Criminal Law

Joliman lawyers have had many years experience in representing clients in criminal law matters. Over the years clients have come to us with a wide range of criminal law issues. These issues can range from minor infringements, such as traffic offences, through to serious criminal charges. We assist our clients throughout all stages of the legal process, from your first contact with the police through to the final hearing of your case. Having an experienced defence lawyer is essential to attaining the best possible result. Joliman Lawyers have an intimate knowledge of the court system and experience across a wide range of matters relating to criminal defence. If you have been arrested or charged we are well equipped to assist you to achieve the best result.

We understand that criminal charges can be intimidating and cause you and your family an enormous amount of stress. Therefore, we believe it is of the upmost importance to answer any questions you have, to ensure you have a complete understanding about what is happening with your case. All clients wish to be informed and consulted on a steady and timely basis. They wish to understand what to expect in order to prepare themselves for the case and the probable outcomes. Our primary desire is to prepare and advance our clients’ interests. To do so we arrange retainer for representation, establish the facts and identify the issues in the case, obtain any necessary evidence, and communicate to our clients what is needed to mount a strong defence, or achieve the best possible outcome. We are dedicated to promoting communication and encourage our client’s to contact us whenever they require. We use all methods and forms of technology to converse with our clients providing advice were relevant or required. These methods of contact include by telephone and sms, in person, through electronic mail, or in letter form.

We also provide our clients with specialist barristers to guarantee they receive the best representation possible. Further resources such as private investigators, and experts renowned in their field, including psychologists, psychiatrists, drug experts and accident reconstruction experts are engaged where needed. Everything we do is aimed at either getting your charges dismissed or achieving you the best possible outcome having regard to the charges.

If you have an impending criminal case contact Joliman Lawyers today in order to start preparing.

How long can the Police hold you?

If you are arrested and taken into custody, the police can only hold you for a “reasonable time”. “Reasonable time” depends on many things – this can be for a few hours or more depending on the seriousness of the offence and also on the length of time it takes to question you. If you think that you have been held in custody for an unreasonable amount of time you can:

  • Ask to phone a lawyer; or
  • Ask when will you be released and/or charged
  • If you are unsatisfied with the way you have been treated you can make a formal complaint.

After the police have spoken to you a number of things can happen:

  • You may be released without being charged;
  • You may be released and charged at a later date. In this case, police will serve you with a charge at a later date; or
  • You may be charged on the spot and released with or without bail.

Can you contact a Lawyer?

If you have been arrested by the police and taken into custody, before any formal questioning begins you have the right to telephone a lawyer from a private space to obtain legal advice. The police must advise you of your rights in regards to this, and give you the opportunity to exercise them.

Can you contact family or a friend?

You must be allowed to telephone a friend or family member from a private space. The only time that police do not have to allow this is when:

  • Someone else involved in the crime might get away;
  • Some evidence may be lost or tampered with;
  • Other people may be endangered;
  • If it is a driving matter involving drugs and alcohol.

What to expect when being questioned!

At the beginning of the interview the police must caution you. The police caution is:

“I must inform you that you are not obliged to say or do anything but anything you say or do may be given in evidence. Do you understand that? I must also inform you of the following rights: you may communicate or attempt to communicate with a friend or relative to inform that person of your whereabouts. Do you wish to exercise this right? You may communicate or attempt to communicate with a legal practitioner. Do you wish to exercise this right?”

It is in your best interest to exercise the above rights. The police must let you communicate with a friend or relative. You do not have to answer questions, but you must provide your name and address.

Can you refuse being fingerprinted?

The simple answer is no. However the following does apply:

Under 10 years old
The Police are not allowed to fingerprint children under the age of 10.

10 to 14 years old
If you are between the ages of 10 and 14 the police must obtain consent from your parents or guardian before any fingerprints can be taken.

After your fingerprints are taken, if you are not charged within 6 months or the court finds you not guilty, the police must destroy your prints. In extreme circumstances the police can use reasonable force to obtain fingerprints.

Speaking to the Police

Anything you say to the police no matter when or where you say it may be used as evidence against you. There is no such thing as ‘off the record’.

Do you have to go with the Police?

You only have to go with the police if you are under arrest. As the police am I under arrest. If they say no you may refuse to go with them.

What happens if you are arrested?

If you are arrested, some or all of the following things may happen. You may be:

  • Taken to the police station
  • Questioned by police
  • Required to give your personal details for police records
  • Held at the police station while they make further investigation
  • Formally interviewed
  • Fingerprinted
  • Charged
  • Taken to the bail justice or to the court to make a bail application
  • If you cannot speak English the police cannot interview you until there is an interpreter present.