Being charged with a criminal offence is often a very serious matter. For some minor offences, a fine might be the only punishment. However for serious criminal offences, the punishment can, and often does, involve lengthy periods of imprisonment. If you are charged with a criminal offence, either minor or serious, you need a first-rate and highly experienced criminal lawyer in Brisbane on your side, fighting for your best interests.
At Harper Finch Lawyers, we know the law and we know how it is relevant to your specific case. Whether you choose to plead guilty or not guilty, we will have a wide range of options and resources available to you as we prepare your defence, to get the best possible outcome for you.
Given the potential penalties that may be imposed for a criminal offence conviction, you should call Harper Finch, esteemed Criminal Lawyers Brisbane wide, immediately to ensure that you are best represented when you go to court.
Types of Criminal Offences
We are proud to offer a full range of affordable legal services to anyone who needs it. So when you find yourself at a difficult time in your life, we can guide you through it and help alleviate the stress. From your initial representation at a police station right through to bail applications, committal hearings, trials and appeals, you’ll have a dedicated criminal defence lawyer working tirelessly on your side.
We service all areas of criminal law, including:
The general offence of ‘assault’ is a broad one that can include relatively minor offences such as common assault, to the very serious offence of assault causing death. The common element to this wide range of offences is that there must be an actual or threatened unlawful application of force by one person against another. This application of force can be direct or indirect, and can also include the application of heat, light, electrical force, gases and other substances or things.
A charge of common assault brings with it a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment, while more serious assault charges can see you imposed with a maximum penalty of 7 to 10 years imprisonment depending on the circumstances of the case.
Assault also encompasses the charge of assaulting or obstructing a police officer when they are performing their official duties, which can vary from minor scuffles while intoxicated or resisting arrest, to serious assaults which result in injuries. In most minor cases the maximum penalty for this type of offence is a $6000 fine or 12 months imprisonment.
While an application for a domestic violence order (‘DVO’) is a civil matter, the breach of a DVO is a criminal matter and can result in a criminal conviction being recorded. A breach of a DVO can result in a penalty ranging from a fine to, in more serious cases, imprisonment. This is when you’ll need the finest Criminal Lawyers Brisbane wide from Harper Finch working on your defence, to reduce your penalty as much as possible.
A DVO can be breached in a number of ways, but the primary basis of the breach will be that the respondent has breached a condition of the DVO. Common examples include making contact with the applicant by phone calls or text messages, or approaching the applicant in person when not permitted to do so.
If you’ve been charged with breaching a DVO, it doesn’t necessary mean you are actually guilty of the alleged offence under the domestic violence laws as there are a number of specific conditions that will apply. There are defences available to you, so contact us and a specialised criminal defence lawyer can review your case and let you know what your options are.
A person can be charged with a drug offence on a number of grounds. This can range from possessing a small quantity of drugs for recreational use to more serious offences such as importing drugs and producing drugs for commercial purposes.
The penalty imposed by the court will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. If a person is in possession of a small quantity of drugs for their own personal use, they may receive only a small fine. However if a person is convicted of importing large quantities of drugs, then a lengthy prison sentence is almost certain.
Our professional criminal lawyers in Brisbane can give you expert legal advice and support through the legal proceedings and understanding the drug laws if you have been charged with any drug offences or drug driving offences.
A public nuisance offence can cover a wide range of behaviour that is considered offensive, disorderly, violent, threatening or obscene while in public. These offences are quite minor when compared to other types of criminal offences, but can also be charged extremely easily and in a lot of cases people choose to simply plead guilty rather than defend their case.
While the maximum penalty for a serious public nuisance offence can be up to 6 months imprisonment, there are many conditions and circumstances that need to apply for the charge to hold up in court, so it is advisable to seek legal advice before immediately pleading guilty.
Our specialised public nuisance lawyers are highly experienced in exploring your available options and deciding whether you are in fact guilty of the offence.
Criminal offences of a financial nature can range from stealing, to Centrelink fraud, to serious robbery offences. When determining the appropriate penalty for an offence of this type, the courts will look into a number of relevant factors such as the amount of money, goods or services that was unlawfully obtained and the reason for the offence being committed.
These sorts of cases are highly complex and the penalty will depend on a number of different circumstances. While a simple stealing offence carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, aggravating factors or special cases can increase the penalty to up to 14 years imprisonment.
If you are charged with fraud or another criminal offence relating to finances, it’s vital that you choose an expert criminal lawyer Brisbane wide that you can trust to guide you through your options. At Harper Finch we are dedicated to always fighting for the best outcome possible.
Murder or Manslaughter
A murder charge arises where one person unlawfully kills another and the killing was done with intent to kill, or to do grievous bodily harm. In Queensland, a manslaughter charge arises where a person unlawfully kills another under circumstances which do not constitute murder. Depending on the circumstances of each case, manslaughter can be an alternative charge to murder.
Both of these offences carry lengthy maximum penalties including up to mandatory life imprisonment. It is highly advised that you don’t attempt to defend yourself if you are charged with either murder or manslaughter, as the seriousness of these offences requires a very high understanding of the law, expert skill at navigating the official legal proceedings and anything that may come up unexpectedly in court, and properly preparing your defence to align with the specifics of the case.
Sexual offences include rape, incest, sexual assault and indecent dealing. Offences of this nature are generally considered by the courts to be extremely serious and the penalties that the courts impose reflect this view. In addition to penalties extending to lengthy prison sentences, offenders can also be registered as sex offenders which can bring with it permanent and lasting consequences.
However sexual offences are also highly complex, and there are many relevant factors that will be examined at the trial before a penalty is imposed. Our experienced and fair-minded criminal lawyers will always carefully examine your specific case and provide quality advice and guidance to ensure your rights are protected the whole way through.
What to Do if You are Charged With a Criminal Offence
No matter what you are charged with, it is vital that you always seek legal advice from a team that you can trust. At Harper Finch Lawyers, our esteemed Criminal Lawyers Brisbane wide are dedicated to helping and guiding you throughout the whole process to the best outcome possible for your circumstances.
If you are charged with a criminal offence, it is also important that you know your rights and keep the following points in mind.
- If you are questioned by a police officer about an alleged criminal offence, you are only obliged to tell them your name and address. They can ask you for proof of identity, but you do not have to answer any other questions put to you until you contact your lawyer.
- Police will often record any conversations with you from the first point of contact. You should not answer anything they ask you until you are able to speak with your criminal defence lawyer, no matter how harmless the question may seem.
- If you are requested to give a record of interview, you are under no legal obligation to do so. It is strongly advised that you contact your lawyer first.
- You can be legally detained by police for questioning and investigation for up to 8 hours. In that time, you have the right to contact a friend, family or legal representation. Harper Finch Lawyers are available for emergency legal advice 24 hours a day on 0428 001 701.