the complainant to be so unreliable that he could not convict upon her evidence alone. Not even this observation could persuade the prosecution from offering no further evidence.
Nevertheless, after the close of the evidence and without needing to hear much of our closing argument, the Magistrate took little time in deciding the prosecution had not come close to proving the charge beyond reasonable doubt and acquitted our client with full legal costs awarded.
Our client, with no previous criminal history, experienced a psychotic episode with features of religious mania. Part of our client’s psychosis included compulsive spitting. Her family were concerned about her and called an ambulance. Whilst in the back of the ambulance, our client spat towards the open doors of the ambulance just as one of the ambulance officers was walking around to re-enter. The spit, unfortunately, landed on his face and resulted in our client being charges with assault on a public officer.
We commissioned a private psychiatric report which confirmed our client was not criminally responsible for her actions. The report formed the basis of our meticulously prepared public interest submission urging the prosecution to discontinue the charge, having regard not only to the poor prospects of conviction on account of our client’s mental condition at the time, but also the availability of accident as a defence. The prosecution accepted our assessment and dropped the charge.
Our client was a 75 year old grandfather facing allegations of a sexual kind brought by his granddaughter, now aged 14. The alleged abused was said to have taken place when she was aged between 7 and 9 on an almost weekly basis over the course of about a year.
At trial, we adduced evidence from the complainant’s mother, along with our client’s wife and son, demonstrating that there was no opportunity for the offences to have taken place and the complainant’s claim that she had ‘distanced’ herself from our client since the alleged offending was untrue. Part of this evidence included that, after the alleged period of abuse, the complainant willingly went on two overseas holidays with our client notwithstanding her purported discomfort in his company. Given the enormity of the inconsistencies and weaknesses in the prosecution’s own case, we were confident in advising our client not to give evidence.
The jury were not satisfied the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, deliberating under two hours to deliver a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
During a visit to his mother’s house, our client got into an argument with his heavily intoxicated younger brother. The brother made threats to our client whilst armed with a smashed bottle and a pair of gardening secateurs. Our client just wanted to go home and in turn armed himself with a large kitchen knife to assist his departure. On the way to his car our client kicked his brother to get him away. The brother slashed at our client, injuring his arm. Our client stabbed his brother in the abdomen, causing the knife handle to break off. Unsure where the knife was and in fear of further violence, our client struck his brother in the head with a wooden pole. The brother fell unconscious to the ground, driving the knife deep into his body and causing life-threatening injuries.
Our client was originally charged with aggravated grievous bodily harm. We were able to successfully persuade the prosecution to downgrade the charge to aggravated unlawful wounding, on the basis that the life-threatening injuries were the unintended consequences of acting in self-defence. We presented a forceful plea during sentencing proceedings, successfully securing a suspended term of imprisonment for our client.
In a case where there can never be any winners, our client was a 30 year old woman driving a vehicle with her daughter as a passenger, and who became involved in a traffic accident resulting in the tragic death of a motorcyclist. Shortly before midnight, our client approached an amber traffic light at an intersection and crossed over the stop line either just before or just as the light turned red. As her car travelled through the intersection, a motorcyclist ran a red light and smashed into the side of her car. The motorcyclist was seriously hurt and later died from his injuries.
Our client was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death. Our attempts to have the charge discontinued at an early stage were rejected by the prosecution and we advised our client to plead not guilty to the charge. After a three-day trial in the District Court, the jury took just over an hour to deliver a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
Our client, a gentlemen in his 20’s, found himself in financial difficulty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He used all his savings to purchase a car, requiring repairs, and subsequently became unemployed. Unable to afford the repair bill and in financial distress, he made a poor judgment - submitting two false insurance claims with two different insurance companies and lodging a false police report in support of the claims.
Our client was charged with two counts of attempted fraud and one charge of creating a false belief. He was a family man with an unblemished record of outstanding and awarded service to the community. While our client did not, in fact, obtain the insured amount, his actions were of a serious nature and ordinarily attracted terms of immediate imprisonment. We were able to persuade a District Court judge to refrain from imposing a term of immediate imprisonment and instead suspend the term of imprisonment in respect of one count and place our client on an intensive supervision order in respect of the remaining counts.
Our client and the female complainant were introduced on a dating website and, on their first meeting, engaged in rough sexual intercourse six times at our client’s home. The next day, the complainant returned to our client’s home and they twice resumed their sexual interaction. Half-way through the third effort and whilst our client’s penis was inside the complainant’s vagina, our client noticed that the complainant appeared to be in pain. He asked if there was anything he could do to make it hurt less. She told him, using colourful language, to get off. He withdrew immediately but the complainant alleged he repeatedly asked her “are you sure?” before he withdrew his penis.
The following day, the complainant made formal allegations of rape to the police. Months later the complainant provided police a statement further alleging that during the second encounter, our client penetrated her vagina with his finger in spite of her protest.
Our client was charged with two counts of sexual penetration without consent. After reviewing the prosecution brief, we strongly advised our client to plead not guilty and after a three day trial, we were elated when the jury took less than an hour to deliver unanimous verdicts of not guilty on both charges.
Our client was accused of assaulting his wife and daughter and was prevented by bail conditions from returning to the family home. We successfully applied to vary the protective bail conditions to enable him to move back home with his family. The two complainants were very reluctant to go to trial and had secured independent legal advice which lead to a written submission to the prosecution requesting the charges against our client to be withdrawn. The prosecution refused to do so. On the day of the trial, the two complainants did not attend court. The prosecution was forced to offer no evidence and our client was acquitted of the charges. The prosecution were ordered to pay costs.
Our client was charged with assaulting his work colleague in their place of work in view of multiple staff members. Our client followed our advice and declined to participate in an interview with police. The police conducted a very basic investigation and charged our client with assault occasioning bodily harm. As part of our defence preparation for trial we summonsed our client’s employer to produce all records relevant to the incident and identified numerous witnesses who the police did not bother to speak with. Some of the witnesses corroborated our client’s version of the lead up to the incident which supported a defence of self-defence.
