Criminal & Traffic
Lawyers

Criminal

If you have ever seen an episode of Law & Order you would have heard the phrase you have the right to remain silent. Whilst the show is based in the United States, here in Australia we advise that you always discuss the matter with a criminal lawyer (solicitor) prior to participating in an interview. If the Police do interview you, you have the right to simply say that "I do not wish to participate in an interview until I have had advice from my solicitor".

Depending on your charge you may either have your charge heard in the Magistrates Court of Queensland or for more serious charges it may be a requirement for it to be heard in the District Court or the Supreme Court.
If being heard through the Magistrates Court of Queensland, you and your representation will attend in the Magistrates Court and either enter a plea of guilty or set it down for a Hearing. It is only if your matter is set down for a hearing that you will usually receive a brief of evidence (copies of the evidence against you) and then you will have a hearing before a Magistrate only.
If your matter is going to a higher court (i.e. District Court or Supreme Court) then it will go through a committal process where you will receive a full brief of evidence and then handed up to the higher court (District Court or Supreme Court). Once it is in the higher Court, and note that this could take up to six (6) months to happen, then you will need to either enter a plea of guilty or set the matter down for a trial which will usually be before a Judge and Jury.
You should consider your plea, as by entering a plea of guilty you are confirming that the facts placed before the Court are true. You are often given a reduced sentence should you enter a plea early on as you have taken responsibility and not wasted public monies.
When your matter proceeds by hearing in the District or Supreme Courts, you will be given a trial number and a sittings date. This means that if you are trial 3 commencing on a certain date, there will be two (2) other trials before yours is heard and depending on how long they go for (sometimes they do not proceed, sometimes they go for days) is when your trial will commence. During this time, it is essential to remain in contact with your solicitor as they may only find out the afternoon before that your trial will commence.

Traffic

Traffic matters are handled by lawyers similar to criminal matters, however these matters will usually proceed in the Magistrates Court of Queensland. These charges include drink driving, driving without a licence, driving under the influence of illicit substances, speeding etc.
If you have had your licence suspended you may be eligible to apply for a special hardship, or work licence. If you are applying for a work licence, it is important that your employer is on board and aware of the circumstances around the suspension.
When it comes to driving under the influence of drugs you need to be aware that, unlike drink driving, there is no threshold. Even the smallest trace of substance in your system will likely result in you being charged.
It will often assist in these matters to attend a Traffic Offenders Program. Many of these programs are able to be completed out of work hours or online. It is important to the Court that you understand the possible ramifications to your actions and that you are remorseful.

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