Criminal Defence & Intervention Orders

Criminal Law at ALFA Lawyers
WE HELP YOU PROVE YOUR INNOCENCE OR MAKE A PLEA OF MITIGATION ON YOUR BEHALF

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

  • Driving and Traffic Offences

  • All Summary Offences

  • All Indictable Offences

  • Assault and Affray Offences

  • Driving License Restorations

  • Drug Offences

  • Intervention Orders (IVO's)

  • 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. Al Fabrizio, 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 us now to discuss your case with an experienced defence lawyer.  He will discuss the defences available to you, or if you are pleading guilty, the minimizing sentencing alternatives available in your particular case.

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.

Criminal Law Jurisdictions

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

  • 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 fee applies to criminal charges that can be resolved at the first mention, and for which you have no previous criminal record. This fee can also include our conferences with you, taking your instructions, review of your character references, and our preparation of your plea of mitigation.

For more complex criminal matters (typically involving more than one criminal charge and multiple appearances), we can use a combination of fixed fee and our in-house scale rates. Disbursements, such as medical examinations or Counsel's fee (if required), will be billed to you at cost.  Briefs to other professionals, if required, are a small additional fee.   

 

If you require a medical / psychiatric examination and a pre-sentencing forensic report, we can arrange your medical or psychiatric examination and report for you.  We will bill you at cost for any medical reports you may require. We will advise you in advance of any such disbursements.

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.  Fees are also reasonably fixed for appearances at a contest hearing.  These fixed fees includes our consultation with you, taking your instructions, and constructing the most appropriate defence for you to help you succeed in court.   Any disbursements made on your behalf, including the cost of a barrister (if required) are billed to you at cost.  

We also have a combination of fixed fee and scale rates, which may be preferable for more complex criminal cases with multiple court appearances.  

We recommend that you investigate fees and costs before choosing a criminal defence lawyer. Our fees for criminal law matters can be based on a reasonable fixed fee or combination of fixed fee and scale rate, rather than using only a high hourly rate that many other criminal law firms 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.

Family Violence and Personal Safety Intervention Orders – Fixed fees available

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 have a reasonable fixed fees to appear 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 scale rates are also at a reasonable cost. Any disbursements made on your behalf, including the cost of a barrister (if required) are billed to you at cost.    

We also have a combination fee, made up of a fixed fee and scale rates, which is useful for more complex cases.  For information on which fees may apply to your matter, please contact our office by email or telephone.

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

Free Case Assessment

We cordially invite you to call us now to get a free case assessment with an experienced and friendly criminal defence lawyer who will help you to determine the nature of the legal issues, discuss the available options, and give you an estimate of costs to proceed with the matter.