Our client, who had no criminal record, was advised by police that he would receive a spent conviction order if he pleaded guilty. We strongly advised against pleading guilty, given the weakness of the prosecution case and the adverse consequences for our client if he was convicted. On the day of trial, the prosecutor reviewed the material we summonsed from our client’s employer and it was apparent that the complainant had not been completely forthcoming about why he was assaulted. After initially attempting to withdraw the charge the prosecutor was persuaded to offer no evidence which resulted in outcome our client wanted, namely an outright acquittal with no prospect of the charge being brought back. Our client also received a costs order which covered most of his legal fees.
Our client contacted us after having scheduled a meeting with police for an interview about an allegation of a historical distribution of an intimate image. After meeting with our client, who maintained her innocence, we ascertained that the police had no admissible evidence to support the allegation and we advised her not to meet with police for an interview. Our client followed our advice and instructed us to cancel the meeting with police, which we did. We promptly spoke with the investigating police officer and succinctly outlined the difficulties they would have in prosecuting a historical allegation without admissions from our client. The investigating officer frankly conceded that we were right and did not proceed further with the investigation. Our client’s concerns were addressed and resolved within 24 hours of receiving advice from us.
Our client was charged with aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm against his former partner. Long after the breakup, our client, in a gesture of good will and decency, allowed his former partner to (‘the complainant’) stay at his house in a time of crisis as she had nowhere to go. After a short time, and due to her behaviour, our client asked the complainant to leave and called the police to assist in her eviction. In the course of the enraged complainant leaving the property, she kicked a side gate which bounced back, hitting her in the face and sustained some injuries. When police arrived, the complainant maliciously alleged that our client had assaulted her causing those injuries. We advised our client to plead not guilty to the charge. The first trial was adjourned on account of the complainant’s failure to attend Court to give evidence. On the day of the second trial, the prosecution discontinued the charge as it considered it could not prove that our client assaulted the complainant. Our client avoided a conviction and we obtained a considerable costs order paid by the prosecution.
Our client was charged with aggravated home burglary, stealing and steal motor vehicle. A few days after the burglary, the police executed a search warrant at a property where our client was staying with a female friend. The police found the stolen vehicle and property taken from the relevant home. Our client initially denied knowledge of the presence of the stolen property and also denied driving the vehicle. He later admitted driving the vehicle once confronted with CCTV of him and the female friend in the vehicle around 48 hours after the burglary. Pre-trial, the prosecution applied to use evidence of our client’s prior (unrelated) convictions for burglary against him at the trial. We opposed this application on strong legal grounds and it was consequently withdrawn by the prosecution. On the day of the trial, the prosecution discontinued the aggravated burglary and stealing offences, and our client pleaded guilty only to the steal motor vehicle charge (on the basis, consist with CCTV evidence, that he used the vehicle without the consent of the owner but was not responsible for its theft during the burglary). Although a short term of imprisonment was imposed, it was ordered to be served concurrently with a term of imprisonment he was already serving for an unrelated matter, so he effectively did not receive any additional punishment. Our client was also granted a costs award for the two charges which were discontinued.
Our client was referred to us by his family lawyer to contest an allegation that he has assaulted and injured his wife prior to Police attending their home and finding her unconscious and bleeding. After months of meticulous and thorough preparation for trial, we challenged the credibility and reliability of the wife’s evidence in cross-examination so effectively that the Magistrate agreed with our closing submissions that her account was so inconsistent and embellished as to be 'wholly unreliable'.
The charged was dismissed and our client was awarded the majority of his legal costs.
Our client was a business owner in jeopardy of losing his security license and livelihood after being charged for the second time with breaching a conduct agreement order.
The breach was the sending of an email by our client to his ex-partner, which technically constituted a breach the conduct agreement order. However, there was also a Family Court order in place which permitted communications about a broader range of issues and it was our considered advice that the subject matter of the email fell within the scope of permissible contact. We were so confident that our client would be found not guilty at trial that we first endeavoured to prevail upon Police to drop the charge with particular emphasis on the prospects of conviction, to no avail. We proceeded to trial and, as anticipated, the Magistrate was persuaded by our evidence and legal argument that the email fell within the permitted scope of the Family Court order and as such was not a breach of the conduct agreement order. Our client's acquittal and costs award was a triumph not only in allowing the continued operation of his business, but also in preventing unsubstantiated allegations of breaches during contested custody proceedings in the Family Court.
Our client was alleged to have assaulted his partner during a drunken argument. Due to their level of intoxication at the time of the alleged incident, neither our client nor his partner could give police an account of how the partners injuries were sustained. Despite the lack of clarity and his partner’s reluctance for the Police to become involved, her family and the Police continued with the investigation and prosecution.
When our client first came to us his priority was to see and communicate with his partner, as bail conditions urged by the Police and imposed by the Court were preventing the couple’s desire to be together. The thought of waiting 6-8 months to get to trial was very difficult for our client to accept, so much so that he was initially tempted to plead guilty.
We strongly advised and our client accepted our advice against pleading guilty, given the weakness of the prosecution case and the serious consequences of a conviction. On the day of trial, all the prosecution witnesses attended court except for his partner. The prosecution case could not proceed without her and consequently, the prosecution had no evidence to offer. Our client was acquitted of the charge and we successfully obtained the costs of legal expenses from the prosecution.
In 2018 our client, a 50 year old husband, father and successful businessman, was charged with two counts of indecently dealing with a child under 13 years of age. The child was the 12 year old daughter of his life-long best friend, with whom he shared a close father-daughter bond. He was increasingly becoming uncomfortable with the child’s attention and attachment towards him, which compelled him to have an awkward but necessary conversation with her to set boundaries. It was following that conversation that the allegations of indecent dealing arose.
Our client followed best practice and contacted us immediately following his arrest - and prior to police attempts to conduct an interview - to secure crucial legal advice. Our client laboured under the stress of the allegations and uncertainty of the criminal process for two years, which, in addition to the risk of immediate imprisonment, included the life changing prospect of being subject to stringent reporting obligations for the next 15 years.
Our meticulous preparation of the defence case significantly contributed to the outcome at a four day District Court trial, in which a jury unanimously found our client not guilty of the charges. Our client left the Court room innocent of the allegations which he had consistently denied and which had drastically eroded his quality of life for the previous two years.
