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Go to Court with the Leading Melbourne Criminal Lawyers by Your Side.
If you are facing criminal charges ranging from simple traffic matters through to the most serious offences, we provide the services you need to secure the best outcome.
Our 24 hour emergency helpline will provide you with the immediate advice you need, ensuring you avoid making any mistakes, in the critical first few hours of arrest, that will damage your case.
What happens when I’m charged?
This takes place either on the side of the road or at the police station when the police first contact you about an alleged offence and your involvement in it. You should always seek legal advice before speaking to any member of the Victorian police when concerned with an allegation.
Once police have completed their interview with you, if they feel they have sufficient evidence to have the allegations found proven, they will charge you. They will issue you with paperwork outlining the offences you are charged with. This paperwork is vital to our defence.
Whether you are summoned to court or bailed to appear at court depends on the charges. Bail is when the police have released you into the custody of a person who gives an undertaking that you will appear at a specified time and place to answer the charge against you. Have you been bailed to appear at court?
The final step is attending court for your case to be heard by a magistrate or judge. Any case that goes before a court is serious. Court opens at 9am each day and we will be there to ensure you do not face this stressful task alone. We speak to the prosecutors, court staff and manage the whole process by standing by you and speaking on your behalf for your best interests.
Firm founder, Zarah Garde-Wilson is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and is a registered practitioner with the High Court of Australia.
With over 20 years experience as a Melbourne criminal lawyer, Zarah has a track record of fighting and winning complex criminal law cases and has established a reputation as one of Australia’s most sought-after and trusted criminal defence lawyers..
Why Choose Garde Wilson Lawyers?
Melbourne criminal defence specialist with more than 20 years of successful practice in defending charges ranging from minor driving offences to murder – Garde Wilson Lawyers carry an unrivalled tenure in defence against all criminal offences. Never leave your future or freedom in the hands of anyone but the best. Avoid jail, minimise or avoid licence loss and call our legal team today.
Garde-Wilson Lawyers reputation in matters of criminal defence is unmatched. Led by founding partner, Zarah Garde-Wilson, our team has provided advocacy and representation in some of Australia’s toughest cases, utilising unparalleled knowledge of the criminal justice system, courtroom prowess, and depth of expertise.
When you have Garde Wilson Lawyers behind you in court, you have a team of professional legal and administrative personnel at your disposal to best help you achieve an outstanding result for your case. Whether it be avoiding a jail term or keeping your licence, we specialise in achieving remarkable outcomes for clients in all criminal jurisdictions.
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Frequently Asked Questions
There are two primary types of offences that police can charge you with. That being Summary Offences (less serious penalties) and Serious Indictable Offences (severe penalties applicable).
It is of the utmost important that your lawyer explain the difference between the two types of charges to you and why your charges are contained within the applied section of legislation. Talk to Garde Wilson Lawyers today for FREE and find out where you stand.
The answer to this question is usually NO. It is YOUR right to participate in a record of interview, not the police’s right. In most cases, the less you say the better given that anything you say or do can and will be used against you by the police when your case gets to court. However, some cases reflect a better result when police cooperation is provided on your part. Always seek legal advice from a criminal defence specialist such as Garde Wilson Lawyers before talking to police.
In all cases, your best defence is a lawyer who specialises in criminal defence and has expertise in the area you are alleged to have committed an offence. A criminal defence lawyer can help you to avoid charges before they are laid, avoid convictions, lessen penalties such as monetary fines, avoid and shorten terms of imprisonment, assist you in receiving a Community Corrections Order before receiving a sentence of imprisonment. ALWAYS seek advice from your lawyer before attempting to navigate the criminal justice system. Your future is worth it.
At times yes, when a criminal defence specialist assesses your case and represents you in court, they should ALWAYS make you aware of the likelihood of avoiding a conviction. Unfortunately, it does not matter how minor or seemingly insignificant an offence is. If you have been charged and a court is to hear your matter then a record will be noted of this offence. Unless the charges are withdrawn through the assistance of a criminal defence specialist. The ability or likeliness to avoid a conviction regarding your charges is on a strict case by case basis. Get FREE advice on your charges before you leave it too late.
Whether you have been to court previously or this is your first time, an array of outcomes can eventuate from a criminal offence.
Dismissal – This is when a magistrate finds you guilty but decides to not record a conviction against your record and dismisses your charges.
Discharge – A discharge is when you attend court, the magistrate finds you guilty but regardless does not impose a penalty against you for the said offence.
Adjourned Undertaking – This is at times called a good behaviour bond. An adjourned undertaking is when a magistrate or judge has you make a promise to the court of various conditions whereas you are released pending you agree to the conditions set by the court. Conditions such as good behaviour, donation to the court fund or a charity or the completion of a course are just some of the likely conditions attached to an adjourned undertaking. Ask us today if an outcome such as this is likely in your case.
Fines – Some criminal offences can carry a financial penalty where the magistrate or judge imposes or orders you to pay an amount appropriate to the offence you have committed. Although inconvenient and at times not feasible, a punitive outcome such as a fine is at more times than not a favourable outcome by a court. The amount of the fine is applicable on a case by case basis and takes the offence, severity of offence, prior conviction and circumstances into account to match the offence committed.
Diversion Program – The diversion program is an outcome for first time offenders and allows the individual to completely avoid the criminal conviction and justice stream. Ask one of our specialists if your case is likely to be considered for diversion. There are many conditions that are appropriate for consideration when applying for a diversion and you should be sure to get sound advice from an experienced legal defence lawyer before applying for a diversion.
In Victoria’s legal system, it is good manners and consistent with sound court etiquette to arrive at court on time. The regular starting time for a Magistrates Court in Victoria is 9:30 AM.
The time and date of your case is important as this will allow you prepare appropriately for your appearance regardless of whether it is a contest, filing hearing, plea in mitigation or just a mention. The Magistrates Court provides the community with a search tool for listed hearings which can be accessed by clicking HERE. The majority hearings at the Magistrates Court are open to the public to sit in on, this can mean at certain times students can be there attending as part of their curriculum, family members of accused individuals, members of the Victorian police along with lawyers and their clients appearing on the same date for their respective case.
It is good practice to know when, how and why when dealing with a Magistrate or member of the judiciary. Appropriate clothing is to be worn as a guideline only given the Courts are a place of respect and law. You should always dress semi-formally and in respectable manner. When you enter a courtroom it is good manners to take a slight bow when opening the door before you enter or proceed to sit in the Court. Whenever a Magistrate or Judge speaks directly at you, you are to stand at all times unless directed by the Magistrate or Judge to remain seated. When your name is called, you proceed to the front of the room and take a seat in the middle of the front row between the prosecution with your lawyer sitting at the bar table. Garde WIlson Lawyers will provide you with guidance on all procedures regarding the process and application of Court etiquette. Contact us today for a FREE case assessment and get yourself prepared to receive the best possible outcome for your case.
Why Choose Garde Wilson Lawyers?
We understand better than most the stress and angst that a criminal charge or circumstance can cause. From the moment you are charged, it is crucial to be informed of your legal rights and have a lawyer made available to you as per the criminal procedure enacted in the Criminal Procedure Act 2009. We know the law, the procedure that must be followed and will ensure your liberties, well being and future are taken care of with the utmost professionalism and expertise.