Practice Areas & Services

Our criminal lawyers have a combined background of impressive achievements and qualifications as well as a commitment to professional excellence, client services and expert legal advice.
Bail Applications

 

We frequently run bail applications in the Magistrates, Supreme and County Courts. We are well placed to assist if you require a bail application to be listed in any of these localities or indeed anywhere in Melbourne and greater Victoria. 

Bail is a complicated area of law governed by the Bail Act of Victoria. There are a number of different tests that relate to bail, including:

Contested Hearings

 

You are in no way obliged to plead guilty and the Magistrate who hears the contest mention is not meant to hear the contested hearing. Often the Magistrate will give a common sense evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence against you

A contest mention is a step that is used to resolve matters that are going to be a contested hearing / plea of not guilty.

 

Pleas, Trials & Appeals

If you choose to give up your right to trial in a criminal case and enter a guilty plea, you will be giving up not only a trial but also, in most instances, the right to appeal any legal or factual issues to a higher court.

 

Once you have entered a guilty plea, the judge will convict you based on your own admissions, and you will ordinarily have no grounds to undo that conviction in a court of appeals. You may, however, be able to appeal your sentence, as long as you have not given up that right in any plea deal with the prosecution. 

 
 
Legal Advice

 

You don’t need to pay a fortune to get sound legal advice. We have a team of dedicated legal professionals who can help you manage your legal affairs without charging you the earth. We will advise you up front what our charges will be for all common legal tasks so that you can plan ahead with the peace of mind of knowing exactly where you stand in terms of your legal rights and financially. 

 

Client Support & Referral

Where possible, we maintain a database of the best quality support services who have registered their details, areas of support available and information with us. This allows us to easily search for quality support and refer you only to the best suited professional that meet your individual needs and quickly provide you with the support you need.

Information

Being charged with a criminal offence can be a stressful and daunting situation. Our experienced team of Criminal Lawyers will help you navigate the legal system and fight to get you the best result. Information to inform and guide you during the process is pivotal and we provide you with quality information every step of the way regardless of what the charge maybe or any other summary offence​​

Criminal Law Practice Areas

Sexual Offences


Aggravated indecent assault Aggravated sexual assault Indecent assault Sexual assault Sexual intercourse with a child between 14 and 16 years of age Aggravated sexual assault in company Act of indecency Act of indecency with child under 16 years whilst being filmed Act of indecency with child under the age of 10 years Aggravated act of indecency Rape




Murder & Manslaughter


Murder Attempted murder Manslaughter Culpable Driving




Violence & Assault


Affray Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm Assault of a Police Officer Common Assault Contravene/Breach of Family Violence Intervention Order Recklessly cause Grievous Bodily Harm or Wounding Stalk or intimidate




Driving Offences


Drink driving Driving under the influence of an illicit drug Dangerous driving – driving in a manner or speed dangerous Driving whilst disqualified Driving whilst suspended License Suspension Appeals




