Melbourne’s Leading
Criminal Defence Lawyers
Proven Results for all criminal charges and offences.
All jurisdictions throughout Australia.

Are you a first time offender?

Ask us how we can keep your record clean.

Need to contact a loved one in custody?

Meet our team

Zarah Garde-Wilson
Zarah Garde-Wilson Barrister & solicitor
Mitch Fraser
Mitch Fraser Client Manager- Senior Clerk
Amanda O'Barien
Amanda O'Barien Senior Paralegal

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.

Garde Wilson Lawyers are experts in criminal defence. It's the only law we practice.

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..

It’s FREE to find out where you stand

Call us on 0455 810 444

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.

Focus on You

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.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Andre Spiteri
Andre Spiteri
18 November 2023
Thank you to Mitch and team. You achieved the impossible, great outcome. Highly recommend if anyone requires representation.
Rel KC
Rel KC
17 November 2023
Wow! This team are incredible! With 48hrs notice Mitch had my partner sorted and had barrister Hazel appear on his behalf today to finally put an end to completely unjust continuation of AVOs for 12yrs. Not only were they completely dedicated and across all details, Hazel had the ability to get the applicant to finally withdraw their frivolous continued applications. Money well spent. If you want the best, We can not recommend this firm and it’s incredible team high enough. Thankyou to all involved in getting the very best of results for my partner today.
sachin sachdeva
sachin sachdeva
6 October 2023
I had the privilege of being represented by MITCH AND ZARAH AT GARDE WILSON LAWYERS as my defense lawyer, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the exceptional legal expertise and dedication they provided. From the moment I hired Garde Wilson lawyers, I knew I was in capable hands. Throughout the entire legal process, Garde Wilson lawyers demonstrated a profound understanding of the law, a keen attention to detail, and a remarkable ability to strategize and navigate the complexities of my case. Their unwavering commitment to securing the best possible outcome was evident at every turn. Their confidence, poise, and persuasive advocacy skills were remarkable to witness. It was clear that Garde Wilson lawyers had a comprehensive grasp of the case and was always prepared to counter any challenge presented by the opposing side. Communication with Garde Wilson lawyers was seamless and reassuring. They kept me informed every step of the way, explaining legal jargon in a way that was easy to understand. This level of transparency and accessibility made an otherwise stressful situation much more manageable. Ultimately, Garde Wilson lawyers secured a victory in my case that exceeded my expectations. Their dedication and tenacity in defending my rights were truly remarkable, and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. I wholeheartedly recommend GARDE WILSON LAWYERS to anyone in need of legal representation. Their professionalism, expertise, and unwavering commitment to their clients make them a top-tier defense lawyer in Melbourne. I am profoundly grateful for their services and the positive resolution they achieved in my case. Thank you, Mitch and Zarah for your outstanding work!
Baljinder singh
Baljinder singh
11 August 2023
I am very pleased with my experience, they are very professional and they did a very well job to support me all through my case. Mitch and Emma are really reliable and have great personalities .
Harman SIngh
Harman SIngh
9 August 2023
I will highly recommend them to my friends or family if in need. Mitch was there at every step with the barristers and not only they get the best outcome possible for you but they also keep you updated. They deliver it every time. The whole team is very helpful and caring towards you. Can’t thank them enough!
Tyson Fowkes
Tyson Fowkes
18 July 2023
Zarah was extremely honest and professional through out my whole court process. She had got me Bail at the supreme court with confidence through out the bail application reassuring my partner and family that everything was going to be okay. I was facing 4-6 years jail time which I ended up spending 3 years on bail waiting for trail during Covid pandemic. In the end we had all charges dropped, some money refunded by the courts for barrister fees. I honestly can say zarah and her team work really hard with a positive outcome. I wouldn’t not look at any other firm with out speaking to Zarah. I can’t thank her enough what she has done for myself and my family.
Micky boy kneel
Micky boy kneel
13 July 2023
I had a close friend of mine use this firm to represent him in a criminal matter they, supported him all the way through and actually cared about the outcome which was better than he actually expected. Thanks to the team at garde-wilson you gave my friends life back to how it was before the ordeal
Libby Hearn
Libby Hearn
7 July 2023
Highly recommend. Thanks to Mitch and the team for their professionalism, approachability, confidence, patience, zeal and strength. A successful outcome, much appreciated.
William Ho
William Ho
27 June 2023
Great work! The team wrote a letter to the police and got my charges withdrawn. Spent only less than an hour of my time throughout the entire process. Everything was handled from their end. Invoice was clear and precise; absolutely no hidden charges. Will work with them again if ever the need arise.
Sushi Paranjape
Sushi Paranjape
9 May 2023
great law firm, Mitch was really easy to speak to and they took care of the whole process for me. Definitely recommend Garde & Wilson lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you have been charged you will receive a charge sheet and summary outlining the allegation being made against you. This will usually contain a court date in which you have been summoned or bailed to appear at court on to become answerable to the allegations made against you. It is crucial you get the best legal advice at this stage to ensure you protect not only your freedom, but your future.

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.


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Avoid Jail. Avoid Serious Fines. Get the Best Defence.

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