Our client had physically disciplined his 3-year-old son by smacking him on the legs approximately 20 times over a period of two hours. Four months later, his son’s mother reported the event to DCP as a retaliatory vindictive measure and our client was charged with aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm. After taking instructions and assessing the various ways we could proceed having primary regard to achieving the most desirable outcome for our client, we advised our client to plead guilty to the charge on the basis that the nature of the assault was unreasonable given the child’s age. At sentencing, the Magistrate accepted our submission that our client had gained significant insight into his actions by taking parenting classes and was unlikely to react to a situation of misbehaviour in a like manner again. Not only did the Magistrate impose a suspended fine, he granted our client’s application for a spent conviction order.
In 2019, our client’s home was raided by police officers in connection with a major fraud investigation into her husband’s affairs. During the search, police discovered a series of falsified payslips and bank statements in our client’s name and subsequent investigation revealed these documents were used to fraudulently obtain loans of $468,000 to purchase a property and $33,000 to purchase a vehicle. We considered the evidence against our client was overwhelming and advised her to enter pleas of guilty to the charges. We spent considerable time preparing for sentencing with the goal of keeping our client, who was a mother of two, out of jail. During the hearing, a critical argument we advanced was that the offences were committed by our client in the context of intense emotional and psychological pressure from her husband. Despite the State urging a term of immediate imprisonment, we were able to persuade the sentencing judge to impose a conditionally suspended imprisonment order, thereby achieving our client’s ultimate objective.
Our client's 6 year old granddaughter had made sexual misconduct allegations against him spanning a two-week period on two separate occasions. There was evidence that the granddaughter stated she was told to tell lies about our client by her father's partner. At trial the granddaughter claimed that her allegations were true and that her mother had put her under pressure to say she lied. The defence case at trial was that against a backdrop of inconsistency, animosity and ulterior agenda, the jury must entertain reasonable doubt about the truthfulness of the granddaughter's allegations. Following three days of evidence the jury retired and returned with verdicts of not guilty on all charges.
Months after a burglary offence where a 4WD vehicle along with over $40,000 of property was stolen, police officers commenced an operation whose target was our client. Police received a tip-off to attend a rural property, where it was alleged that our client sped off on a stolen dirt bike and led Police on a 30-minute high-speed chase to successfully evade capture. Two police officers swore statements in which they identified the rider of the dirt bike as our client. After carefully reviewing the evidence, and despite DNA evidence obtained before the pursuit showing our client was in possession of the 4WD vehicle and some of the stolen property from the burglary, we advised our client to plead not guilty to both the burglary and police pursuit charges as we considered the prosecution would not be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that our client was the offender in relation to those charges. Before the charges proceeded to trial, the prosecution conceded they would not be able to prove our client was guilty of the burglary or the police pursuit and applied to discontinue those charges. We successfully obtained a costs award.
We defended our client, a young father with no convictions, in a District Court jury trial where he was accused of possessing cannabis with intent to sell or supply it to another. The police executed a search warrant whilst he was at a house undertaking cleaning duties and alleged he was in possession of 9.5kg of cannabis in one of the rooms in the house. Our extensive pre-trial preparation and effective cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses at trial enabled us to make a submission at the close of the prosecution case that our client had no case to answer. Despite strong opposition by the State, the trial Judge agreed that there was no evidence from which the jury could infer that our client was in possession of the cannabis in the house he was cleaning. Accordingly, the trial Judge withdrew the charge from the jury’s consideration and entered a judgement of acquittal before the jury could even consider their verdict. Whilst our client was unable to recoup his legal costs in defending an indictable charge in the District Court, he walked out of the Court a free man.
Our client was charged with a serious instance of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm following a violent altercation with a family friend. Despite a seemingly strong prosecution case, we advised our client to enter a plea of not guilty on the basis he was acting in self-defence. Before the matter proceeded to trial, the prosecution applied to discontinue the charge as one of their witnesses was no longer cooperative. The charge was discontinued and we successfully obtained an order for costs.
At 31 our client, a FIFO diesel mechanic and avid hunter, was facing his first interaction with the criminal justice system after being charged with failing to provide adequate storage for his firearms and ammunition. It was absolutely critical for his existing and future employment prospects that we obtain spent convictions for those charges. It was also desirable, on a personal level, that we resist the prosecution application to forfeit our clients firearms and ammunition. At sentencing and despite strong resistance from both the prosecution and the Magistrate, our thorough preparation and advocacy enabled us to successfully persuade the magistrate to not only to impose minimal fines and declare the convictions spent, but to order the return of the seized firearms and ammunition to our client.
Our client, a young dad with no prior convictions, came to us with a number of charges including breaching bail, two charges of breaching a Family Violence Restraining Order and aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm. Our client was initially remanded in custody for breaching bail because he had not attended court for his trial. We successfully applied to have him released on bail. Following this, we successfully negotiated with the prosecution to have his breach of bail and breaches of FVRO discontinued. We proceeded to trial on the serious assault charge where our client was acquitted, awarded costs from the prosecution and walked away with no convictions from what commenced as an overwhelming legal situation.
Our client, a young 20 year old teaching student with no prior involvement in the criminal justice system, came to us after having a conviction recorded in her absence by the Perth Magistrates Court for a charge of possessing a prohibited weapon. She had not been given notice of her court date, missed the hearing and the court sentenced her in her absence. While she was sentenced to a fine and spent conviction order, which is otherwise a good outcome, our client was studying to be primary school teacher. To be employed as a teacher she needs to be registered with the Teachers Registration Board and apply for a working with children card. The Teachers Registration Board and WA Government have access to an applicant’s spent convictions and can discriminate against an applicant even for a spent conviction. It was important that she has no convictions recorded against her. We successfully applied to the Court to have our client’s conviction set aside. Following this, we entered into negotiations with the prosecution to have our client’s charge discontinued, having regard to a number of public interest factors. The prosecution accepted our submission and the charge was formally discontinued. Our client can now confidently finish her studies knowing her career will not be hindered by any conviction.