Appeals


If you, or someone you know, have been to court and are unhappy about a decision made by a Magistrate or Judge regarding a criminal matter, contact our team at Kurnai Legal Practice immediately for advice about all rights to appeal. Our criminal defence team are able to handle all appeals: • From the Magistrates’ Court • From the County Court • From the Supreme Court • To the Supreme Court of Appeal • To the High Court of Australia Whether or not you have a right to appeal your case can depend on factors including where your case was originally heard, and/or whether you are able to establish particular merits. Consequently, it is critical that you engage a highly skilled and experienced firm of solicitors who will give you the best advice regarding your prospects of appeal. Our criminal lawyers understand the complex and technical processes involved when appealing to a higher court and regularly work with leading criminal defence barristers who are renowned experts in appeal matters. We will work tirelessly to maximise your chances of success. APPEALS FROM DECISIONS OF THE MAGISTRATES’ COURT If you are unhappy with the decision of the Magistrates’ Court regarding a conviction and/or sentence, this decision may be appealed to the County Court of Victoria. A hearing of an appeal in the County Court will be a fresh hearing, meaning that you will have another chance to put your entire case forward, before a Judge of the County Court. There are timeframes for making appeals to the County Court from a decision of the Magistrates’ Court, so it is important that you obtain legal advice about the result of your case as quickly as possible after a decision is made in the Magistrates’ Court. To discuss your personal circumstances and your prospects on appeal, contact our experienced team at Kurnai Legal Practice today. APPEALS FROM DECISIONS OF THE COUNTY & SUPREME COURTS There are certain circumstances where a decision of the County Court and the Supreme Court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court of Appeal has the power to grant permission to appeal against sentence if: • The trial Judge made an error of fact; or • The trial Judge made an error of law; or • The trial Judge took into account an irrelevant consideration; or • The trial Judge failed to take into account a relevant consideration; or • The sentence was manifestly excessive. The Supreme Court of Appeal has the power to grant permission to appeal against conviction if: • The verdict of the jury was unreasonable and cannot be supported by the evidence; or • There was an error that lead to the substantial miscarriage of justice; or • For any other reason if there has been a substantial miscarriage of justice. There are timeframes for making appeals from the County Court and Supreme Court, so it is important that you obtain legal advice about the result of your case as quickly as possible after your sentence and/or conviction. To find out whether your case would qualify for an appeal to the Court of Appeal, contact our experienced team at Kurnai Legal Practice now. APPLICATION FOR BAIL PENDING APPEAL It is often the case that an Appeal will be listed some months after the original court decision (the decision you are appealing). If you are appealing against a sentence of imprisonment, our criminal lawyers will act immediately to make an application to have you released on bail pending the Appeal. For further information about Applications for Bail, click here or contact Kurnai Legal Practice today.




Bail Applications


Australian law is based on the principal of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but there are many cases where an innocent person will not be released from custody until their case has been finalised, which can take many, many, months. Even if a person in custody is eventually found guilty of an offence, they may ultimately receive a sentence which may not even involve a jail term. Both of these circumstances may fundamentally result in a loss of liberty for a person who is kept in custody awaiting trial – this loss can never be recovered. This is why it is important that you obtain legal advice from the team at Kurnai Legal Practice about the prospects of making a successful bail application as soon as possible. In circumstances where you or someone you know have been arrested and held in custody for a serious criminal offence, it is important to contact our criminal lawyers to get legal advice as soon as possible. We understand that incarceration can have devastating effects upon the person in custody and their family, such as loss of employment and income, limited access to health care, inability to care for dependants, difficulty in preparing the defence case, and the impact on general physical and mental health. It is critical that you know what rights you have to apply for bail so that you and your family can have an opportunity to once again continue life as normal. Our lawyers have an outstanding record of success in relation to bail applications and applications for the variation of bail conditions in all Magistrates Courts, County Courts and the Supreme Court of Victoria. Our experience, strategy, knowledge of the law, and understanding of our clients’ needs are the reasons behind our success. We go above and beyond for our clients, ensuring that we put the best case forward the first time around because we understand that your freedom is paramount. For this reason, we have earned a notable reputation in this particular area of law. WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVE IN ORDER TO BE GRANTED BAIL? The laws relating to bail applications in Victoria are complex, and there are different tests that the court will apply in determining whether bail should be granted. The tests applicable to your case will depend on the seriousness of the charges against you, your previous bail history, and your criminal record. The starting point in the law is that it is presumed that every person has the right to be released on bail. That is, unless you fall under the category of having to “show compelling reasons” or “exceptional circumstances”. This will depend on the type of offence you have been charged with. Bail will also be refused if the court is satisfied that you pose an unacceptable risk of: committing offences whilst on bail; failing to answer bail; interfering with witnesses or obstructing the course of justice; or endangering the safety or welfare of members of the public. Our lawyers are experienced in making successful bail applications in the most difficult of cases and successfully making further applications for bail where others have been unsuccessful. The reason for this is that our lawyers will work hard and diligently to thoroughly prepare your application for bail, from preparing powerful legal submissions to working tirelessly with you and your family to ensure that we obtain as much supportive material as possible to maximise the chances of securing your freedom. For a confidential discussion regarding bail applications, variation of bail conditions, or release of surety, contact Kurnai Legal Practice today. We can help you even when you feel like there is no hope. We will take control of what can be a very daunting process, and you can take comfort in knowing that you have entrusted your freedom in our competent hands. Our goal is to achieve the best outcome for you and your family. Contact our criminal lawyers today. We will help you. We service all areas throughout Victoria and interstate. Our criminal defence lawyers represent clients from the metropolitan region of Melbourne, be it the Northern suburbs, Southern suburbs, Eastern suburbs, or Western suburbs of Melbourne, as well as regional and country Victoria and also Australia wide. We represent clients in the Children’s Court, Magistrates’ Courts, County Courts and Supreme Courts. Our criminal lawyers are experienced in making applications for bail at first instance and in the Supreme Court. If you would like more information about bail applications speak to our experienced bail application lawyers today.




