Breach of Chief Health Officer Direction / Diversion

Case: Diversion for Protesting lockdown Laws.

Client presented at Parliament House with a megaphone peacefully protesting the Victorian pandemic lockdown laws. Police attended and gave him a fine for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions. Client elected to have the matter taken to court due to the laws being against the Australian Constitution and implied freedom of political communication.

Charges/ Ch1 (breach of Chief Health Officer direction)

Result/ Diversion granted – $350 donation

The case of Cotterill -v- Romanes held that the lockdown laws were lawful in curtailing the right to protest, however this was being appealed in the High Court. Client decided he wanted the matter dealt with as long as he didn’t receive a criminal record as Cotterill may take years before there is a decision. Diversion was a good outcome as it met our client’s objective and he paid less than the original fine.

Traffick Firearms / Bail Granted

Case: Bail Granted For Operation Ironside Accused.

Client is charged with trafficking firearms as part of the Anom encryption app phone sting named Operation Ironside in cooperation with international law enforcement agencies including the FBI. Client was remanded and made an application for bail.

Result/ Bail Granted  exceptional circumstances found

BCL lawyers worked with Queens Counsel Dermot Dann and our client’s family in organising a surety, confirming employment and arranging support letters to show his ties to the community. Magistrate found exceptional circumstances acknowledging the delay in court matters due to Covid-19. Prosecutors alleged our client was an unacceptable risk and should remain remanded. However, the magistrate was also satisfied that bail conditions could ameliorate any risk and granted bail.

Drive Whilst Suspended / Withdrawn

Case: Police served the same brief twice.

Client drove his car while his licence was suspended. He received a summons for court however a court date was not listed to attend. Client was subsequently served the same brief again one year later.

Charges/ Ch1 (drive whilst suspended)

Result/ Ch1: withdrawn

BCL lawyer argued that the police informant failed to seek an extension of time to serve the brief from the court registry within the time limits of the Criminal Procedure Act. Prosecutor agreed to withdraw the charge.

Unlawful Assault / Withdrawn (Jail Avoided)

Case: 15 serious assault charges dropped.

Our client suffered mental health and substance abuse problems and previously lost his licence for drink driving. A female friend alleged that he viciously assaulted her multiple times and damaged her car. 
Charges/ Ch1-3 (damage property); Ch4 (stalking); Ch5-22 (unlawful assault); Ch23-25 (recklessly cause injury); Ch26 (dangerous driving); Ch27 (drink driving)
Result/ Ch4-25: withdrawn;  Ch1-3, 26, 27:  24 month Community Corrections Order (therapeutic), 24 month loss of licence
BCL lawyer had the stalking and assault charges withdrawn on the grounds that our client committed no assault and there were witnesses that could corroborate this. The remaining charges were of a lesser seriousness that warranted our client avoiding jail and being placed on a Community Corrections Order instead. A therapeutic order was made focused on rehabilitation rather than community service punishment. The court gave our client mandatory minimum loss of licence due to prior drink driving offences.

Mid-range Drink Driving / No Loss of Licence

Case: Drink Driving in Byron bay NSW.

Our client went out drinking the night before New Years Day and drove straight into a booze bus after he left dinner. He blew a mid-range PCA and was summonsed to Court for a charge of drink driving.
Charges/ Ch1 (Drive with middle range PCA)
Result/  Ch1: Placed on conditional release order for 9 months pursuant to Section 9(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999
Our lawyer submitted that our client was a youthful offender and under pressure as a young project manager working interstate and thought he was ok to drive home after dinner. Magistrate was of the view that client had great previous character appearing before the Court with no priors and with great prospect of rehabilitation.

Committal / Negotiated Charge Accessory After the Fact / 7 Months Jail – Time Served

Case: OMCG shooting Resolved On lesser charge.

Our client is alleged to have been a high ranking member of an outlaw motorcycle group and was charged with reckless conduct endangering life and reckless conduct endangering serious injury in relation to a drive-by shooting on a residential property in the suburbs. 
Charges/ Ch1 (reckless conduct endangering life); Ch2 (reckless conduct endangering serious injury); Ch3 (Fail to provide information to access telecoms)
Result/ Ch1, 2, 3: withdrawn; Plead Guilty to negotiated charge accessory after the fact, 7 months time served
Our lawyer successfully negotiated the charges down to a single charge of accessory after the fact pursuant to s.325(1) of the Crimes Act 1958. Following a plea of guilty to the single charge in the County Court, our client received a straight sentence of imprisonment for a period 7 months reckoning time served.

Theft of Motor Vehicle / $1500 Fine

Case: Loan car from friend stolen.

Client had come from a disadvantaged and violent upbringing that led him to getting into the wrong crowd. He was turning his life around and got a job overseas. A friend lent him his new car and asked him to install a tow bar. The tow bar installer found that the car was reported as stolen and called police.

Charges/ Ch1 (theft of motor vehicle); Ch2 (theft of licence plate)
Result/ Ch2:  withdrawn; Ch1: $1,500 fine with conviction + 3 month mandatory loss of licence

Client had previously spent time in jail and would not snitch on his friend. Without details of the person that lent him the vehicle our lawyer could not get the charge withdrawn. Client preferred to plea guilty as long as he avoided jail. BCL lawyer had charge 2 withdrawn as it was covered in charge 1. Magistrate was satisfied that our client had turned his life around not to warrant jail, however had to convict him due to his prior criminal history.

Committal / Negotiated Charge Robbery / 16 Month Community Corrections Order

Case: Group Road Rage After Tradie Cut-Off Car Causing Wheel Damage.

Our client was driving with some friends asked to assist when one of their girlfriend’s vehicles was cut-off by a tradie causing tyre damage. They found the tradie and made him undress to his underwear, took his mobile phone and told him he would pay for the tyre damage.

Charges/ Ch1 (robbery); Ch2 (false imprisonment); Ch3 (unlawful assault); Ch4 (blackmail)

Result/ Ch1, 3, 4: withdrawn; Ch2: 16 month Community Corrections Order

BCL lawyer negotiated the charge to a single count of robbery by complicity as there was evidence that he blocked the door of the tradie’s vehicle. The CCO was imposed as our client had priors for similar offending, however he avoided jail and an expensive trial.

Appeal Licence Suspension / Exceptional Circumstances

Case: Licence suspended for drink driving.

Our client is a 28 year old tradie whose licence was immediately suspended under s 85 of the Road Safety Act for drink driving and performing burnouts. 

Result/ Appeal granted

Our lawyer lodged an appeal against licence suspension to provide time for our client to arrange his affairs and hire an apprentice. He needed his licence for work, to care for his sick mother and pay his home loan. It was a first-time offence. Magistrate was satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances to cancel the suspension.

Theft / Withdrawn

Case: Mistaken identity for theft of items from a vehicle.

Our client was a middle aged blonde lady who was charged with stealing items from a car five years after the date of the offence. CCTV showed a blonde female taking the items from the car and our client was circumstantially charged when she attended the police station for an unrelated matter. Our client told police that she did not steal the items.

Charges/ Ch1 (theft)

Result/ Ch1:  withdrawn

Our lawyer sought a statement from the arresting police officer who said that 5 years later he could remember our client, however then told the prosecutor by email that there were other factors pointing to our client as the offender. Prosecution withdrew the charge due to inadequate disclosure and credibility issues of the police member, as well as our client’s desire to seek costs against the police.