Our client was suffering from psychosis when he broke into the house belonging to the father of his ex-partner and become involved in a joust with the father whilst attempting to leave with a laptop. Our client later returned to the house and threw a number of large rocks, smashing several windows. Whilst the prosecution contended that imprisonment was necessary, the sentencing Judge was persuaded by our thorough plea in mitigation to impose a community based order. Further, the Judge accepted that our client was labouring under psychosis during the unusual episode giving rise to the offences and agreed with our submission that he was unlikely to repeat the conduct in the future. Our client was relieved of the adverse consequences of the convictions which were all declared spent.
Our client came to us after a serious assault which was captured on CCTV and left the victim with significant injuries, resolute however, that he wished to defend the matter in the honest belief he acted in self-defence. Having already pleaded not guilty without legal advice, we reviewed the evidence and our client accepted our advice that he ought to plead guilty to the charge as his actions were unable to give rise to a defence in law. In the months leading up to sentencing, we worked closely with our client to provide as much mitigation as possible for a sentencing Court to be persuaded to suspend the otherwise actual term of imprisonment our client was facing - our strategy was successful and our client was able to resume life in the community with his young family.
Our client was a professional business woman who found herself in a toxic relationship which lead to allegations that she entered the home of her former partner and assaulted him. We approached the case by firstly identifying the weaknesses in the evidence on the charge of burglary and making a submission to the prosecution, which was accepted, to discontinue it. Secondly, we identified a strong defence of provocation on the assault charge and advised our client to proceed to trial. On the day of trial, the prosecution failed to procure the attendance of any witnesses and we successfully opposed their application to adjourn the trial. The charge was dismissed and our client awarded costs.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in 2019, our client was driving home from the gym. He slowed down as a pedestrian crossed the street, when without warning, the pedestrian’s brother stepped out in front of our client’s vehicle. There was nothing our client could do to avoid the collision, and unfortunately the brother died from his injuries. Our client was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death. We filed a submission with the ODPP (WA) arguing that our client could not in law be found guilty as there was nothing about our client’s driving behaviour which was dangerous or even careless, and that the deceased – who had travelled from Europe to visit family in WA – failed to look in the direction of oncoming traffic before crossing the street. The prosecution accepted our submission and the charge was discontinued.
In 2015 our client had been charged with possession with intent to sell or supply a quantity of methylamphetamine located in his car after testing positive to the substance during a random roadside drug test. Our client was not dealt with by the Court for the charges and was eventually arrested on the outstanding warrant in 2019, when we took control of the matter. At sentencing in the District Court, we were able to demonstrate that it would be counter-productive and contrary to the interests of the community to imprison our client, in circumstances where our client was rehabilitated, drug-free, employed and not the same person he was when arrested in 2015. Our client was placed on a suspended imprisonment order and free to continue his life in the community.
Our client was a 75-year-old man charged with being in possession of child exploitation material and other obscene articles. After reviewing the disclosure material and instructions given by our client, we advised him to plead guilty to the charges. At sentencing in the District Court, we argued that given our client’s flawless antecedents, previous good character and the impact of any term of imprisonment on his elderly wife, he was not a vehicle for general or specific deterrence and did not mandate the ordinary standard of an immediate sentence of imprisonment. The sentencing judge agreed with our strong submissions and imposed a conditionally suspended term of imprisonment, an exceptionally rare outcome for offending of this type.
Our client was a 24 year old man with a history of alcohol fuelled convictions for which he was given the benefit of a spent conviction. He came to us for assistance with a serious assault charge arising out of an incident in a Northbridge nightclub. Our client was concerned that a further conviction would impede his employment options. After reviewing the evidence, we advised our client to plead guilty to the charge for which he was ordered to pay a reasonable fine of $2000. Despite our client having previously received a spent conviction order we were able to persuade the magistrate to grant our client a second spent conviction order in relation to this matter, enabling our client to pursue his career on a mine site.
During an altercation inside a Mandurah night spot, our client was alleged to have thrown a glass at the victim’s face, causing wounds and bleeding to the face. The evidence disclosed by the prosecution did not establish a strong case against our client and we promptly engaged in negotiations with the prosecution to have the charge discontinued. The prosecution was not persuaded to discontinue the charge. We maintained our advice to the client that the case against him was weak and he pleaded not guilty to the charge. Four weeks before the trial date we were contacted by the prosecution. The prosecutor had revised our submission and agreed to discontinue the charge against our client. The charge was formally discontinued and we successfully sought costs against the prosecution for the legal fees our client incurred as a result of being charged.
Our client initially contacted us after he pleaded guilty to corruption charges on his own representation and was due to be sentenced in the District Court. Upon undertaking a critical assessment of the evidence, we identified that it was unable to lawfully support a conviction of the offences. We immediately applied and were successful in setting aside our clients pleas of guilty, transferring the charges back to the Magistrates court where they were dismissed with costs awarded in our clients favour.
Our client was a young man in his 20s, employed as a civil engineer with no prior convictions and facing a term of immediate imprisonment following a serious assault and injuries requiring surgical intervention on a drunken night out. We advised our client, who was extremely remorseful for his behaviour, to plead guilty to the charge. We articulated persuasive sentencing submissions which resulted in the imposition of a fine payable to the victim of the assault and a suspended term of imprisonment.
Police conducting searches outside a music festival found our client in possession of LSD tablets and other drugs, charging him with intent to sell or supply them. As our client had made full admission to Police when interviewed, we advised him that his best chances of obtaining a spent conviction order was to demonstrate an acceptance of responsibility and remorse by pleading guilty to the charges. Prior to sentencing, we were made aware that our client had a previous drug conviction which he disputed the facts of. We successfully applied to have that conviction set aside and re-dealt with, obtaining a spent conviction orders and fines for both the prior offence and the new charges.
Our client was extremely intoxicated when she decided to intervene in the forceful ejection of her husband from a popular Perth night spot. After security guards tackled her to ground, she bit a Police officer on the leg in the course of a forceful arrest. We worked closely with out client with a view to identifying and explaining to the Court the trigger for our client on the night and the unlikelihood of its repetition. The Court accepted our submissions, imposing a fine and granting a spent conviction order.
