What you need to know about AVOs

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an order made by a court against somebody in circumstances where a person in need of protection can show that he or she has reasonable grounds to fear that somebody may engage in personal violence or intimidating or stalking behaviour against that person. The ‘defendant’ is the person against […]

Coercive Control Offences in New South Wales

Recent research found that 99% of intimate partner homicides in New South Wales that occurred between 2008 and 2016 were preceded by evidence of “coercive control” within the relationship. In 2022, the NSW parliament introduced a bill law to criminalise coercive control in an effort to prevent intimate partner homicide. Enforcement of this law will not […]

Criminal charges and mental health – s14 applications and diversion orders

In NSW, most people over the age of ten are legally responsible for their own actions. If they break the law, they incur criminal liability and may suffer the associated punishment. However, a person suffering from a serious mental illness or cognitive impairment may not be held responsible for their crimes or traffic offences in […]

Understanding what a Plea in Mitigation means

If a person pleads “guilty” in a criminal case there will be an opportunity to address the Court before sentencing. This oral address is made, usually by the offenders lawyer, in an endeavor to ensure the minimum sentence possible in the circumstances and to assist the Court in sentencing the offender. The representations made by […]

The importance of character references in a Court case

If you know someone who is being sentenced in Court and they ask you for a character reference do you know what to do? The purpose of a character reference for a person who has pleaded guilty to a criminal or traffic matter is to bring to the Court’s attention details of good character about […]

Spent Convictions in NSW

Spent Convictions, What are they? A spent conviction is a scheme where after a period known as the ‘waiting period’ or ‘crime-free period’ a conviction is ‘spent’. The waiting period in NSW and for commonwealth offence is a period of 10 years as an adult and 3 years otherwise. Where an offence is capable of […]

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