Stalking

Stalking and Intimidation

Other Offences

The Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is always changing and there are new offences that are being created to reflect a modern society. If you have been charged with any offence and would like more information then CALL 1800 438 688 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers. This is a Free Call and we offer an obligation free assessment of your matter.

When you contact us we will be able to advise you of the best legal strategy to get the best possible outcome.

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Appeals

When you are found guilty and sentenced for a crime in any court, you have the option of appealing to a higher court to have the judgment reviewed. If you are sentenced in a Local Court you can appeal to the District Court and then to the Supreme Court and finally to the High Court. However, appeals cannot be made simply because you are unhappy with the court’s decision. There must be strong reasons for an appeal and an experienced lawyer can provide advice on the strength of the appeal and if need be, prepare your case for appeal.

 

Annulment

If you were convicted without being in court where the proceedings were held or when the court imposed a sentence upon you, then it may be possible to seek an annulment. An application in writing must be lodged within two years of the conviction or sentence being made in your absence. If you fulfil the following requirements then you might be able to seek an annulment of your conviction;

Grounds for an annulment:

  • The defendant did not find out about the Local Court until after sentence; or
  • The defendant could not be present at the court due to some other significant cause such as an accident or illness or other misadventure;

If your sentence of conviction is annulled then it is essentially reversed.

To find out if your sentence or conviction can be annulled CALL 1800 GET OUT for a free case assessment.

Severity Appeal

If you believe your sentence to be too severe then it is possible to lodge a severity appeal. You must do this within 28 days after the court hands down your sentence. An application must be made to the District Court for leave to appeal within 3 months otherwise the District Court is unable to hear your appeal.

If an appeal is lodged then the penalty and sentence (including for example loss of license) will be put on hold until the appeal is determined.

As a general rule, if a police suspension is issued prior to court (for a driving offence) then you will still be unable to drive until your appeal is determined unless the District Court determines that giving you the right to drive is appropriate.

If you are imprisoned and the appeal for bail is refused, your incarceration will stand.

Sentencing

In deciding the appropriate penalty for your offence the court will consider the submissions made by your lawyer alongside the facts alleged by police. Depending on the seriousness of the charges, the court has a range of penalties to choose from including but not limited to:

  • Suspended sentence
  • Community Service Order
  • Intensive Correction Order
  • Home Detention
  • Issuing a Good Behaviour Bond
  • Imposing a fine
  • Imprisonment

Will a conviction be recorded against my name?

Normally, when you are found guilty of an offence, the Court will record a conviction against your name and impose a penalty. This means you will have a criminal record, which can affect your current and future employment and travel opportunities. However, if your legal adviser can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all NSW criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict, but to issue a Section 10 dismissal instead.

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Fines

The court will consider your specific financial circumstances including your ability to pay the fine when deciding the penalty to impose.

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Good Behaviour

The court can impose a period of good behaviour which requires you not to committee another offence for a specified period. When the magistrate sentences you to a period of good behaviour they usually impose certain conditions which are required to obey; this is called a bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years but more often it is for a period of between 6 months and 2 years.

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Community Service Order or (CSO)

When the court imposes a Community Service Order they are sentencing you to a period of unpaid work to give something back to the community. Where you undertake this work will be set by probation and parole or it may involve your attendance at a community centre where you will have to undertake a course which relates to your particular offence. Not everyone is suitable for a community service order and your will need to be to be assessed by an officer of the probation before the court will consider this. Your lawyer can make submissions that a community service order is a more appropriate penalty than a custodial sentence.

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Suspended Sentence

A suspended sentence is actually a custodial (Jail) sentence which is suspended upon the defendant entering into a Good Behaviour Bond. Provided you do not commit another crime and also comply with the terms of the bond, then it is possible to avoid going to jail.

This penalty is only available where the period of imprisonment is 2 years or less.

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Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)

When the court imposes an Intensive Corrections Order they consider the benefit of keeping you in the community. Generally the court will require you to comply with a number of specific conditions, which may include;

  • Attending counselling or treatment;
  • Not consuming alcohol;
  • Complying with a curfew;
  • Not associating with certain people; and,
  • Performing community service.

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Jail (imprisonment)

This is a sentence of last resort and is the most serious penalty the court can impose since the abolition of the death penalty in New South Wales in 1984. Depending on the seriousness of your offence the court can impose a penalty of imprisonment for a period ranging from 1 day to the rest of your life.

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Mandatory life sentences are imposed for the most serious of offences.

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DEFENCES

There are many defences to criminal charges and while the best defence is that you did not commit any offence, it is often the case that whilst you were there at the time of the incident you acted the way you did because of certain reasons. Some of these reasons may include;

  • Duress
  • Self defence
  • Defence of another

The court may make a not guilty determination because:

  • There is insufficient evidence
  • A witness is unable to attend court
  • You have been incorrectly charged
  • Police have acted improperly or illegally.

For more advice about possible defences CALL 1800 438 688 to speak with one of our experienced lawyers. It’s a Free Call and we offer an obligation free assessment of your matter.

 

The content and any linked publications on this website are intended to only provide a general summary and overview on the subject of interest. It is not intended to be or constitute legal advice. Whilst we attempt to update the content the law is constantly changing on this basis we do not guarantee its currency. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the Content within this site or any other legal issue.