Offences

We represent clients charged with all criminal and traffic offences, including those listed below.

The information included below is not intended to be a substitute for advice from a qualified lawyer. If you have been charged with an offence the best place to start is by speaking to an experienced criminal lawyer.

If you need assistance please call our office on 1300 616 183. Alternatively, click here to send us a message and we’ll be in touch shortly.

 

CRIMINAL OFFENCES


Below are some of the more common criminal offences. If you would like more information on any of these offences, or want to discuss an offence that is not listed please contact our office. One of our lawyers will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Armed robbery

Arson

Assault

Bail Applications and Variation

Breach of a Court Order

Burglary and Theft

Conspiracy

Defence of Worksafe/OHS….

Drink/Drug Driving

Driving Whist Suspended/Disqualified

Drug Offences

Family Law

Firearms Offences

Fraud and Dishonesty Offences

Intervention Orders

Kidnapping

Murder and Manslaughter

Perjury

Sexual Offences

Speeding

 

 

 

Armed robbery


Armed robbery is a serious criminal offence that is committed if a person performs a robbery whilst in possession of a weapon or firearm.

The definition of a weapon or a firearm is very broad and can include anything from a screwdriver or cricket bat to an imitation firearm or explosive.

Armed robbery carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment. However, the Court can impose a range of penalties depending on the scope and circumstances of the offence.

There are a number of defenses that may be available depending on the circumstances of the case.

If you have been charged with armed robbery or are currently the subject of a police investigation it is important that you seek legal advice immediately.

Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that we can advise you of your options.

 

Arson


Arson is a very serious property offence. The penalties for arson are high, with the maximum penalty being 25 years imprisonment.

Whilst it is generally an offence to light a fire in a public place, for conduct to amount to arson the fire must be lit with malicious intent.

If arson leads to injury or death additional charges, including murder, will likely be laid.

Police investigations into arson often focus strongly on the motivations and movements of the accused. Having an expert criminal lawyer by your side, who understands the laws of evidence, can be invaluable.

If you have been charged with arson or are currently the subject of a police investigation it is important that you seek legal advice immediately.

Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Assault


Assault and violence-related offences are numerous and include: Unlawful Assault; Recklessly Causing Injury and Serious Injury; Intentionally Causing Injury and Serious Injury; and Conduct Endangering Life.

The consequences and long-term impact of assault and violence-related charges can be significant.

If you have been charged assault or a violence-related offence, or suspect that you might be under investigation, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

At Smith & Tapper we will explore the circumstances and facts surrounding your matter, help you to understand your options, and advise you of the best course of action.

Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Bail Applications and Variation


If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence and was denied bail by the police it is important that you engage an experienced criminal lawyer immediately so that an application for bail can be prepared as early as possible.

What you will need to demonstrate to the court in order to be granted bail will depend on a number of factors including the type of offence charged, your personal circumstances, and your prior criminal history.

Our lawyers will talk to you and your family members so as to obtain the information necessary to support your bail application, and determine how best to present your case to the court.

We can also assist with making an application to vary the conditions of your bail should your circumstances change.

To speak with one of our lawyers about seeking or varying bail, call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Breach of a Court Order


If you have previously been sentenced to an Intensive Corrections Order, Community Based Order, Community Corrections Order, or a Good Behaviour Bond you must comply with all conditions of that order. If you do not, you may be charged with breach of the order and will be required to attend court to be re-sentenced for the original offence.

The Court views breaches of its orders seriously. If the court finds a breach proven it may order that you serve a term of imprisonment. When making its decision the Court will, however, consider any mitigating and extraordinary circumstances surrounding the breach.

For advice about how to respond to a charge of breaching a court order call Smith & Tapper on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Burglary and Theft


Burglary and theft are common property offences.

If you are charged with theft the police must prove that you have dishonestly taken someone else’s property with the intention of not returning it.

If you are charged with burglary the police must prove that you entered a building or part of a building without permission, and that you did or intended to steal, damage property, or assault someone.

The scope and nature of burglary and theft cases can vary widely. However, even minor cases, such as the theft of clothing from a store, can result in a criminal conviction that may have a significant impact on future employment and travel plans.

