Criminal Law

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Maatouks Law Group is home to leading criminal defense lawyers with expertise in all aspects of Criminal Law. Depending on your instructions and the case against you, we may seek to have the charges against you withdrawn or downgraded, defend the charges at hearing or trial, or obtain the most lenient penalty available if you instruct us to plead guilty.

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Maatouks Law Group is home to leading criminal defense lawyers with expertise in all aspects of Criminal Law. Depending on your instructions and the case against you we may seek to have the charges against you withdrawn or downgraded defend the charges at hearing or trial or obtain the most lenient penalty available if you instruct us to plead guilty. Criminal Law

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Be assured that the criminal defense solicitor assigned to your matter has the expertise experience and familiarity with the intricacies of the criminal justice system necessary to provide the best criminal defense possible. If you have been charged with any criminal offence contact us now to speak to Peter Maatouk our principal solicitor directly on 0414 300 303.  Bail Applications  Guilty Pleas/Sentencing Options  Affray  Assault Offences  AVO  Drug Offences  Fraud  Stolen Goods  Intimidation  Robbery Offences  Sexual Assault Offences  Stalking Our criminal defense lawyers covers most regions of Sydney but our core areas include criminal defense lawyer Liverpool Bankstown Campbelltown Penrith Parramatta and Blacktown. Bail Applications When a person is charged with an offence that attracts a jail term as a penalty he or she needs a grant of bail to maintain his or her freedom from the time they are charged by police to the time the matter is finalized by a court.

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Bail may be unconditional or conditional for instance subject to reporting to police surrendering a passport maintaining a curfew or paying a surety a sum of money or title to property. In the vast majority of matters police exercise their discretion to grant bail. If the police refuse to grant bail the person must be brought before a court as soon as reasonably practicable to determine the issue of whether bail should be granted. The following factors must be taken into consideration when police or a court considers whether or not to grant bail:  The Probability The Person Will Appear In Court When Required.  The Interests Of The Person Charged.  The Protection Of A Particular Person Or Persons For Instance The Alleged Victim Or A Potential Witness.  The Protection And Welfare Of The Community. The Bail Act stipulates that the following issues are relevant to the courts deliberation: the seriousness of the offence the accused s criminal history particularly similar offences and previous breaches of bail the accused personal community ties relatives employment and people in the community dependent on the accused. The law relating to bail applications was tightened significantly in 2009 when Section 22A of the Act was introduced. This amendment to the Act effectively prohibits an accused from making more than one application for bail in the Local Court unless fresh circumstances arise or an application is made to the

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Supreme Court. An accused person whose application for bail is refused remains in custody until their charges are finalized by a court. Guily Pleas/Sentencing Options We are expert solicitors in sentencing hearings with a reputation for obtaining the most lenient penalties available for our clients. If a court finds an offence proved it may impose any of the following penalties ranging from least serious to most serious:  Dismissal under section 10 Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 The court has the discretion to either dismiss a charge or infringement unconditionally under section 101a of the act or on condition that the person charged enters a good behavior bond under section 101b of the act. Having a matter dismissed under section10 and avoiding a conviction can be critical for people working in certain professions and industries including the security industry and for people intending to travel to some countries. Having a major traffic offence such as drink driving/PCA drive while suspended and drive while disqualified dismissed under section 10 means that the person charged is not disqualified from holding a license. If a section 10 dismissal is obtained in relation to a traffic infringement the RMS cannot impose demerit points for the infringement.

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 Conviction without other penalty The court may record a conviction for an offence but impose no other penalty under section 10A Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999.  Fine A conviction is recorded when a court imposes a fine. A fine may be imposed in addition to a good behavior bond or term of imprisonment. The court may take into account a defendant s financial circumstances when considering the size of a fine. A court cannot impose a fine above the maximum stipulated for an offence in the relevant legislation.  Good behavior bond under section 9 of the Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 A court may impose a good behavior bond under section 9 instead of imprisonment. The bond may be unconditional or subject to a wide variety of conditions such as the person being supervised by the Probation Parole Service having to attend counseling or rehabilitation or refraining from consuming alcohol or prohibited drugs. A court may impose a section 9 bond without obtaining a pre-sentence report from the Probation and Parole Service. A court cannot impose a good behavior bond as well as a community service order for the same offence.

