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Criminal Defence Law, Intervention Orders, and All Police Matters

Court Room
HIGHLY EXPERIENCED AND EXPERT ADVICE IN ALL INTERVENTION ORDERS AND POLICE MATTERS

We are highly experienced in, and will defend you against, State or Commonwealth charges, including any of the following offences:

  • Family Violence & Personal Safety Intervention Orders

  • Driving and Traffic Offences

  • Traffic Infringement Fines with Fines Victoria

  • All Summary Offences

  • All Indictable Offences

  • Assault and Affray Offences

  • Driving License Restorations

  • Drug Offences

  • Breach of Intervention Orders

  • Family Violence Charges

  • Medicare & Centrelink Frauds

  • White-Collar Crimes

  • Breach of Community Correction Orders

  • Fraud, including social welfare fraud

  • Theft, Shop-stealing

  • Public Order Offences

  • Property Offences

  • Sexual Offences

We provide experienced, expert advice and representation fearlessly protecting the rights and liberty of our clients whether charged with indictable offences, summary offences, or any of the above-listed matters.

Our principal lawyer, Mr. Alfred Fabrizio, Barrister & Solicitor, is a highly experienced criminal defence lawyer who regularly appears in the Victorian criminal court system and negotiates police charges in case conferences with informants and prosecutors on behalf of our clients.

 

In addition to his legal skills, our principal lawyer is also a forensic accountant (CPA qualified); with a special expertise in white-collar crime. White-collar crime includes various categories of non-violent crimes, such as fraud and embezzlement, and the accused are often management personnel in trusted positions of responsibility, working either in government entities or private companies. The crime usually involves a misappropriation of cash or other assets, or financial gain of any sort, that results in a financial loss to another person, business, or government entity. White-collar crimes can be exceedingly complex and difficult to prosecute, because they typically involve a large number of small financial transactions or false invoicing. It is a distinct advantage to an accused in these crimes to have a lawyer on their side with extensive forensic accounting experience.

 

If you are charged with a criminal offence for any category of crime, call now to discuss your case with an experienced defence lawyer.  They will discuss the defences available to you, and the minimizing sentencing alternatives available in your particular case.

Family Violence and Personal Safety Intervention Orders – Fixed fees available

In the State of Victoria, intervention orders, also known as restraining orders in other jurisdictions, are legal orders issued by a court to protect individuals from someone who is threatening, harassing, or causing them fear for their safety. These orders are primarily used in situations involving domestic violence, stalking, and other forms of personal abuse or harassment. While intervention orders themselves are part of the civil law, they have significant intersections with criminal law, especially when their conditions are breached. An intervention order can be sought independently through the Magistrates' Court, or it may arise out of criminal proceedings.  For instance, if someone is charged with a criminal offence such as assault or stalking, the police (or court) might issue an intervention order against them as part of their bail conditions or alongside their sentence.

Violating the terms of an intervention order is a serious criminal offence under Victorian law. If the person against whom the order is made (the respondent) breaches any of its conditions, they can be charged with a criminal offence. This means that, while the order itself is civil, non-compliance  with the orders escalates the matter to criminal law.

Police have the authority to apply for an intervention order on behalf of a person they believe to be in need of protection. They can also issue a Family Violence Safety Notice, which acts as a temporary intervention order until the court can hear the matter. Police involvement underscores the seriousness with which breaches of intervention orders are treated and their close relationship to criminal law enforcement.  Being subject to an intervention order does not in itself result in a criminal record.

In some cases, parties involved in criminal proceedings might both apply for intervention orders against each other. Such situations can become complex, intertwining civil and criminal legal processes. Moreover, the existence of an intervention order can sometimes impact the strategies employed in defending or prosecuting related criminal charges.

To help protect your rights, you should always have a lawyer to represent you if you are the respondent in an intervention order.

We will vigorously defend you if you have a Personal Safety Intervention Order or a Family Violence Intervention Order made against you.  These are Court orders which have the same basic purpose, which is to prevent one person from engaging in defined activities towards another person. We will also advise you on the best course of action to take in your circumstances. An Intervention Order can be followed up by police laying criminal charges against the respondent, so you should obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

We use reasonable fixed fees for court appearances on your behalf at family violence or personal safety order court mentions or directions hearings. If you are contesting the order, our combination fixed fees and in-house scale rates are also a reasonable alternative. Any disbursements made on your behalf, including the cost of Counsel (if required) are billed to you at cost.    

For information on fees that will apply to your matter, please contact us anytime by email or telephone.

We can also assist you to apply for an intervention order against another person.

Criminal Defence and Traffic Law

The Crimes Act 1958 is a key piece of legislation in Victoria that outlines criminal offences and their corresponding penalties. This Act encompasses a wide range of criminal activities, including but not limited to offences against the person (such as murder, sexual assault, and bodily harm), property offences (including theft, burglary, and fraud), and public order offences. It also provides definitions for various criminal activities, stipulating what constitutes an offence under the law and the criteria for prosecution.