Our lawyers can advise you as to any aggravating factors that may impact your matter, as well as the availability of any defences.

For immediate assistance call Smith & Tapper on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Conspiracy


Conspiracy is a common law offence in Victoria. This means that the elements of offence are not contained in legislation but are based on past decisions of the Court.

If it is alleged that you helped plan or commit a crime you may be charged with conspiracy. The extent of your involvement and knowledge will be highly relevant considerations for the Court.

Our lawyers can help you understand the legal principles surrounding your matter and advocate on your behalf to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.

To discuss your matter with one of our lawyers call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Defence of Worksafe/OHS….


The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (“OHS Act”) imposes a general duty to maintain a safe work environment. The OHS Act duties apply to both employers and any person whose actions may impact a workplace, including employees, officers, managers, manufactures, and designers.

OHS Act breaches encompass activities and issues ranging from work place bullying and harassment to failure to prevent falls and manage noise in the workplace. Worksafe prosecutions can be pursued regardless of whether or not any harm has been caused, as it is the breach of the OHS Act duties that constitutes the offence. Where a breach of the OHS Act results in death, manslaughter or murder charges may also be pursued.

The standard of proof and the nature of the defenses available in workplace matters differs from other criminal law matters. It is therefore imperative that any legal advice you seek is from a lawyer with experience and knowledge specific to the area of Worksafe and OHS.

Our lawyers understand that your career and reputation are important to you. We are experienced in dealing with Worksafe and OHS laws and are available to assist you 24/7.

To discuss your matter with an experienced lawyer call Smith & Tapper on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Drink/Drug Driving


Drink/drug driving charges can have serious consequences including heavy financial penalties, cancellation of your licence, and possible imprisonment.

At Smith & Tapper we understand how important your license is. We also understand that in many cases the offending is not intentional. We will work with you to understand the circumstances of your matter and strive for an outcome that minimizes the inconvenience to you, your work, and your family.

For more information on drink/drug driving penalties click here to see our Traffic Law information page.

If you require assistance with a driving matter please call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our expert criminal lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Driving Whist Suspended/Disqualified


Victorian courts take a hard-lined approach to driving offences. If you are caught driving during a period of suspension or disqualification you face heavy financial penalties, lengthy periods of further license loss, and in some cases the very real prospect of imprisonment.

An experienced criminal lawyer can help you identify and argue important mitigating factors or assert a valid defence such as necessity or honest and reasonable. Our lawyers understand how important your licence is to you and your family and will work with you to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.

Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Drug Offences


Drug offences range from possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use to large-scale trafficking for commercial purposes. Victorian courts take drug offences very seriously. Trafficking and related charges are considered especially serious and often result in a sentence of imprisonment.

Possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use will not usually place you at risk of imprisonment. However, even minor drugs charges can result in a criminal conviction, which may have a significant impact on future employment and travel plans.

Our criminal lawyers are available immediately to assist you with drug-related offences. Our sensitive yet strategic approach ensures that your matter is thoroughly investigated and your legal options are pursued whilst taking into account any issues you may have with drug addiction and the need for rehabilitation.

Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Family Law


Although our lawyers practice exclusively in the area of criminal defence we have a close relationship with an established sister practice in family law.

There are significant benefits in having your related family and criminal/intervention order law matters dealt with by a unified team. In many cases how you proceed in one matter will impact your options in the other.

Call Smith & Tapper on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our expert criminal lawyers can advise you of your options and put you in touch with a recommended family law practitioner.

 

Firearms Offences


Firearms legislation in Victoria is aimed at regulating the use, purchase, supply, possession, and manufacture of firearms.

Being found guilty of a firearms offence may negatively impact your firearms license and result in the mandatory forfeiture of your firearms. It may also result in significant financial penalties and, in some cases, imprisonment.

Sentencing in firearms offence matters varies significantly depending on the circumstances of the offending. It is important to understand whether there are any aggravating factors that will impact how the Court views your situation.

Call Smith & Tapper on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that we can advise you of the best approach for your case.

