In today’s digital age, it is normal to turn to the Internet to find answers for our everyday problems.
What is the weather forecast? Check Google.
How to make banana bread? Check Google.
Who won the last season of The Bachelor? Check Google.
There is no denying that the Internet is an incredible source of information with information on almost any topic imaginable. It is a valuable resource and we always recommend that people who face criminal charges do some basic research to better understand their situation.
It is however important to understand that there is a lot of false information on the Internet or information that might appear to be relevant to you but is not. This can have serious consequences if you make life-changing decisions based on this potentially incorrect information.
Below, we look at some of the main reasons why you shouldn’t get legal advice from Google.
Laws are constantly changing.
The Government may decide that a new criminal offence should be in place, so they create a new law. Or, it may increase the penalty for an existing criminal offence to reflect the seriousness of the offence.
These changes can literally happen overnight.
Therefore, unless a website is constantly being checked and updated, it is highly possible that the information on that site is outdated, especially when it comes to websites displaying legal information.
If you are researching your criminal charges online, make sure that you check the date when the article was published.
For the most current legislation, you can visit the Queensland Government Legislation site which will always be a reliable source.
Different Places = Different Laws
Each country has its own unique local laws which usually do not apply anywhere else in the world. If a country is made up of different States, they will usually have their own individual laws as well.
In Australia, each State and Territory has its own set of laws that, although similar, are often different to the others. This means that the laws in New South Wales are not the same as the laws in Queensland and vice-versa.
This can cause serious problems if you are doing legal research about your case without first checking which jurisdiction applies. If you read that you will receive a particular punishment in New South Wales for drink-driving, you may be shocked when you receive a completely different outcome because you’re actually appearing in court in Queensland.
Therefore, the best thing that you can do is contact a criminal lawyer from the State or Territory where you will be appearing in court.
Beware The “Hard Sell”
It is an unfortunate reality that some lawyers are more interested in getting your business than providing you with genuine advice.
You can tell who these lawyers are when you visit their website and it gives the impression that you face a jail sentence no matter what offence you have been charged with – and only they can keep you out of jail.
They use fear and intimidation to convince you to hire them and they do this by presenting biased information.
If you’re facing criminal charges, you need to hear the truth about your case. Therefore, you should always look at a website and ask yourself whether it appears to present the information in a clear, unbiased way.
If you are in doubt, you should contact a lawyer directly so that you can explain your case in detail and then receive personalised advice.
The Internet is a goldmine of information, but it can also be a minefield if you don’t tread carefully. We certainly recommend that you spend some time researching your case online, but you should not just rely on Google for legal advice.
The best thing you can do is to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer. This will ensure that you receive legal advice that is current and that applies to your personal situation.