Sexual Offence Lawyers
Cases involving sexual offences are sensitive and require informed and knowledgeable legal representation to deliver a fair outcome. The lawyers at Stary Norton Halphen have many years of experience dealing with sexual offence charges, including cases related to sexual assault.
When charged with a sexual offence, it’s important your lawyer not only has a thorough understanding of such cases, but can oversee your case in an objective and just manner. As one of Victoria’s most experienced criminal law firms, we approach every case with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients by preparing your case as soon as possible and engaging you in the process from the beginning.
Typical cases our lawyers have advised on and represented include:
- Indecent Assault
- Attempted Rape
- Indecent Acts
- Pornography Offences
- Transmission of Indecent Communications
- Grooming or Procuring Offences
- Sexual Assault
- Obscene/Wilful Exposure
- Breaching Obligations pursuant to the Sex Offenders Register
The law governing sexual offences has been subject to continual change and the addition of many layers of procedural complexity. At Stary Norton Halphen, we pair our extensive experience with a comprehensive knowledge of current federal and state laws, allowing us to expertly deal with any ongoing changes and increasing complexities.
If you have been charged, interviewed by police, or if you are a suspect in an offence, please speak to us immediately – do not be afraid to ask for advice. Early intervention is critically important to determine case strategy.
We understand it can be difficult to speak with family and friends about these matters, so solicitor-client confidentiality is fundamental to our practice. You will be treated courteously and professionally. We offer reliable specialist advice in a confidential environment.
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What is assault?
As defined by the law, assault is either the application of force to another or causing another to fear / apprehend the use of force. A person does not necessarily have to lay a hand on another person in order to have committed an assault. They only need to have threatened to do so. If the police can prove either of these two things, a person will be charged with a summary assault. Although such a charge is the least serious of all assault charges, it still has a maximum penalty of imprisonment—3 months for summary assault and 6 months for an aggravated summary assault (e.g. where the victim is a female or a weapon has been used to effect the assault or the assault occurs in the company of others).
More serious examples of assault always require the police to prove the actual application of force. Furthermore, they must also prove the alleged victim has suffered an injury or numerous injuries and that you have caused them. In circumstances where the police allege you have assaulted a person and caused them an injury, you will be charged with either or both intentionally causing injury or recklessly causing injury. Should the injuries to the victim be numerous or significant, you may well be charged with either or both of intentionally causing serious injury or recklessly causing serious injury.
Causing injury to another is viewed seriously by the Courts and while the penalties vary significantly depending on what you have been charged with, the circumstances in which the allegations arise and whether or not you have a criminal history, once you are charged with one of these offences, in the absence of a viable defence, you are in most instances at risk of a term of imprisonment. In cases involving serious injury charges, in most instances you are at risk of a term of imprisonment of some length.
How serious is my case?
As violent crime covers a broad spectrum of incidents, the seriousness of your case and any subsequent sentencing will depend on the nature of the offence with which you are charged, any aggravating features of your offence and your level of culpability, with regard to the circumstances of your offending and the extent of your involvement in an offence.
Some important matters our criminal lawyers will help you understand include:
What the specific charge levelled against you is?
If multiple charges have been laid, the difference between those charges and whether you have a defence to one or all of the charges, your prospect of successfully defending one or all of the charges and whether or not it would be prudent of you to make a plea offer to one of the charges you are facing?
Whether there is evidence of the alleged crime—were there any witnesses? CCTV footage? Is there DNA evidence?
If you are amenable to pleading guilty the types of plea material you should obtain and the types of rehabilitative courses and treatement in which you should engage to give yourself the best opportunity of receiving the best possible penalty in the circumstances of your case.
What is an Intervention Order?
Intervention Orders, also known as Personal Safety Orders, Restraining Orders, Apprehended Violence Orders, Family Violence Orders and Domestic Violence Orders are court orders restricting a person’s access to and interaction with another person or group of people.
You can find more information in our dedicated Intervention Orders section.
I’ve been charged with a violent offence—what do I do?
The most important thing to do when charged with any offence is to engage an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible so that they are able to provide you with advice as to the process you are facing, how to approach your matter, whether or not you have an arguable defence, the various options available to you and what you can do while your case is progressing through the Courts so as to assist you in bettering your own position.
You can call Stary Norton Halphen at their Melbourne office on 1800 449 550 or reach us through our online enquiry form. For all After Hours enquiries, call 0407 410 821.
Am I likely to go to jail?
Violent crimes are treated very seriously by the courts and serious injury charges can and often do carry significant sentences of imprisonment if you are found guilty. Whether or not you go to jail will often depend on the nature of the charge before the Court and the circumstances of the offence. These matters are often the subject of negotiation with police and prosecutors.
When facing a charge of assault, be it because of a fight in public or an allegation of domestic violence, it is of the utmost importance you engage an experienced law firm who can advise you on your case and inform you of the potential outcomes, negotiate with the police or the office of public prosecutions in a strategic way to benefit you, and advocate and defend you forcefully in Court.
Advice from a competent and experienced criminal lawyer before you are interviewed can and often does have a meaningful impact on the outcome of your case and in some instances, is the difference between whether or not your matter proceeds to court or not.