In my experience as a criminal defence lawyer, I have found that it is not unusual to represent a client who has been charged with a criminal offence in circumstances where:
1. They may not have committed.
2. The prosecution cannot prove.
3. The charge is more onerous than the actual offence which they have committed.
Clients tend to assume that unless they plead guilty, the only way to deal with their offence/s is by proceeding to trial. Whilst I enjoy trial work, I understand that the process of going to trial can have an impact on the emotional and financial well being of a client and their loved ones, so for me it is important to consider whether or not a submission is an available option.
There are many times when I will recommend to a client that a submission should be made to invite the prosecution to discontinue, downgrade or substitute a charge. I find that writing a submission to the prosecution can be a strategic way to resolve matters, which can both reduce risk and provide a greater level of certainty in what is often already a stressful time.
What kind of matters can be discontinued?
From sexual assaults, drug offences and property offences to physical assaults, driving matters and offences involving threats, there is no limit to what charges can be dismissed by the prosecution after a submission is made.
An example of some matters which I have recently dealt with, which have been resolved by sending a submission to the prosecution, are highlighted below:
1. Conspiracy to Possess with intent to Sell or Supply 10 pounds (4.54 kg) of Cannabis – DISCONTINUED.
2. Possession with intent to Sell or Supply 7.62 grams of Methyl amphetamine, Possession with intent to Sell or Supply 208 grams of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Fail to Comply with a direction to provide police with a pin code, Possession of Stolen of Unlawfully Obtained Property ($7,970 cash) – ALL DISCONTINUED.
3. Possession with intent to Sell or Supply 12 grams of Methyl amphetamine – AMENDED to simple possession.
4. Robbery – AMENDED to Common Assault and sentenced to a fine.
5. Stealing as a Servant x 19 – DISCONTINUED.
6. Steal Motor Vehicle, Reckless Driving and No authority to Drive – DISCONTINUED.
7. Aggravated Assault Occasioning Bodily Harm – AMENDED to Common Assault and sentenced to a fine.
8. Possession with intent to Sell or Supply 7 grams of Methyl amphetamine – DISCONTINUED.
9. Possession with intent to Sell or Supply 3.5 grams of Cocaine – DISCONTINUED.
10. Burglary in a Dwelling and Stealing – DISCONTINUED and
11. Stealing x 31 – 26 charges DISCONTINUED, defence costs paid, client fined and granted a spent conviction.
Can my matters be discontinued?
Whether or not your matters are capable of being resolved by a submission, will only able to be determined once instructions are taken and other materials are considered (such as the Statement of Material Facts and an Electronic Record of Interview).
If you or someone you know has criminal charges, and would like to know if a submission can be made, call our office now on (08) 9221 7777