Our client, a nurse, was charged with forging medical certificates provided to her employer. We were able to sympathetically explain the circumstances in which the offences were committed and that a community based order with counselling and community service requirements would best serve the interests of our client and the community. Spent conviction order for dishonesty offences are ordinarily challenging to procure, however, we successfully persuaded the Magistrate to grant our client a spent conviction order in respect of each of her 10 convictions so as to not allow these convictions to detrimentally impact her nursing career.
Our client sought our assistance after having received advice from his previous lawyers in relation to pleading guilty to a charge of trespass and not guilty to charges of possessing of a prohibited drug and common assault. We conducted an independent assessment of the evidence and advised our client that he had a viable defence on all charges. We prepared and represented our client on a successful application to change his original guilty plea to trespass and thereafter proceeded to trial on all three charges. Our client was found not guilty of trespass and assault and costs were awarded in his favour. Although our client was convicted of possessing the prohibited drug he received a nominal fine and was granted a spent conviction order.
Our client's employer instructed her to assist a foreign student, who had been the subject of a distressing eviction from her lodgings by the host mother and her daughter. During the course of assisting the student pack her belongings, amid a background of mocking commentary and ridicule by the host mother and daughter, our client was alleged to have assaulted the pair, which she denied.
We entered into negotiations with the prosecution to have the assault charges against the host mother and daughter dismissed. The prosecution agreed with the submission in relation to the daughter but insisted in proceeding to trial in relation to the host mother. On the morning of the trial and prior to its commencement, we gave the prosecution the opportunity to re-consider its position in light of evidence that we had uncovered which suggested the host mother had significant and highly questionable credibility issues.
The assault charge against the host mother was dismissed by the prosecution and our client was awarded costs.
Our client was recently alleged to have sexually assaulted a teenage woman some twenty years ago when he too was just 21 years old, when they were members of a religious congregation. Our client denied the allegations and after a four day trial, a jury took just one hour to deliver not guilty verdicts on all charges.
Our client was alleged to have committed a home burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and a string of fraud offences using credit cards stolen during the burglary and admitted as such when interviewed by police following her arrest. However, we proceeded to trial on the basis that whilst our client did drive the stolen vehicle and engage in the fraudulent use of the credit cards, our client mislead police in admitting she committed the home burglary in an effort to shift responsibility from other people. The jury accepted our client’s position in taking just over an hour to deliver a verdict of not guilty on the home burglary charge.
Our client was charged with assaulting and causing bodily harm to his long-term girlfriend and potentially facing a term of imprisonment. We advised our client to defend the allegations at trial as his account of events aroused a defence of self-defence which had strong prospects of success. On the day of the trial the complainant did not wish for the matter to proceed and without her testimony, the prosecution had no evidence to offer and had no choice but to discontinue the serious assault charge. Not only was the charge dismissed, our client was awarded his costs from the prosecution.
Our client and his friend (complainant) were enjoying a regular pastime of four wheel driving on sand dunes north of Perth when the car rolled after driving in a wide circle went awry. The complainant had been riding on the outside of the 4WD driven by our client and was crushed when the vehicle rolled. Despite a protracted two-year legal dispute and immense stress on our client, in a three day District Court trial a jury took just an hour to absolve our client of criminal responsibility for the life threatening injuries sustained by the complainant in the tragic accident.
Our client was alleged to have caused grievous bodily harm to her neighbour (complainant) by pushing her to the ground and causing her spine to fracture. The alleged assault occurred against a complex and acrimonious backdrop and varying eye witness accounts of the incident, which we submitted to the jury was sufficient for them to entertain reasonable doubt as to the veracity and accuracy of the complainants evidence and the manner in which the injury was sustained. After a four day trial the jury took just two hours to deliver a unanimous not guilty verdict.
Our client was the victim of a domestic violence incident in his home when Police entered and asked for his personal details. Police subsequently alleged our client assaulted one of the attending police officers. We were confident that the charge could be resolved by skilful negotiation with Police to avoid a trial and unnecessary expense and stress to our client. Police were receptive to our client's version of events and explanation for his actions inside his home. The assault charge was downgraded to obstruction and the sentencing facts were amended consistent with our submission to Police. He received a fine and a spent conviction order.
Our client was charged with two offences of breaching a Family Violence Restraining Order against his ex-partner. On the day of the trial police failed to secure the attendance of a key prosecution witness and the prosecutor applied to adjourn the trial. We successfully opposed the application forcing the prosecution to offer no evidence and the charge was dismissed with costs.
Our client who is subject to sex offender reporting obligations was charged with failing to report his return travel from interstate. We prepared an extensive submission explaining and justifying the failure to report and outlining the detrimental consequences for our client should he be convicted for the offence. Prosecutors agreed with our submission that it was not in the public interest to continue with the charge and withdrew it, sparing our client significant distress and expense in defending the matter at trial.
After police executed a search on our client’s home they found her in possession of a large number of brand clothing items, allegedly stolen from the clothing store at which she had previously worked as manager. The initial charge was stealing as a servant. It was then amended to possession of stolen or unlawfully obtained property. Following an 11-day trial in the Perth Magistrates Court our client was found not guilty and we obtained costs. All of the seized clothing was returned to her.
Our client was a Brisbane resident who was alleged to have assaulted his partner whilst on holiday in Perth. We were able to negotiate not only his non-attendance for every court date in Perth (and thereby avoiding unnecessary expense and interference with his employment) but the dismissal of the charge after the prosecution agreed with our detailed written submissions. A trial was avoided. The entire matter was dealt with by our firm without the need for the client to return to Perth.
Following a Police search of his vehicle, our client was charged with giving false personal details, driving without a licence and refusing to provide the pin or passcode to his phone. The passcode was required to assist Police in the investigation of a potential drug possession charge. Our client was concerned to protect his privacy and did not wish Police to access personal information on his phone. We negotiated with the Police to have that charge discontinued. Our client readily pleaded guilty to the remaining minor charges for which he was fined and granted a spent conviction order and ... he got his phone back.
