What to do if I’ve been charged… Know your options

We have often found that when speaking to those who have been charged with a criminal offence, or assisting someone else who has, they almost always feel the same way: overwhelmed and anxious. Whether it be the thought of imprisonment, the impact of job security, the worry of friends and family finding out about the allegations, or simply the added stress of dealing with the justice system at what may already be a difficult time, most people are terrified at the thought of being charged with an Offence. At a time when clients often feel vulnerable and confused about what to do next, getting advice about the process and what options are available is crucial to providing certainty moving forward.

One of the most important things to know when someone is charged with an offence is what the allegation is. This can be easily identified by considering a few key documents which the police are required to provide: the statement of material facts and the prosecution notices. These documents are critical to understanding what someone has been charged with, what they are alleged to have done, and in some cases, how the police say they can prove the allegation.

When reading through the statement of material facts, we have found that nearly all clients will say ‘they left out half the story’ or ‘I don’t agree with any of this’. If you or someone you know is in this position, rest assured that this is very common. What this means, is that you may need some advice on whether or not your matter needs to go to a trial, or whether there may be some prospect of negotiating the charges and/or the facts alleged against you with the prosecution.

To discuss your matters find out what your options are, give our specialist criminal team a call on (08) 9386 5200.

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