Public Order Offences


Disorderly conduct Criminal intent Riot and affray Liquor and tobacco offences Offensive language or behaviour Cruelty to animals Graffiti Fire Explosion




Police Interviews & Powers





Search Warrants


There are three ways police are permitted to gain entry to your property;

  • with your consent,
  • with a warrant or
  • with an existing right under statute or common law.
If the police are at your door without a warrant and you do not want them to enter your property, you should make that clear at the outset. If it turns out the police have entered under a different power then this is something that can be challenged at a later date. It is important to know that although you may initially consent to police entering your property, that consent can also be revoked. If nothing illegal has been found at the point consent is revoked, the police must leave, after being given a reasonable amount of time to do so. The police are permitted to come as far as the front door without invitation, like anybody else, but once it is made clear that they are not welcome then they must retreat to the outer boundaries of your property. Police have a number of powers under statute to search a private citizen’s property.
  • Under section 64 of the Magistrates’ Court Act a warrant to arrest carries with it the power to search any property where the person named in the warrant is suspected to be in hiding.
  • Under section 459A of the Crimes Act, police have the power to enter a property in order to search for a person they suspect has committed a serious indictable crime. This power only allows them to search for the suspect, not to seize property. However, the discovery of illegal property in accordance with a lawful entry may be authorised under other powers under statute or common law.
  • The Family Violence Protection Act permits entry without warrant to a person’s property where it is suspected that family violence has occurred.
  • The Road Safety Act also now permits police to search a vehicle in absence of a warrant in certain circumstances associated with hoon offences. These are just some examples where statute permits entry to property in absence of a warrant.
A search warrant is a Court issued document that authorises the holder to search a nominated property or thing. A warrant can only be issued by a Magistrate or a Judge. This is to protect citizens from police abusing the powers associated with the issuing of warrants. However, section 92 of the Crimes Act does allow high ranking police officers to authorise property searches, with certain limitations. As this is not issued by a Magistrate it is not technically a warrant, but it does blur the lines somewhat. A warrant to search a particular premises must specifically name the property. An error in the address will make a search of the property invalid. The warrant must also state the place or thing to be searched and what general offence has justified the search. Police have fairly broad powers in relation to searching property, but they are not unlimited. Whether the police have acted lawfully is something that can be looked at in consultation with your lawyer. If you have had your property searched by police and would like further advice on getting your property back or you would just to understand the process more comprehensively then call one of our offices today and make an appointment for a consultation. If you are about to be arrested or are concerned you might be arrested and you have time, then you must read this article, what should I do if I am arrested? If you are arrested it is highly likely police are going to interview you. If you have an opportunity you should read this article on participating in a police record of interview, what are my rights? Understand prior to being asked to speak to police about any alleged offending, you must be given the opportunity to speak to a criminal lawyer, that is your right and it is one that you should exercise. If you have to participate in a record of interview then you should call Kurnai Legal Practice.




Drug Offences


Drug importation Supplying a prohibited drug Drug possession Manufacture and production of prohibited drugs Allowing use of premises as a drug premises




Internet Crime/Pornography


Crimes committed using the internet is a quickly expanded area of law. These offences include: fraud, impersonation, revenge porn, child pornography, harrassment and child grooming/luring. Contact Kurnai Legal Practice today to learn more!