Our client, who was the subject of a VRO, unwittingly entered the workplace of a person protected by the VRO and was charged with breaching the order. We did not believe our client ought to unnecessarily incur the expense and stress of defending the charge at trial. We negotiated successfully with the prosecution to dismiss the charge, on the basis that it was an inadvertent breach and not in the public interest to prosecute the matter in the circumstances.
Our client was fishing with a friend on the Swan River in the early hours before Christmas Eve 2017. He heard a racial slur coming from a group of people and confronted them, making it clear he did not appreciate the intoxicated or aggressive disposition of one man. That man charged at him without warning. Our client reacted to the coming threat by placing his arms up to protect his face, unaware that he was still holding a screwdriver. The angle at which he held the screwdriver caused the charging man to make contact with the tip. Our client’s submission was that the death was a result of a tragic accident. Following a five day Supreme Court trial, the jury only took one hour to decide our client was not guilty. Clearly they had little difficulty accepting our client's testimony.
Our 18 year old client was facing trial on assault charges arising from an incident in which she disciplined a child under her care. One week before the trial was due to commence, the prosecution finally agreed with our submissions made six months earlier, that there was no reasonable prospect of securing a conviction. The assault charges were dismissed and our client was awarded costs.
Only days before a court hearing involving a third driving under the influence of alcohol charge we were contacted by an anxious and stressed client who was concerned about the prospect of a prison sentence. She was also nervous about attending court to appear before a Magistrate. We reassured our client that we could deal with the matter on her behalf and without the need to attend court. We then persuaded the Magistrate to impose minimum penalties. Our client was obviously ecstatic given this was her third DUI offence.
Following a falling out with his previous lawyer a new client approached our team for last minute assistance. The difficulty was our client had already pleaded guilty to a serious drug manufacturing charge and was facing sentence in the District Court. Upon review of the evidence, we determined our client could not be convicted of that offence and should never have been persuaded to plead guilty. Prosecutors accepted our submission to discontinue the manufacture charge and replace it with a simple drug possession offence. We represented our client for sentencing in the Magistrates Court and were able to limit the penalty to a fine and the bonus of a Spent Conviction Order.
Our client was charged with being in possession of child exploitation material after police examined his phone during the execution of a Misuse of Drugs Act search warrant. We prepared a public interest submission for the prosecution. Our argument was that a jury would entertain reasonable doubt the person in the images was in fact a child. The prosecution agreed with our submission and discontinued the charge.
Police relied on CCTV footage to allege that our client was responsible for ‘keying’ a car at a suburban shopping centre. We were of the view that the footage would fail to implicate our client beyond reasonable doubt and advised our client to proceed to trial. The prosecution repeatedly delayed the trial as a result of an uncooperative complainant, however, we succeeded in persuading the Magistrate to refuse any further adjournments. The damage charge was dismissed, our client acquitted and costs award.
Since his convictions for serious drug offences in 2004 our client was living with the stigma and impediments attached to his criminal record, particularly his career goals and freedom to travel. We worked closely with out client, his friends, family and associates to prepare and present a thorough written submission to the District Court to declare his serious drug convictions spent. Our application was successful at the hearing and our client is now free to travel and progress his career without being discriminated against because of those convictions.
A charge of Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm was levelled against our client. He maintained the alleged ‘assault’ against his ex-partner was done in self-defence. We obtained medical records for the hospital admission and used them at trial to demonstrate his ex-partner was severely intoxicated at the time of the alleged offence. We submitted she was an unreliable witness. Our client was acquitted of the charge and awarded costs.
Our client was charged in the Children’s Court with a string of offences arising out of a vehicle stop for a random breath test. The prosecution alleged that when police attempted to open the driver’s door, the driver took off at speed – through a school zone – while a police officer’s hand was stuck in the door handle. We argued the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt our client was the driver. Our team established that at trial and our client was acquitted of all charges. Costs were awarded.
Our client was charged with State offences of possession of child exploitation material and one Federal offence of carriageway use to access child exploitation material. After making detailed public interest submissions to both the Commonwealth DPP and the WA DPP it was agreed that all charges would be discontinued.
Our client was charged with assault occasioning bodily harm. The alleged offence occurred in the early hours of the morning at a popular Northbridge venue. The prosecution alleged our client picked up an empty bottle and struck the complainant to the head, causing a laceration. At trial we argued our client acted in self-defence in response to the complainant’s aggression, accidentally striking the complainant while not remembering there was a bottle in our client’s hand. The trial magistrate was not satisfied the prosecution had proved its case. Our client was acquitted and obtained costs.
A brawl erupted outside a popular music venue in the early hours of the morning. Our client was tackled to the ground by police officers and, in the course of the arrest he punched one of the police officers several times. The Police charged our client with Assaulting and Obstructing a public officer. At trial, our client was acquitted of the more serious charge of Assaulting a public officer and convicted of the Obstruction charge. He received a modest fine. We successfully applied for a spent conviction order and obtained costs from the prosecution.
Our juvenile client was tried on one count of committing a home burglary and two counts of setting fire to the same home. On the second occasion the fire resulted in its complete destruction. For tactical reasons, we elected to have a trial before a Supreme Court judge and jury, rather than by the President of the Children’s Court. After a 5-day trial involving both of his co-offenders implicating him to varying degrees and evidence of our client's DNA on items stolen from the house, it took a unanimous jury just over two hours to return not guilty verdicts on all counts.
Almost one year after an alleged assault Police charged our client with assault occasioning bodily harm. The prosecution alleged he had committed the offence in the early hours of the morning outside the Crown Casino. His two work mates were also charged. At trial, the prosecution produced CCTV footage and two eye-witnesses who placed our client at the scene and gave evidence claiming his involvement. Following a 3-day trial, our client and the two accused were acquitted and the prosecution was ordered to pay costs.
Our client, a man in his 20s, pleaded guilty to possession of child exploitation material found on his mobile phone. The prosecution argued for an immediate term of imprisonment. We persuaded the District Court not to accept the prosecution’s argument. Instead, our client was placed on a short community-based order and we achieved a spent conviction order.
