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Recent Cases

Criminal Law Recent Cases

 

Drug Trafficking

1. Client jointly charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Drug (Heroin)


Client only resident at unit where Heroin and evidence of sale of drugs are found. The issue is can the client be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to possess the Heroin.Following negotiations with Director of Public Prosecutions, the Trafficking in a Controlled Drug is withdrawn.


2. Client charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Drug (Methylamphetamine), Cultivation of 21 Cannabis plants, and two counts of Possess Prescribed Equipment (hydroponic equipment and drug manufacture glassware)

After negotiations with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Trafficking charge withdrawn and client pleads guilty to one count of Manufacture a Controlled Drug and associated summary offences.   Utilizing the new Section 108 of the Summary Procedure Act 1921 the charges were able to be resolved before a Magistrate instead of being committed to the District Court. Submissions by firm principal Jonathan Stevens assists client to receive a suspended sentence of imprisonment.


3. Client charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Drug in a Prescribed Area (Hindley Street Night Club)

Client made full admissions to police as to his involvement in Trafficking in a Controlled Drug upon arrest and without legal advice. Client pleads guilty in District Court. Submissions made by Stevens Legal as to the client’s lack of previous criminal history, youth and limited scope of the enterprise.  Client receives 8 month period of imprisonment suspended upon entering into a Bond to be of Good Behaviour.

Serious Criminal Trespass and Theft

Client charged with Serious Criminal Trespass of a Non-Residential Building and Theft of $3,030 cash.


CCTV footage used to charge client with Serious Criminal Trespass at butcher’s shop. Client previously employed at business premises. Charges defended and ultimately all charges withdrawn against client. Cost order obtained as against Police Prosecutions which meant the client did not have to pay any legal fees.

These recent cases demonstrate a need for legal advice upon arrest; negotiations; realistic evaluation of evidence; securing of maximum benefit for guilty plea; and persuasive submissions in mitigation of penalty.

Important Cases

With the assistance of both Junior and Senior Counsel, we successfully opposed a Crown (Director of Public Prosecution) Appeal against Sentence imposed upon our client for Murder when he was 13 years of age.  A non-parole period of 6 years was upheld on Appeal in the Court of Criminal Appeal.  See attached Judgment R v A, D.

Link:  R v A, D [2011] SASCFC 5 (3 March 2011)

Drive Whilst Disqualified

Drive Whilst Disqualified is a very common offence.  Unfortunately, the penalties for offences of Drive Whilst Disqualified can result in periods of imprisonment.  For a second offence the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.

Whilst it is true that we have acted for many clients with multiple convictions for driving whilst disqualified who have not been called upon to serve an immediate period of imprisonment, the opposite is also not uncommon.  Significant penalties are imposed for this offence and expert legal advice should always be sought when charged with this offence.

Right to Silence

Section 75 of the Summary Offences Act 1953 provides police with a power of arrest.  At arrest you are required to state your full name and address and date of birth.  However, section 79A of the Summary Offences Act 1953 provides you with certain rights.

Link: Summary Offences Act 1953 – Section 79A

One right is to have a solicitor present.  Another is to refrain from answering questions unless legally required.  An arrested person should always exercise both of these rights.  This right should be exercised in a polite but firm fashion, with knowledge of one’s right to do so.  There are, however, numerous exceptions to this “right to silence” rule such as for persons found in possession of firearms.  See section 30 Firearms Act.

Link: Firearms Act 1977 – Section 30

Police may also ask a person to identify the driver and owner of a motor vehicle and it is an offence not to answer truthfully under section 40v of the Road Traffic Act 1961.

There are limited other circumstances where persons are required to answer police questions.  Contact an experienced criminal lawyer such as Stevens Law immediately upon arrest.

Treatment Intervention Programme (“TIP”)

At Adelaide and Metropolitan Magistrates’ Courts a diversionary court now known as the Treatment Intervention Programme is available to persons whom have mental health and/or drug issues, but do not satisfy the criteria for a “Section 269” defence.

Link:  See Section 269 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act

Defendants must be willing to enter a plea of guilty to charges to allow them to be dealt with in the Treatment Intervention Programme.  Entry into the Programme is dependent upon there being an established nexus between the offending behaviour and mental health or drug issues.  Successful completion of the Programme, which can include urinary analysis and regular requirements to attend upon administrators of the Programme should result in a reduced penalty as the benefits obtained from the programme assist in rehabilitation and reduce risk of re-offending.  The Programme is intensive but some wonderful gains have been made by participants. The Penalty eventually received reflects a positive commitment to the Programme and the rehabilitation of the Participant. Should you wish to discuss entry into the Programme or any other related criminal issues, please contact Stevens Law today.

 


 

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