As a general rule of thumb most drug offences will be issued with various penalty options available to the Court including the recording of a criminal conviction.
Can I avoid a criminal conviction?
Yes. In very special and specific circumstances the Court will use its judicial discretion in dealing with the offence/s under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act 1999.
Not all drug offences will be considered for a section 10 – however contact us & we will best advise you on your prospects of a section 10 (no conviction).
What is a Section 10?
The term ‘Section 10′ gets thrown around quite a lot and it is a very sought after manner in which the Courts can deal with criminal offences without recording a criminal conviction.
Section 10 is a section of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 which allows the Court the ability to use its discretion in very rare circumstances whereby a Court does not record a criminal conviction or issue any significant penalties.
How can I get a Section 10?
Generally, speaking the more severe an offence the less chance a person has in obtaining a section 10. If a defendant has prior convictions or offences then this can also reduce a persons ability to obtain a section 10.
However, if the drug offence is relatively minor & the defendant has a relatively clean criminal history then then the Court may take the following issues into account when deciding whether to deal with the matter under section 10, these issues include:
> Your age, character, record, health and mental condition
> The trivial nature of the offence
> Any extenuating circumstances
> Anything else the court perceives to be relevant
How do we charge our clients?
We believe that it is important to be as up front with our clients as much as possible.
For this very reason we offer our client the option of choosing to be charged on a Fixed Fee basis or on an Hourly Rate. Generally, our clients prefer to be charged on a Fixed Fee basis as it gives them a specific idea of what legal costs they can expect from the outset of the matter.
What legal costs are involved?
As mentioned we can charge either on a Fixed Fee basis or an Hourly Rate.
If we are instructed to engage the services of a specialist Barrister or an independent expert then further costs known as ‘disbursements’ will be in addition to our Fixed Fee or Hourly Charge.
For a more accurate idea of our Legal Costs involved please click on – LEGAL COSTS
What do I need to send my lawyer before my Court appearance?
Generally, if you have been charged by the Police they will issue you with a Court Attendance Notice (C.A.N.) which will provide details as to when you will be required to attend Court. Police may also issue you with a Police Facts Sheet.
Prior to your first Court hearing we would like to obtain any and all paper work that the Police issued to you at the time you were charged or anytime thereafter.
If there are any outstanding documents or material that the Police have not given you then we can obtain them from the Police Prosecutor at the first Court appearance.
Do I need to get a Lawyer?
As a lawyer this is a question that is asked all too frequently and generally any answer that we may give saying that you do need to obtain a lawyer may be viewed by some people as biased. So rather than just tell you how important it is to get a lawyer, let us explain to you what a lawyer can do for you:
> Advise you of you legal situation; > Advise you on whether any defences are available to you; > Advise you on the most appropriate rehabilitation or treatment available; > Put together a well prepared case to present to Court; > Present your case to the Court; > Keep you fully informed of what the likely outcome in Court will be; > Conduct any potential negotiations that occur with the Police.
For more serious offences where jail time being served then it is important to obtain a lawyer so that you can either avoid jail or minimise the time that the Court seeks to issue to you.
Getting a good quality NSW Drug Lawyer who is well versed in this type of law will give you the best opportunity to get the best result possible.
Will I need to meet with my lawyer prior to my 1st Court date?
Certainly we can set a meeting up for you to come into our office to discuss your matter, however it is not absolutely necessary that we meet with you prior to the first Court hearing. We can obtain initial instructions over the telephone and via email.
Do we take on Legal Aid matters?
The short answer here is NO.
Where do I find the law relating to drug law in New South Wales?