NO PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS
No previous convictions?
Being investigated for a criminal offence is often a shock, but if you have no experience of the criminal justice system you are at an even bigger disadvantage.
We believe that someone who has never been convicted should not be more vulnerable than anyone else because they're inexperienced in this situation.
Our lawyers provide a tailored approach to each client, making sure they are supported, respected, fully in the loop, and get the best possible result to protect their career, reputation and liberty.
People with no convictions have a lot to lose and can feel more stress
Being accused of a criminal offence when you have no experience of the justice system is especially difficult.
One reason for this is that you find yourself in an unknown situation which the general experience you have in life doesn't prepare you for. It can seem as if everyone around you is acting as if this is a completely normal situation. Police often casually use words in connection with your actions that you may never have thought you would experience, such as 'suspect', 'crime', 'offence' or 'victim'.
On top of all that, if you've never been accused of an offence before, the fear of being convicted can hit you much harder.
People can be worried about career and future job prospects. This can lead to worry about supporting family members or about letting them down by being convicted.
The reputation damage caused by a case can't be measured in years or in financial terms, but it is still very real, and if prison is a possibility, the stress can be even worse.
The system doesn't make allowances for first timers - but it should
Everything is harder if you face a criminal case for the first time. The emotions are just more intense. Anger, disbelief, shock, vulnerability, fear - these can all lead to frustration and a feeling of helplessness.
Not understanding a problem can lead a person to speculate that it might be worse than it is. This is unhealthy and also illogical, but when it combines with all the other negative emotions it can cause sleepless nights or interfere with mental health.
Knowing what exactly you should tell family, so they don't suffer unnecessarily, or employers or other people you have a responsibility to are also not straightforward questions.
Professionals and other vulnerable people often don't get treated appropriately for the first time in the justice system but being sensitive with people isn't special treatment. It's just fair.
Even lawyers sometimes don't understand that a person with a reputation to protect can be more vulnerable than someone who has been in trouble before.
There are ways to avoid the damage - if you know what to ask for
You don't have to feel like you are stuck in a process which is headed towards you being convicted. Experts who specialise in defending people with no previous convictions are available to you.
First, they will listen to you to find out what is going on. This also means understanding your concerns, and your exact professional and personal worries.
They will be able to advise you on which possible outcomes in the case will damage you, and which kind will not harm you. Some professionals will be badly affected if they receive even a police caution, whereas others such as those working in finance have to avoid convictions for dishonesty.
A criminal lawyer who advises professionals and people with no previous convictions will know what advice to give to different clients, and how to successfully negotiate the outcome with police, with prosecutors and with the court. This way the person's livelihood and reputation can be kept intact.
We offer a tailored approach which gets results and protects clients
If you come to us and you have no previous convictions, we class your case as high priority. This means that you are treated as a special case until your case is over.
This automatically means that extra care will be taken to explain what's going on, and also what's likely to happen so you aren't at a disadvantage over others in this situation.
We tailor our strategy to you and what you tell us needs to happen for the result to feel like a success. If this means a non-criminal outcome such as a community resolution so that your career is intact, then we aim for that. If it means a not-guilty verdict so that your name is cleared, then our investigation and preparation are focused on that outcome.
We also bring in key members to the team to improve your prospects. This can mean bringing in a QC barrister to proactively advise on strategy and to speak in court.
We take every opportunity to bring an early end to the case, pushing for your case to be discontinued by the police .
Do's and don'ts which will help you make the right decisions
• Don't assume that everything will be fine just by trusting the police. Police don't usually have the time or motivation to go out of their way to help you. At best, they will only process you, and they are often focused on trying to get a suspect convicted.
• Don't under any circumstances discuss the case with police officers except through lawyers. Whatever you say, even on the phone, could be noted down as evidence against you, even if you don't agree that this is what you actually said.
• Do call us and speak for free to one of our specialist lawyers who defend clients with no previous convictions. At the very least you will understand more about what is going on.
• Don't try to contact the complainant for any reason. This can backfire and result in a more serious case against you.
• Do your research and find a lawyer who you think will treat your case seriously and want to help.
• Don't despair. With the right advice and representation, many cases can be beaten before they reach court.
Charged with a criminal offense in NSW? if looking for a law practice that will defend your rights. Contact one of our experienced defence lawyers (Solicitors and Barristers) on (02) 8747 1789 to discuss how we may assist you in achieving a favourable outcome. Republic Lawyers extensively practice in criminal Law and regularly appear at Courts throughout New South Wales.
The above information is intended as general information and is not to be relied on as legal advice.