Additionally, the Crimes Act details procedures for the investigation, charging, and trial of criminal offences, ensuring that the legal process is transparent and just. The legislation is designed to protect the community by deterring criminal behavior, providing a mechanism for punishment, and rehabilitating offenders.

In Victoria, the courts have a range of penalties at their disposal for criminal offences, including fines, community correction orders, imprisonment, and more, depending on the severity and nature of the offence. Recent reforms have introduced standard sentencing to guide penalties for serious crimes, with efforts to balance punishment, deterrence, and rehabilitation. The exact penalty applied can vary widely, influenced by factors such as the offence's seriousness, the offender's history, and specific circumstances surrounding the case.  It is imperative, therefore, that you retain an experienced criminal lawyer to help guide you through this complex maze of how the courts arrive at findings of guilt, sentences, and the appropriate penalties.  An experienced lawyer can help to reduce your sentence to the minimum, if you are pleading guilty, through the plea of mitigation (see below.)

Traffic law Victoria encompasses complex regulations and legal provisions designed to ensure the safety and orderly conduct of road users, including drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. In Victoria, the regulatory framework governing traffic laws is established through a comprehensive suite of statutes. Notably, this includes the Road Safety Act 1986 and a series of regulations enacted in 2009, such as the Road Safety (General) Regulations 2019. This broad field covers a range of issues from vehicle registration and roadworthiness to driving offenses like speeding, drink-driving, and reckless driving. The complexity of traffic law in Victoria arises from several factors, including the vast array of offenses, including, but not limited to, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failing to wear a seatbelt, driving unlicensed or while your license to do so is suspended, using a mobile phone while driving, and running red lights. Each category has its own set of regulations, penalties, and procedural nuances.

Complications in traffic law often arise from the interplay between state legislation, enforcement practices, and the judicial system's interpretation of these laws. For instance, penalties can vary widely based on the circumstances of the offense, the offender's history, and the specific laws breached. Moreover, some traffic violations can escalate into criminal charges, such as driving while your license is suspended, especially when they result in serious injury or death, adding a layer of complexity to how these cases are handled legally. An experienced lawyer can help to reduce your sentence to the minimum if you are pleading guilty.

Call us for a complimentary case assessment of your traffic violations and the best way to minimise your fines and penalties.

Plea of Mitigation

If you decide to plead guilty, we will carefully explain to the court the reasons for the offence.  Your good character, provocation, whether you were undergoing a stressful time in your life, whether you were intoxicated, your genuine remorse, whether you have undergone any type of rehabilitation program, whether you have paid monies back to the victim (if applicable) are all matters that can serve to reduce your penalty.

A “plea of mitigation” is an opportunity to provide information that will help you when the court is deciding on the appropriate sentence.  As part of the plea of mitigation, our experienced criminal defence lawyer will skillfully explain to the court the reason why you committed the offence, inform the court about your background and personal circumstances, and they will make every effort on your behalf to persuade the court to apply the minimum sentence.

When you are charged with a criminal offence ALFA Lawyers experienced criminal lawyers will provide you with expert advice and professional representation for an economical fixed fee.

We will provide you with expert legal advice on sentencing, and we will strongly advocate for your best interests in court.  A strong plea on your behalf can often serve to reduce your sentence to the minimum. For offences that are low on the scale of seriousness, our criminal lawyers can also submit matters to the court that may help to convince the court not to record a conviction, or even grant you a Diversion (see below).

Please note there is no guarantee as to the outcome of any court hearing.  However, if pleading guilty to your charges, our experienced and skilful defence lawyers will work closely with you to provide you with the most appropriate plea of mitigation, to help you obtain a minimum sentence from the court and, if appropriate, no conviction on your record.

The Diversion Program

You may be eligible for the Criminal Justice Diversion Program which provides mainly first time offenders with the opportunity to avoid a criminal record by undertaking conditions that benefit the offender, victim, and the community as a whole.  However, entry into the Diversion Program has a number of legal criteria you must first successfully negotiate, which our experienced criminal lawyers can assist you with.

To be eligible for the Diversion Program, your matter must meet certain criteria before a Diversion can be recommended, including the following:

  • the offence is triable summarily

  • the offence is not subject to a minimum or fixed sentence or penalty (except demerit points)

  • the Informant must recommend the accused for the Program

  • the accused must acknowledge responsibility for the offence(s)

  • the Diversion Co-Ordinator must determine if the accused is suitable for the Program

  • the prosecution must also consent for the matter to proceed by way of Diversion

  • the Magistrate must be convinced to order the accused's entry into the Diversion Program

If you receive a Diversion Order from the Court, your matter will be adjourned to a future date. You must complete all conditions set by the Magistrate and notify the Court of their completion. if you complete all of the mandatory conditions, your matter will be dismissed without a finding of guilt and without a conviction, and the police will not release this information as part of a criminal history requested by, for example, a prospective employer.  