Fraud, Theft, Burglary, Robbery, Dishonesty


Theft from retail premises Receiving or handling the proceeds of crime Fraud Centrelink fraud Obtaining benefit by deception Forgery of documents Dishonest conversion Robbery whilst armed with an offensive weapon Robbery whilst armed with a dangerous weapon Robbery with wounding




Breach Court Orders


If so, the breach offence lawyers at Dribbin and Brown Criminal Lawyers routinely represent clients charged with:

  • Breaching Community Correction Orders;
  • Breaching Bail;
  • Breaching Suspended Sentences (imposed pre-September 2014);
  • Breaching bonds;
  • Breaching intervention orders; and
  • Breaching parole.
Any of the above breaches (excluding breach of parole) can result in you being brought back to court to answer the breach. The judiciary are usually not impressed when an order that was imposed by the Court has not been complied with, which is why it is so important to engage lawyers with experience. There are a number of different ways that a person can be brought back to Court for breaching a Court order as discussed above. If you are facing a breaching offence or have already been charged with a bail or parole breach then you should call our office so we can assist you.




Fines


INFRINGEMENTS COURT If you have been visited by the Sherriff’s Office, or have thousands of dollars’ worth of outstanding infringements & fines that need addressing, reducing or revoking, then call Kurnai Legal Practice. This may be for matters such as traffic violations, parking fines, public transport fines, court fines, or enforcement orders. You may have just realised that a number of outstanding infringements & fines in your name don’t actually belong to you – you may have sold your car to someone else but they incurred fines before the car was transferred in their name, or lent your car to someone who incurred the fines. It is best to sort out your unpaid fines prior to the Sherriff knocking on your door or clamping your tyres at the local shopping centre, because at that stage, your options are limited. We can make an application for revocation of your outstanding fines, and depending on the circumstances, either have the fines withdrawn completely, or significantly reduce your debt – but the key to success will be getting in touch with Kurnai Legal Practice as soon as possible. TRAFFIC INFRINGEMENTS: If you have received a speeding fine (whether it be on the spot or from the traffic camera office), a fine for drink driving, or any other type of traffic infringement notice, we can assist you to make a decision about what steps to take. We will advise you of your prospects of having the infringement notice withdrawn, the benefits and disadvantages of objecting to an infringement notice, or whether to pay the fine and accept the penalty. If your infringement notice states that your licence will be suspended, the only way to save your licence is to challenge the offence and have the matter determined in your favour by a court. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to lose your licence for the period specified on the infringement notice. Likewise, if your infringement notice states that you will lose demerit points, the only way to stop those demerit points from being recorded with VicRoads, is to challenge the offence and beat the infringement in Court. We believe that every client has a chance of winning their case and we will exhaust all avenues in your defence. One thing we can guarantee is that if you don’t challenge an infringement notice that carries a licence suspension or demerit points (this may be for a drink driving, drug driving or speeding offence), you are guaranteed to lose your licence for the specified period. If you have received a traffic infringement notice, contact Kurnai Legal Practiceoffice as soon as possible to discuss your options.




Weapons & Firearms Offences


Misuse Unlawfully obtain or possess a prohibited weapon or explosive Robbery whilst armed with an offensive weapon Robbery whilst armed with a dangerous weapon Robbery with wounding




Intervention Orders


Intervention orders go by many different names in many different States. In Victoria they fall under two categories personal safety intervention orders (PSIO) or family violence intervention orders (FVIO) but are often referred to as IVO’s. In NSW Other they are commonly called apprehended violence orders or AVO’s. This for example can include stalk or intimidate etc. An intervention order is an order imposed by the Court to protect one person from another persons aggressive or harassing behaviour.




Council & Government


Council Charges – Council prosecution involves the alleged breaching of local council laws. Court can be a daunting place and it will be important to retain a lawyer to appear on your behalf to protect your rights. For example, this may iinclude those where a family pet has escaped and attacked another animal or person, where the RSPCA is prosecuting a person in relation to animal cruelty, and where the council is proceeding against a business in relation to breaches of the Food Act. In any instance where you feel this may relate to your situation please contact us today,




Administrative Offences


Administrative offences are quasi-criminal, regulatory matters. They are prosecuted under state and federal legislations like the Traffic or Safety Acts, Gaming and Liquor Act, fauna and Fisheries Act, Aeronautics Act, Fair Trade Act, and numerous other acts and regulations.