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 Good behavior bond under section 11 Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 A good behavior bond under section 11 is usually imposed where the person convicted has a drug or alcohol dependency to allow time usually a number of months to prove themselves before a final sentence is imposed by the court.  Community Service Order Where a court imposes a custodial sentence it may order that the sentence be served by way of a community service order where the defendant is ordered to complete a number of hours community work. The work often involves maintenance of playing fields parks and gardens. A court may not impose a community service order in addition to a good behavior bond for the same offence. Before imposing a Community Service Order the court must first obtain a Pre- Sentence report from the Probation and Parole Service to assess the person s suitability to do the work.  Suspended Sentence When a court imposes a custodial sentence it may suspend the serving of the sentence on condition the person enters a good behavior bond under section 12 Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999. The bond may contain a variety of conditions often including accepting the supervision of the Probation and

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Parole Service. The effect of such an order is that the person does not have to go to jail unless they breach the good behavior bond. A court cannot suspend a sentence longer than 2 years. A court may not impose a section 12 bond and a Community Service Order for the same offence. A court will usually obtain a Pre-Sentence report from the Probation and Parole Service before imposing a suspended sentence.  Intensive Correctional Order A court may impose a custodial sentence but order that it be served by way of an Intensive Correctional Order under section 7 Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999. A report from the Probation and Parole Service assessing the person s suitability for an Intensive Correctional Order must be obtained before a court can impose such an order. An Intensive Correctional Order will typically involve a community service component as well as involvement in programs organized by the Probation and Parole Service that address the person s offending behavior.  Full time custodial sentence Even if the maximum penalty for an offence includes a term of imprisonment a court cannot impose a full time sentence unless satisfied that no other alternative sentence is appropriate.

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A court cannot impose a sentence of imprisonment longer than the maximum stipulated in the legislation relevant to the offence. If a sentence is over 6 months the court must set a non-parole period the part of the sentence that must be actually served in prison as well as a parole period during which the person can be granted conditional liberty in the community. The court cannot set a parole period longer than 1/3 the length of the non-parole period unless the court can be convinced that special circumstances exist. A Local Court cannot impose a custodial sentence longer than 2 years. However where a person is facing sentencing for more than one offence a Local Court may accumulate sentences up to 5 years. Definitions And Penalties For Some Common Offences The successful defense of the charges listed below involves introducing evidence that creates a reasonable doubt in the court s mind that the accused person either did not do the act described or did the act without the necessary state of mind:  Affray Affray is committed when a person uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and the conduct would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety.

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Where two or more persons use or threaten unlawful violence it is their conduct together that is considered. A threat for the purposes of affray cannot be made by the use of words alone. No person of reasonable firmness need be or be likely to be present at the scene. The maximum penalty for affray is 10 years imprisonment. However if dealt with in the Local Court affray attracts a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment.  Assault An assault is any act which intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence. Assault can be committed recklessly where the person foresees the likelihood of inflicting injury or fear but ignores the risk. It is not an assault where a threat causes apprehension that violence may be inflicted at some future time. Maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment. However when dealt with in the local court assault attracts a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 2200. In the vast majority of cases of assault are dealt with in the Local Court.

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 Assault occasioning actual bodily harm For the prosecution to prove assault occasioning actual bodily harm the court must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that there was an assault see definition that caused injury or harm that need not be permanent but must be more than merely transient or trifling . Maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment but when the charge is dealt with in the Local Court it attracts a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 5500. As with assault assault occasioning actual bodily harm is dealt with in the local court unless the DPP or the person charged elects to have the matter dealt with in the District Court before a judge and jury.  Reckless wounding Reckless wounding attracts a maximum penalty of 7 years. Reckless wounding committed in the company of others has a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment section 35 Crimes Act 1900.  Recklessly cause grievous bodily harm Recklessly causing gbh has a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Recklessly causing gbh in the company of others has a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment section 35 Crimes Act 1900

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 Cause grievous bodily harm gbh with intent This offence involves a person wounding or causing grievous bodily harm to another person with the intent of causing grievous bodily harm to the other person. Maximum penalty is 25 years imprisonment section 33 Crimes Act 1900.  Self Defense A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if the person carries out the conduct constituting the offence in self-defense. Self defense is a complete defense to charges of affray assault assault occasioning actual bodily harm reckless wounding cause grievous bodily harm gbh manslaughter and murder. A person carries out conduct in self-defense if the person believes the conduct is necessary:  To Defend Himself Or Herself Or Another Person Or  To Prevent Or Terminate The Unlawful Deprivation Of His Or Her Liberty Or The Liberty Of Another Person Or  To Prevent Property From Unlawful Taking Destruction Damage Or Interference Or  To Prevent Criminal Trespass To Any Land Or Premises Or To Remove A Person committing any such criminal trespass and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them.

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AVOs If you are nominated as the defendant in a provisional or interim Apprehended Domestic or Personal Violence Order your choices are basically threefold: – contest the making a final order consent to the making of a final order without making any admissions as to the allegations contained in the AVO or seek variation to the order. After a final AVO has been made by a court it is possible to seek an order of the court varying the order or revoking the order. The court will make an Apprehended Violence Order if it finds on the balance of probabilities that the applicant has reasonable grounds to fear and in fact fears the commission of a personal violence offence or conduct that amounts to stalking or intimidation. Contravene/Breach AVO The offence of contravening an AVO is committed when the defendant nominated in an AVO knowingly contravenes a prohibition or restriction in the AVO. Maximum penalty is imprisonment for two years and/or a 5500 fine. Possess prohibited drug A person found guilty of a charge of possess prohibited drug is liable to a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a 2200 fine.