Obtaining a Diversion Order from the Court is not easy, as there are a few hurdles to get over before the court decides you are eligible. Even if you fit the general conditions for Diversion, and even if the Police Informant has recommended you for the Diversion Program, there is no guarantee the Magistrate will permit your entry into the program.  You will still be required to appear before a Magistrate, and the Magistrate will make the final decision.  If the Police have not recommended you for the Diversion Program, we can investigate your matter further, and discuss your eligibility with the Police informant and, if necessary, with the prosecutor, to argue your eligibility to obtain a Diversion.  We have been successful with negotiating diversions for clients. Our experienced criminal lawyers acting on your behalf will advise you and guide you through the entire Diversion process, to ensure you have the best chance of obtaining a Diversion Order to resolve your matter without a conviction or a public criminal history. Retaining a solicitor to act for you also demonstrates to the court that you are making an effort to obtain the best outcome and that you are taking the criminal charges seriously.

We can also appeal, on your behalf, a court Registrar's decision that rejects your Diversion Notice from the police. We have successfully appealed such rejected Diversion decisions for our clients.

We Practice in All Victorian Criminal Law Jurisdictions and Courts

We can provide experienced representation to clients in all jurisdictions, including:

  • Pleas of mitigation

  • Contested committal proceedings

  • Intervention orders (Restraining Orders)

  • Sexual Offences List

  • Directions hearings

  • Case conference hearings

  • Confiscation of Assets

  • Interlocutory applications

  • Customs prosecutions

  • ASIC prosecutions

  • Trials (County and Supreme Courts)

  • Bail applications (Magistrates’ and County Courts)

  • Contested hearings

  • Appeals against sentence and conviction (Magistrates’, County, and Supreme Courts)

  • Victorian Drug Court

  • Coronial inquests

  • Advice and appearances in relation to all criminal prosecutions

 

We practice in the following Courts:

  • Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

  • Coroners Court of Victoria

  • County Court of Victoria

  • Supreme Court of Victoria

  • Court of Appeal (Criminal and Civil)

  • Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

  • Federal Court of Australia

  • High Court of Australia

  • We can also act on your behalf in New South Wales and ACT Courts

 

LEGAL COSTS FOR YOUR CRIMINAL DEFENCE

 

For a Plea of Guilty – Fixed Fees Available

Our fees for acting for you in your criminal defence are exceptionally reasonable. Our fixed fees for most court appearances, including all our work leading up to it, can be applied to most single summary offences for the first appearance.  Please telephone us at any time and we will give you a complimentary case assessment and explain our fixed fees to you. 

 

Most criminal matters can be resolved at the first mention in a guilty plea. Our fixed fee also includes (depending on the complexity of your matter) our conferences with you, taking your instructions, review of your character references, and our preparation of your plea of mitigation.  Other work related to your criminal matter that is more complicated, such as a diversion application, may be an extra fee.

For more complex criminal matters (typically involving indictable offences or more than one summary offence and multiple court appearances), we can also normally apply a reasaonable fixed fee for each court appearance, plus a reasonable hourly rate fee for any additional work.

 

If you require a medical / psychiatric examination and a pre-sentencing forensic report, we encourage our clients to arrange their own medical or psychiatric examination and reports.  We will, where necessary, assist you with obtaining your medical reports by making recommendations for other professionals we know and have confidence in, and we will brief them if required.

 

You are personally responsible for paying disbursements such as any medical or other professional reports.

For all conditions that apply to our fixed fees, please telephone us anytime.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you are pleading not guilty and defending your charges, we will charge a reasonable fixed fee for each mention or directions hearing we attend. Our fixed fee can include our appearance at court, consultation with you, taking your instructions, and constructing the most appropriate defence for you to help you succeed in court. We also have a combination of fixed fee and our in-house scale rates, which may be more appropriate for complex criminal cases typically necessitating multiple court appearances. Fees are also reasonably fixed for our appearances at a contested hearing.

Any disbursements made on your behalf, such as the cost of a barrister (if required) are billed to you at cost.  

We recommend that you investigate other firm's fees before choosing a criminal defence lawyer. Our fees for criminal law matters are based on a reasonable fixed fee or a combination of fixed fee and scale rates, rather than a high hourly rate that many criminal law firms use to charge their clients. We will explain our billing options to you and, with our help, you can choose the billing method that will be most economical for your criminal defence or plea of mitigation.  Call us now for your complimentary case assessment.

Complimentary Case Assessment

We cordially invite you to call us now to get a complimentary case assessment with an experienced and friendly criminal defence lawyer.  

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