Our client and two other Pilbara men were charged with entering a home and demanding payment of a debt. It was alleged thousands of dollars in cash was stolen from a man and his partner. The man was then allegedly assaulted. Weapons were involved. During a 7-day trial the jury heard from the victim and his girlfriend who both testified that our client, who was known to each of them, was one of the assailants involved in the assault and also a party to the robbery. During cross examination we presented CCTV footage from our client's home proving the female partner of the victim had attended our client's home and stayed overnight with him in the days following the assault. At the same time her partner, the victim, was undergoing emergency surgery in a Perth hospital. Further cross examination raised considerable doubt on the veracity of her testimony that our client was in any way involved in the vicious assault on her partner. It also raised questions about the ability of the victim to positively identify our client as being involved. The jury deliberated for less than 15 minutes before returning verdicts of not guilty on all charges in respect of our client and both co-accused.
It was alleged our client was in possession of ammunition for which she did not have a licence. The prosecution case relied on a police search of her home after she was served with a 72-hour police order. The ammunition was located in our client’s locked gun cabinet. At trial we successfully argued the police had no power to enter or search our client’s home under the Police Orders or any legislation. The trial magistrate agreed and all evidence relating to the ammunition was thrown out. Our client was acquitted of the charge and costs were awarded.
Our client was charged with stealing a motor vehicle and driving recklessly to escape a police pursuit. The registration plates on the stolen car were registered in our client’s name, and when police recovered the vehicle a few days after the pursuit, our client’s DNA and fingerprints were found inside the car. The two police officers involved in the pursuit of the stolen vehicle both claimed to positively identify our client as the driver of the vehicle. Despite what appeared to be an overwhelming prosecution case, we persuaded the trial magistrate the evidence did not prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that our client was the driver. Our client was acquitted on all charges and obtained a substantial costs order.
Police charged a man in his mid-20s with failing to provide a PIN for a mobile phone found in the centre console of the car he was driving. We took the matter to trial and succeeded in having the charge not proved and the prosecution was ordered to pay costs.
Our client was charged with stabbing his wife and his wife’s father during a heated family dispute in their shared home in the eastern suburbs. After repeated submissions were made to the prosecution to discontinue the charges the prosecution decided, at the eleventh hour, to withdraw the charges. We were also successful in obtaining a costs order against the prosecution.
A high-speed pursuit Perth’s northern suburbs resulted in our client being charged. He was the sole occupant and therefore driver of the speeding van. After stopping the vehicle police pulled him from the van in a dramatic arrest. The strong smell of cannabis was detected. Upon searching the van, police found almost half a kilogram of cannabis. Our client was charged with reckless driving to escape police pursuit and possession of cannabis with intent to sell or supply. We entered into negotiations with the police. Our client then pleaded guilty to reckless driving (not with the intention of escaping the police) and thereby avoided a mandatory jail sentence. We advised our client to plead not guilty to the possession of cannabis charge and we took the matter to trial on the basis that he did not know the cannabis was in the van. At trial our client was found not guilty of the possession of charge.
Our client, an eastern states man working fly-in-fly-out in the Pilbara was charged with aggravated sexual penetration without consent following a night out with his mates. His mate was charged as a co-accused when the complainant alleged she did not want a threesome and alleged the act of penetration was without consent. Despite our client and the co-accused being honest about their involvement in what they believed to be a consensual sexual act and despite each of them separately participating in detailed interviews with police in circumstances where there was no opportunity for them to have made up their stories, they were both charged and forced to defend the allegation at trial. After a 3-day District Court trial in South Hedland, both our client and the co-accused were acquitted.
Possession of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply was the charge against our client. The quantity of drugs was almost three times the quantity that gives rise to such a presumption. Our client maintained the drug was for personal use only. After successful negotiations with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions the prosecution agreed to downgrade the charge to simple possession on our client's plea of guilty thereby avoiding a sentence of immediate imprisonment.
Our northern suburbs client aged in his late 30s was charged with rape after having a brief sexual encounter with a casual female employee in the workplace. It was her last day of work. The prosecution alleged that our client used his position of authority to take advantage of her. After a 3-day District Court trial in Perth the jury unanimously acquitted our client.
Our female client, in her mid-20s, was charged with unlawful common assault following an altercation with a male co-worker at a private function. When we first received instructions it was clear to us that it was not in the public interest to prosecute our client given the trivial nature of the assault. After making a written submission to the Police Prosecutors the charge was dismissed at a very early stage.
Our female client, in her mid-20s, charged with a serious offence of Aggravated Unlawful Wounding had her charge dismissed following our successful negotiations with the prosecution. The prosecution agreed to pay our costs.
Our 17-year-old client from the northern suburbs was found not guilty after a 2-day trial where the identity of the offender was in issue. The prosecution was ordered to pay costs.
The prosecution alleged our client and his father-in-law jointly assaulted our client’s father with a shovel and a baseball bat in March 2015. The complainant suffered serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. In our client's defence, we submitted that the complainant was a violent and vindictive man who had been menacing our client for years and had embellished his testimony with the intention of seeing our client go to jail. During the four-day District Court trial in Perth, the prosecution relied heavily upon DNA evidence to corroborate the complainant's testimony. Our client, who elected not to give evidence, maintained he was not present during the altercation. After deliberating for less than one hour the jury acquitted our client and his father-in-law of the charge on the indictment and further acquitted both men of the lesser alternative charges of unlawfully doing grievous bodily harm and unlawful assault occasioning bodily harm.
Following a 2-day hearing in a northern suburbs Magistrates Court, a 28-year-old man avoided a mandatory 6-month prison sentence. It was alleged our client was the driver of a vehicle that was driven recklessly, failed to stop and ultimately crashed after being pursued by two police vehicles exceeding speeds of 160kph.The Magistrate dismissed a series of charges The prosecution was ordered to pay costs.
Following a 3-day trial in the Perth District Court, the jury acquitted our 25-year-old client who had been charged with grievous bodily harm. It was alleged she had struck her husband in the face with an empty vodka bottle, causing serious injury. We argued self-defence. The question of reasonable doubt arose and the prosecution failed to disprove our argument. The jury rejected the husband's version of events.
