Archives

Showing 15 of 35

Appeals to the High Court

Appeals to the High Court are rare and highly unlikely to succeed, but in an appropriate case can result in the decision of the Court of Appeal being overturned If your appeal against your sentence or conviction in the Court of Appeal was dismissed, this is not the end of your case. There is always the option to lodge an appeal to the High Court….

The police took my phone. When can I get it back?

In criminal cases, a commonly asked question is when an accused person can get their phone back after it has been seized by police. As part of an investigation into an offence, police commonly seize the phone of an accused person. The police will then look through the phone for evidence relating to the offence that they are investigating. If a phone contains a large…

Criminal property confiscation

When can the government seize or confiscate property?

Criminal Property Confiscation is a unique area of the law concerned with the seizure of assets which are believed to be the proceeds of crime. There are many complicated rules regarding asset seizure. The onus is usually placed on the person whose assets are seized to prove that the property was not obtained from criminal activity. Assets including cash, land, bank accounts and vehicles, may…

What is a data access order, and what happens if I breach one?

Data access orders are issued where a suspect is in possession of a phone or other device, and refuses to provide the police the PIN code to enable access to the data stored on the device. A ‘data access order’ is an order that is issued by a Magistrate, after an application for the order is made to them by a police officer or public…

New ‘Serial Family Violence Offender’ laws in Western Australia

A recent addition to the Sentencing Act in Western Australia is the ability for a sentencing court to declare a person a ‘‘Serial Family Violence Offender”. This power was granted to courts with a view to being able to better prevent recidivist family violence offenders from committing offences of family violence. The ability to make the declaration was introduced along with changes to other laws, including…

What are the new ‘anti consorting’ or ‘prohibited insignia’ bikie laws?

The state government recently introduced the Criminal Law (Unlawful Consorting and Prohibited Insignia) Act 2021 (WA). This Act was designed to deal a significant blow to ‘bikies’ or members of 1% motorcycle clubs in Western Australia. The law set out to make it illegal for club members to consort or hang out with each other, and to prohibit club members from displaying their colours, tattoos…

Police powers to search persons, homes and vehicles

A common question that arises in a criminal case is whether the police had the power to search someone’s person, or their house or car. If the police did not have the power to search a person, vehicle or house, any evidence obtained from the unlawful search may be inadmissible. The police have various powers to search contained in different laws. Some of the commonly…

How much force can the police use to arrest someone?

In previous articles, we have referred to the police powers of arrest, and to a person’s rights when they have been arrested. A further question which commonly arises is how much force can the police use to arrest a person? Is there any limit? In Western Australia, the principal power of arrest for police officers arises under the Criminal Investigation Act. That Act gives the police…

When is an admission made to a police officer admissible in court?

In a criminal case, if you have spoken to the police, the prosecution may attempt to use any comments you make against you in your trial. This is so whether any comments you make are recorded on video or not. The only comments you make that can generally be used against you are what are called ‘admissions’. These are comments you make that are against…

What are my rights if the police arrest me?

If you’ve been arrested, it is common to feel like you don’t have any rights and are at the mercy of the particular officers that arrested you. Particularly if you have been handcuffed or had force used to arrest you, or if you are held without charge for a lengthy period. However, despite how it may feel when you are under arrest, every person under…

When are the police allowed to arrest me?

The police must have lawful authority to arrest you. If they do not have lawful authority, the arrest is unlawful. The lawfulness of an arrest can be a very significant factor in any case involving criminal charges. If an arrest is unlawful, it can impact any evidence seized after the arrest occurred. It can also impact on the admissibility of any admissions you are alleged…

What is the Drug Court?

The Perth Drug Court was introduced on 4 December 2000, but Drug Courts have existed in the United States as far back as the 1980’s. The court was introduced with a focus on rehabilitating offenders with long-standing drug addiction problems. The court’s focus is on stopping the cycle of offending by drug users, rather than simply handing out progressively harsher sentences as their drug addiction…

New strangulation laws in WA

The new offence of ‘suffocation and strangulation’ was recently introduced into the Criminal Code under section 298. This new law makes it an offence to ‘unlawfully impede another person’s normal breathing, blood circulation, or both, by: manually, or by using any other aid – blocking (completely or partially) another person’s nose, mouth, or both; or applying pressure on, or to, another person’s neck’. This new…

How do witness summons (subpoenas) work in criminal cases?

In a criminal case, there may be a point where you are considering issuing a witness summons. This used to be called a subpoena. A summons is an order of the court. It can be an order to compel an actual witness to come to court and give evidence in support of the defence case. Or, more commonly, to compel someone to produce documentary evidence to…

Book a Consultation

We offer a no obligation, free 30 minute consultation if you are charged with a criminal offence. During the consultation we will provide you with comprehensive legal advice for the charge(s) you are facing. Contact us now to ensure you get the best possible advice from the outset of your case.

Book A Consultation