Going to Court
Once we have determined there are no other options, GP Legal will ensure you understand the Court process and procedures and what is required of you.
Court or Tribunal
Some matters are handled by Tribunals rather than Courts – Tribunals are relatively less formal but still have the power to make binding decisions.
Section 14 of The Mental Health Act 2007 says that A person is a mentally ill person if the person is suffering from mental illness and, owing to that illness, there are reasonable grounds for believing that care, treatment or control of the person is necessary–
(a) for the person’s own protection from serious harm, or
(b) for the protection of others from serious harm.
In considering whether a person is a mentally ill person, the continuing condition of the person, including any likely deterioration in the person’s condition and the likely effects of any such deterioration, are to be taken into account.
If the tribunal finds that a person is mentally ill, then the tribunal can order that the person is kept in the mental health facility against their will. This order I known as an Involuntary Patient Order.
- Community Treatment Order
A community treatment order (CTO) Section 51 of the Act authorising the compulsory treatment in the community of a person, may be made by the Tribunal. The CTO is administered by the local Mental health centre. A case manager is appointed, who usually is a registered mental health nurse, and checks on the patient at regular times, as often as daily if necessary, to ensure that the patient takes ordered medication and is given personal assistance where needed so that the patient doesn’t need to be kept in hospital
Criminal matters are usually divided into indictable and summary offences.
These are more serious offences such as assault, larceny, fraud, robbery, burglary, manslaughter and murder.
These must be dealt with in the District or Supreme Court and require a trial by a judge and jury, unless the matter is a type where the parties can agree to the matter being dealt with summarily.
Criminal Procedure Act 1986 – Schedule 1 Provides that all indictable offences are classified in two Tables depending on severity.
Table 1 – Indictable offences that are to be dealt with summarily unless prosecutor or person charged elects otherwise
Table 2 – Indictable offences that are to be dealt with summarily unless prosecutor elects otherwise
Summary offences. The Summary Offences Act 1988 dictates how less serious offences are dealt with in the local courts.
They are heard in the Local Court in New South Wales, or the Children’s Court for minors.
The Court will generally issue a warrant for arrest for anyone charged with a summary offence who fails to attend Court in response to a Summons.
In NSW, summary offences have a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment. Other sentences that may be imposed include good behaviour bonds, fines, community-based orders, or detention or a combination of these orders.
We provide advice in relation to your prospects and help you decide whether to plead guilty or contest the charges.
At GP legal we have an extremely high success rate in cases where we have advised our clients to plead not guilty.
How we Assist
1. You have right to silence. Don’t make any statements or provide any explanations about your conduct to the police unless you talk to us first.
2. Many criminal charges result from conduct that is rooted in mental health disorders or mental illness. We have a detailed understanding of how to assist our clients to receive effective psychiatric and psychological help and have their criminal charges diverted out of the criminal law system
3. We can assist with legal aid applications
We understand your Driving Licence is important to you.
If you are being charged with a drink driving offence and face losing your licence, it is important to get legal advice before fronting up to Court by someone who knows how to plead to the Courts for leniency.
We have experience advising Clients in relation to offences involving drink-driving charges, RMS Licence Appeals and traffic infringements such as speeding and mobile phone usage.
We can advise before an appearance or even represent Clients in their traffic matters at Court to help reduce penalties and where possible, reinstate licences.
An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) is ordered against a family member including spouses, ex-spouses and intimate partners including a de facto.
An Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) – is for protection from someone other than family members.
These orders can be made either by police officers or by persons seeking to protect themselves from violence, stalking or intimidation.
If you are the victim of domestic and personal violence you should contact the police or contact us to assist you to contact the police.
If you have been served with an ADVO or a APVO you should contact us to discuss the situation. These orders are not criminal findings but a breech of these orders will lead to a criminal conviction.
GP Legal is experienced in advising people on their legal options.
We can advise you on whether there are grounds for you to negotiate to have the application withdrawn, or we can represent you in court if you choose to defend the application.