Our female client, in her mid 20s, was charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a motor driver's license. Our team assessed the evidence and determined the prosecution would not be able to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, the identity of the driver. After numerous court appearances and an adjourned trial in a suburban Magistrates Court the prosecution eventually agreed they could not prove the charges and offered no evidence. The charges were dismissed and our client was awarded costs.
Our female client aged in her late-20s was charged with possession of methylamphetamine. The police had raided a house she was visiting and a clip seal bag of methylamphetamine was placed in her purse. She was charged and disputed knowing that the drugs were in her purse. We represented her at trial and had the charge dismissed. Costs were awarded against the prosecution.
Our female client, in her mid 40s, was charged with assaulting her ex-partner on his business premises during a dispute about his infidelity. Our client was found not guilty after the Magistrate agreed with our submission. We argued the evidence did not disclose the intentional application of force such to constitute an assault. The charge was dismissed and the prosecution was ordered to pay costs.
Our client, a 27-year-old back packer from the UK, was charged with stealing over $250,000 cash from her employer when she worked as an Assistant Manager for 15 months at a tavern in WA's far north. Following a six-day District Court trial our client was acquitted on all 58 counts of stealing as a servant.
Our client, a public servant in his 30's, was charged with two offences of possession of a prohibited drug, namely DMAA (a sports food supplement used by body builders). A conviction for the offences would adversely affect our client's ability to secure a security license for his new job. We reviewed the evidence and made a public interest submission to the Police. We outlined the reasons why the evidence was insufficient; why it could not prove our client knew the supplement he used contained the recently prohibited DMAA. The prosecution dismissed both charges after three appearances in the Magistrates Court.
Our client, a retiree in his 70's, was charged with serious allegations of sexual penetration and indecent dealings against his two daughters and a son between the early 1970s and early 1980s. Our client faced two jury trials in relation to the charges and was acquitted on all charges.
A Station Overseer in the Pilbara, was charged with stealing as a servant and unlawfully using an animal, namely cattle belonging to his employer. We determined the prosecution would be unable to prove our client had a fraudulent intent when taking the horse. We also argued he had reasonable grounds for believing he had permission to use the employer's cattle. Our client pleaded not guilty on our recommendation. The prosecution eventually agreed (on the morning of the trial) it would be unable to prove the charges and offered no evidence. The Magistrate dismissed the charges and ordered the prosecution pay costs.
Our client, a 21-year-old man was charged with reckless driving to escape a police pursuit. If proven, the offence would carry a mandatory sentence of 9 months imprisonment. After successful negotiations with Police the charge was downgraded to reckless driving and following a plea in mitigation in Joondalup Magistrates Court our client avoided a prison sentence.
Our client was charged with deliberately setting fire to a motor vehicle which was completely destroyed by fire. The issue at trial was the identity of the offender. After a 3-day trial in the Supreme Court at Perth, the jury unanimously found our client not guilty.
A refugee from Africa was charged with aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm and deprivation of liberty. During trial in the District Court at Perth we made a successful application that our client had no case to answer in respect of the charge of deprivation of liberty due to lack of sufficient evidence. A judgment of acquittal was entered on that charge. After the trial was aborted the charge of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm was discontinued.
Our client, a man in his 20's from a town in the south-west, was charged with 210 charges of breaching a violence restraining order. After negotiations with WA Police all charges were dismissed in the Narrogin Magistrates Court.
Our client, a disability support pensioner in her 40's, was charged with extorting her doctor for $10,000. The prosecution alleged our client threatened to take the doctor to court if he didn't pay the money after a consensual act of fellatio performed in the doctor's consulting room. The doctor denied the sexual act was consensual. The prosecution tendered an audio recording made the same day. Our client told the jury she felt she had been used by the doctor for his sexual gratification and he had refused to acknowledge, much less discuss, the sexual encounter. Our client testified that the only way the doctor would even listen to her was if she mentioned the prospect of him having to pay money. There was no criminal intent. Following a 3-day trial in the Perth District Court the jury found our client not guilty.
Our client, a man in his mid-20s, was charged with indecently dealing with his 5-year-old step daughter. Our client denied the allegation claiming it was motivated by the child's mother to get favourable Family Court orders. Our client contacted us soon after he was arrested. We were able to view the child's police interview at a very early stage and immediately identified problems with the child's version of events. A detailed submission to the Office of the DPP was made. We submitted there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction. The submission was accepted and the charge was discontinued after only two mentions in the Magistrates Court.
Our client, a man in his 20s, was charged with aggravated common assault. On the morning of the trial in the Armadale Magistrate’s Court the prosecution conceded there was insufficient evidence to proceed and the charge was dismissed. The prosecution was ordered to pay costs.
Our client, a man in his late 50s, was charged with seven charges of indecently dealing with and sexually penetrating his two daughters and a granddaughter over a 10-year period. Following a 4-day trial in the District Court at Perth our client was found not guilty on all seven charges.
Our client, in his late 20’s, was charged with stealing as a servant from a metropolitan furniture store. We took the matter to trial and successfully argued the prosecution could not possibly prove our client was the offender. The Magistrate agreed that there was no case to answer. The charge was dismissed and costs awarded.
Our client, a man in his late 50s, was charged with four historical charges of sexual assault against his step granddaughter when she was aged between 9 and 12 years old. Following a 4-day trial in the District Court at Perth our client was found not guilty on all charges.
Our client, a 45-year-old Geraldton man, was charged with criminal damage and criminal damage by fire after the premises he was renting was partly damaged by fire. After several adjournments for detectives to disclose evidence in the case we successfully made an application to the Magistrate to have the charge thrown out. During committal proceedings in the Magistrates Court both charges were dismissed following our submissions.
Our client, a man in his early 30s, was charged with criminal damage to a motor vehicle in a car park. The prosecution produced an eye-witness who noted the car registration number of the man who allegedly caused the criminal damage. During cross examination the eye-witness admitted he had discarded the piece of paper on which he recorded the car registration. We submitted that without the piece of paper the prosecution was unable to prove the registration and accordingly could not prove it was our client who committed the damage. The Magistrate agreed. There was no case to answer. The prosecution was ordered to pay costs.