Assault and Violence Offences
Been charged with assault?
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RHC Solicitors have extensive experience in court representation of clients who are charged with assault or violence-related offences. Our Queensland lawyers are strongly connected to prominent groups and barristers in the criminal sphere and have consistently been recognised by members of the fraternity.
Charges and questioning
If you’ve been arrested or called for questioning, it is important to remember your presumption of innocence. This is the essence of how the Australian criminal justice system works, and why it is vital that you never speak to a police officer without first talking to a lawyer.
Your obligation is always to first tell the officer of your legal name, your date of birth and your address. In some cases, you may also need to provide identification material such as your fingerprints if you have been served with a certain notice. However, you are not obligated to answer any other question and nor should you do so. That is, you should always exercise your right to silence.
Be cautious of any representation by a police officer of an ‘off the record’ conversation. These simply do not exist and anything you say or do will be used against you at some stage and event limit or prevent strong defences later on.
It is always crucial to immediately seek legal advice as anything you say will be held against you later and is likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of your matter.
Innocence and telling your version of the story
Police are not judges and do not decide your innocence or guilt. They have one job which is to investigate, obtain evidence, charge then prosecute. In this light, you should never feel so comfortable of talking to them without the presence of a lawyer.
Additionally, almost everything you say and do during an interview which you may feel beneficiary is generally not admissible evidence. Contrary to this, anything you say which the police feel they could use against you to support a charge will be admissible. Therefore, the risk of talking to police will give you no benefit and will only result in a more difficult situation later.
What will happen in court?
When you attend court for the first time, this is generally a mention. When we are engaged, we will appear in court on your behalf. We will tell you if you are required or not (which is usually dependent on what your charge is and whether you have a bail undertaking).
If you attend court without engaging a lawyer, the Magistrate or Judge will also ask you what you wish to do. At this stage, you should always seek an adjournment to obtain legal advice. Bail will then generally be enlarged (depending on the charge) if already granted or you will be required to enter bail upon your own undertaking to the court.
Where you have entered bail upon your own undertaking, you should never leave the court without first signing the bail undertaking or your could get yourself into serious trouble.
When arriving to the court, you will be required to wait until all the lawyers and clerks have made their appearances, and then wait for your name to be called. Engaging us before this appearance means that you will be heard quickly, time will be saved and you will protected and given the right guidance.
The complainant or victim
This is the person who the Queensland Police alleged is the victim of offence you have been charged with. They are not represented during the prosecution and are usually not required to attend court, unless there is a committal hearing where they are cross-examined or a trial where they are presented as witness to the alleged crime.
The QP9 and its purpose
The QP9 is a police document which must be provided to you. It details the facts they the police rely on and believe they can establish and prove. It also sets out the evidence they will rely on to provide these alleged facts.
Generally, the QP9 must be provided at the first appearance, and we will request it upon your engagement with our practice.
Which court applies?
Almost all criminal proceeding in Queensland (with some exceptions) commence in the Magistrates Court of Queensland.
Depending on the offence you are charged with (whether a simple or indibtable offence), in some cases the proceeding will end up in the District Court. Most cases in the District Court will take some time before being committed, and we advise you which court applies depending on your specific charges.
Self defence as an excuse
Self-defence is a lawful justification or excuse in Queensland to some offences, particularly assaults.
If your matter proceeds to trial, provided there is evidence to support the alleged self-defence, the prosecution is requirement to show that you were not acting in self-defence.
During the proceeding, we will talk with and otherwise negotiate with prosecution and prepared detailed submissions on the likelihood of them failing to disprove self-defence. If this is accepted, the charged are generally discontinued. Where it is rejected, however, the matter will proceed to a trial, where a judge and/or jury will hear and decide the outcome of your matter and alleged self-defence.
Provocation as an excuse
Much like self-defence, provocation may be available as a lawful justification or excuse to some violent offences.
Legal costs and charges
Under the Legal Profession Act 2007, we must give you formal disclosure of our charges (where they exceed a certain value) before engaging us.
Depending on your matter and the severity of the charges, we often give a fixed fee quote or an estimate of your likely bill.
In some cases, we will also undertake stages, and you may need to pay for those stages. This will often give you time to ensure you have enough funds to pay for the stages.
RHC Solicitors are experienced in Magistrate and District Courts and we often travel throughout Queensland on a regular basis to meet your needs.
Our lawyers have appeared in many different criminal cases across most courts throughout Queensland.
Because of the nature of the work we do, and our extensive experience in the criminal law sector, a lot of our clients request online or digital consultations.
Whilst meeting in person is beneficiary, it is not always the case. We offer telephone, Skype, Zoom, Facetime and many other ways to consult with us.
For us to assist, however, you will need to send a copy of your identification, and the police documents you have. You can email these to us at any time.
Some assault and violent offences
Assault occasioning bodily harm
Assault on a police officer
Grievous bodily harm
Kidnapping for ransom