Sexual Offence Lawyers
Cases involving allegations of sexual offending are sensitive. We understand that when accused of sexual offending, a person will require reliable specialist advice from a discreet and professional lawyer.
Beyond that we know that the laws and procedures for sexual offending are complicated and, in a number of ways, different to the laws and procedures governing other types of criminal offences. When you are accused of committing a crime it is always important to have an expert in criminal law acting on your behalf. This is especially true when you are accused of committing a sexual offence.
At Stary Norton Halphen we are experts in the field of criminal law and our team of dedicated and knowledgeable defence lawyers have many years of experience in defending those who are accused of sexual offences of which there are many, such as:
- Sexual penetration of a child
- Persistent sexual abuse
- Sexual penetration of child, step-child, sibling or parent
- Sexual penetration of a person with a cognitive impairment or mental illness
- Sexual assault
- Sexual assault of a child
- Sexual assault of a person with a cognitive impairment or mental illness
- Sexual activity in the presence of a child
- Procuring a sexual act by threat or fraud
- Grooming or procuring a child for sexual activity
- Administering an intoxicating substance for a sexual purpose
- Assault with intent to commit a sexual offence
- Threat to commit a sexual offence
- Possessing or accessing child pornography or child abuse material
- Transmitting, distributing or producing child pornography or child abuse material
- Obscene or wilful Exposure
Early Legal Advice
Though the approach a person accused of a sexual offence takes will vary from case to case, it is critical that as soon as you become aware that you are being investigated by the police that you obtain legal advice from an experienced criminal lawyer. To be clear, you should make every effort to obtain legal advice before participating in an interview with the police. If you chose to give an account, what you say becomes evidence in court. It is therefore essential that before you participate in an interview that you are informed of your rights, understand the interview process and have a strategy in place for it.
The Police Interview
The first thing to be clear about is that you have the right to remain silent. This means that when you are interviewed by the police you may remain mute or respond to each question you are asked by saying “no comment”. Approaching an interview in such a way is the safest course to take, particularly if you have not been able to speak to a lawyer first. Here it is noted that it is often the case that the first a person learns of an investigation is when a police officer knocks on their door and arrests them for the purpose of questioning them. Obviously, once you are under arrest it is difficult to speak to a lawyer, even though you have the right to do so. Accordingly, it is often the case that an arrested person does not receive legal advice before they are interviewed. If that is what happens to you, when you participate in your police interview you should remain silent.
If, however, the police contact you by phone to arrange for you to attend by appointment for questioning or you become aware that the police are investigating you in some other way, you should contact a criminal lawyer immediately. That lawyer will help you understand the process of being arrested for the purpose of an interview (so that it will be less confronting for you); explain your rights to you; and advise you of the pros and cons of either exercising your rights or providing the police with your version of events. In short, they will ensure you are prepared and you have strategy.
What Happens After the Police Question Me?
In some instances, the police will charge you immediately after interviewing you. However, people are often released after interview without being charged. If you are in that position you should keep in mind that there is no set time frame as to when you will learn of whether or not the police have decided to charge you. In such a setting it could be months or in some rare instances even years until you learn of their decision.
What Should I Do If the Police Charge Me With a Sexual Offence?
When charged with a sexual offence, if you haven’t already retained a criminal lawyer, it is important you find one before your matter reaches court.
A lawyer with expertise with allegations of sexual offending will: assist you in understanding the court processes and procedures; obtain the evidentiary material from the police said to support the sexual allegations which have been made against you; and once that material has been obtained that lawyer will review it closely to provide you with advice as to whether you have a defence, the strength of that defence and what the possible outcomes are for you if you plead guilty or are found guilty.
As one of Victoria’s most experienced criminal law firms we are well equipped to guide you through what is often a long and challenging process. Your lawyer at Stary Norton Halphen will provide you with clear advice as to what your options are and act in accordance with your instructions, all the while maintaining their focus on achieving the best possible result having regard to the circumstances of your case.
Expert Criminal Lawyers
If you have been charged, interviewed or are a suspect for a sexual offence call us immediately on (03) 8622 8200 or, if it is the weekend or afterhours, on 0407 410 821.
You have a voice.
Make it heard
Send A Message
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 your matter proceeds to court or not.