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The successfully prosecute a charge of possess prohibited drug the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person knew of the existence of the drug in his or her custody and control. The prosecution must also prove that the amount of the drug is not so small or so dispersed or mixed up with other material that the substance cannot in practice be used in the way contemplated by the act Williams v R 1978 140 CLR 591. Possession of more than the trafficable quantity of a prohibited drug is deemed to be possession for the purposes of supply meaning a person allegedly in possession of more than a trafficable quantity is charged with the more serious offence supply prohibited drug . However the supply charge will be dismissed if defense counsel can prove either: 1 – That the person did not have possession for the purposes of supply or 2 – In relation to some drugs that the drugs were prescribed by a medical practitioner nurse midwife dentist or vet. Supply prohibited drug The offence of supply a prohibited drug attracts different penalties according to the type and amount of drug involved. Supplying a prohibited drug to a person under the age of 16 years attracts more serious penalties. Possession of more than the trafficable quantity of a prohibited drug is deemed to be possession for the purposes of supply meaning a person allegedly in possession of more than a trafficable quantity is charged with the more serious offence supply prohibited drug . However the supply charge

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will be dismissed if defense counsel can prove either: 1 – That the person did not have possession for the purposes of supply or 2 – In relation to some drugs that the drugs were prescribed by a medical practitioner nurse midwife dentist or vet. Supplying up to an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug attracts a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and/or a 220000 fine or 2 years and a 5500 fine if dealt with in the Local Court. Supplying more than the indictable quantity of a prohibited drug attracts a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and/or a 220000 fine and cannot be dealt with in the Local Court. Supplying more than a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug attracts a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or a 385000 fine. Fraud Fraud involves a person either intentionally or recklessly using deception to dishonestly:  Obtain Property Belonging To Another Or  Obtain A Financial Advantage Or  Cause A Financial Disadvantage Dishonest means dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people and known by the defendant to be dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people. Maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

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Goods in custody The offence of goods in custody involves the alleged offender having a thing in his or her custody the custody of another person or in or on premises where the thing in question is reasonably expected of being stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained section 527C Crimes Act 1900. The maximum penalty for goods in custody is 12 months imprisonment and/or an 1100 fine where the thing is a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part or vessel or vessel part. The maximum penalty is 6 months imprisonment in the case of any other thing. Intimidation Intimidation is conduct that amounts to harassment or molestation of a person or an approach that causes a person to fear for his or her safety. To prove the offence of intimidation the prosecution must prove that the accused person acted with the intention of causing the alleged victim to fear physical or mental harm. The maximum penalty for intimidation is 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of 5500. Resist Police Resist Officer involves a person using force to oppose some lawful course of action which a police officer is attempting to pursue whilst in the execution of their duty.

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Robbery Robbery involves using a threat or force to put the person in possession of property in fear and unlawfully taking the property with the intention of permanently depriving the person of the property. The maximum penalty for robbery is 14 years imprisonment. If dealt with in the Local Court the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and/or a 5500 fine. Aggravated robbery Aggravated robbery involves robbery where corporal violence is used or actual bodily harm is intentionally or recklessly caused or a person is deprived of their liberty. Maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment. Armed robbery Armed robbery involves robbery whilst being armed with an offensive weapon. The offence attracts a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Robbery in company Robbery in company attracts a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

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Robbery with wounding Robbery that involves causing wounding or grievous bodily harm gbh to any person attracts a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. Sexual Assault Rape Sexual assault or rape involves a person having sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and with knowledge that the other person does not consent section 61I Crimes Act 1900. Sexual intercourse includes the penetration of female genitalia or the anus of any person by any body part or object as well as oral sex section 61H Crimes Act 1900. The maximum penalty for sexual assault is 14 years imprisonment. Aggravated sexual assault Aggravated sexual assault involves sexual assault where:  Actual Bodily Harm Is Intentionally Or Recklessly Inflicted Or  Actual Bodily Harm Is Threatened Or  The Offence Is Committed In The Company Of Another Person Or Other People Or  The Alleged Victim Is Under The Authority Of The Alleged Offender Or  The Alleged Victim Is Under The Age Of 16 Years Or  The Alleged Victim Suffers From A Physical Disability Or  The Alleged Victim Suffers From A Cognitive Impairment Or  The Alleged Offender Breaks And Enters A Dwelling House Or Other Building With The Intention Of Committing The Offence Or

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 The Alleged Offender Deprives The Alleged Victim Of His Or Her Liberty Section 61J Crimes Act 1900. The maximum penalty for aggravated sexual assault is 20 years imprisonment. Stalking Stalking includes following watching or frequenting the vicinity of a person or approaching a place where the person lives works or frequents with the intention of causing the person to fear physical or mental harm sections 7 and 13 Crimes Domestic and Personal Violence Act 2007. The maximum penalty for stalking is 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of 5500. Source: http://maatouks.com.au/service/criminal-law/

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