 

Fraud and Dishonesty Offences


Fraud and dishonesty offences encompass a wide range of offending including handling stolen property, obtaining property by deception, and forgery. A common feature of fraud offences is that they involve the deception of another person or system, and require a certain degree of planning.

Fraud cases vary widely in terms of scale and circumstances, and the applicable law can be very complex.

Sentencing in fraud matters also varies widely. However, serious instances of fraud will almost always result in a prison sentence.

If you or have been charged with, or are under investigation for, a fraud offence call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Intervention Orders


Many people find themselves in situations of violence or abuse, particularly in domestic situations. Threats to personal safety can have serious physical and emotional consequences and can often escalate a dispute.

Where the wellbeing and personal safety of a person is at risk the Court can grant an intervention order to ensure the protection of that person. An order may be sought by the protected person themself or by the police on their behalf.

Whilst most intervention orders are sought for genuine protective purposes they can unfortunately also be used as strategic tool between disputing parties. In these cases, agreeing to an order or having an order made against you can give rise to further conflict.

Having an intervention order made against you can also have implications for any related family court proceedings.

Whether you are seeking the protection of an intervention order  or someone is seeking an order against you, we can provide you with expert advice, negotiate on your behalf, and represent you in Court.

Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment with one of our lawyers.

 

Kidnapping


Kidnapping is a serious offence that attracts penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment.

To achieve a conviction for kidnapping the prosecution must prove that the accused intentionally took, enticed away, or detained another person for the purpose of gaining some advantage from the detained person or another.

If you have been charged with, or are under investigation for, kidnapping it is crucial that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Our lawyers are available 24/7 to advise you on your matter and help you understand your options. Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment with one of our lawyers.

 

Murder and Manslaughter


Murder is one of the most serious charges that can be laid. Murder attracts a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and will always heard before the Supreme Court.

However, due to the serious nature of the crime the burden of proof placed on the prosecution is higher and there are a number of defences that may be available. There are also alternative offences to murder, such as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, which attract lesser penalties.

If you or someone you know has been charged with murder it is very important that you seek expert legal advice immediately. Our lawyers are experienced criminal lawyers and will negotiate on your behalf whilst working closely with a specialist criminal barrister.

Call Smith & Tapper on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Perjury


When you make a statutory declaration, swear an affidavit, or are called to give evidence in court you are required to tell the truth. Not telling the truth in these situations can result in criminal charges for making a false statement or perjury.

The law takes the obligation to be honest very seriously. Honesty strikes at the heart of our justice system and for that reason perjury matters will almost always be heard before the higher courts.

If you or someone you know is facing a perjury charge call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment so that one of our lawyers can advise you of your options.

 

Sexual Offences


Sexual offences are dealt with by specialist lists established in the Magistrates’, County, and Children’s Courts.

In recent years community expectations have led to significant increases in the maximum penalties for many sexual offences. Particularly in the higher courts, there is a real risk of imprisonment if found guilty.

Even where the sentence is lenient, an offender may still be placed on the Sex Offender Register for a specified period of time. In some circumstances, placement on the Register is mandatory. The obligations associated with placement on the Register are onerous and can have significant implications for employment and enjoyment of life.

If you’ve been charged with or are about to be interviewed by the police in relation to a sexual offence the importance of seeking legal advice early cannot be emphasised enough.

Our lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with sexual offence matters and are available 24/7. Call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.

 

Speeding


Victorian courts take a hard-lined approach to driving offences. Being found guilty of a driving offence can have serious consequences including heavy financial penalties, cancellation or further suspension of your licence, and in some cases imprisonment.

A number of speeding offences carry a mandatory period of licence loss and in all cases the Court has a discretion to cancel or suspend your licence as it considers appropriate. At Smith & Tapper we understand how important your licence is to you and your family. Our lawyers are experienced in dealing with driving offences and will work with you to identify and argue important mitigating factors or assert a valid defence if available.

For more information on traffic offences click here to see our Traffic Law information.

To speak with a lawyer call us on 1300 616 183 or click here to request an appointment.