COVID-19 Operating Guidelines
In order to ensure the safety of our clients and staff we are implementing remote working procedures. We are still practicing and working with clients via video channels.We can conduct consultations through the following platforms:
Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangouts or any telephone or video channel that is most convenient.
Need Legal Advice?
If you need legal advice immediately, call us.
Can’t make it to our office for a meeting? Let us arrange a Skype conference.
Find it difficult to attend during work hours? We are happy to meet you out of hours.
Whatever the case, getting the correct legal advice quickly is most important, and we will ensure that happens.
How can we help you?
Why are we the Melbourne criminal defence lawyers for you?
- We are one of Melbourne’s leading criminal law firms.
- We only practise criminal law. Nothing else. That is what makes us experts.
- Tony was one of the first Victorian criminal lawyers to be recognised as an Accredited Specialist in 1995.
- We offer honest, clear and straightforward advice and case assessments.
- We charge lump sum fees where possible so there are no hidden surprises.
- We work regularly with Melbourne’s leading senior Barristers and QCs.
Why is legal advice important?
- When facing criminal investigation or charges, it is vital to properly manage your case from the outset.
- Statements that you make during a record of interview will impact on your defence.
- Many strategic decisions need to be made during the criminal process.
- The consequence of a finding of guilt is very often jail. It is important to immediately contact us.
Speak to one of our specialists today
If you have been charged with an offence, you require legal advice and representation. Anthony Isaacs Criminal Lawyers are ready to assist you. We have the knowledge of the law, legal system and the dedication to work hard on your case to achieve best results. Whether you have been charged with a traffic offence or a serious crime, we can help.
Have You Been Charged With a Crime?
We believe that every person charged with criminal offences deserves expert legal representation – that is why we act for them.
We look forward to assisting you with your legal requirements.
If you have been charged you need advice and representation. When facing allegations of criminal behaviour what you do first is vital to the successful outcome of your matter. The first thing to do is to call our criminal law firm for expert practical advice and for an explanation of your legal rights. Findings of guilt, criminal convictions and gaol sentences can impact on all aspects of your life, both now and in the future. Aspects like work, travel, relationships, education and insurance to name a few. You owe it to yourself to be properly advised and represented.
If you are charged with criminal offences your Court case is likely to be many months, if not years away. This is a terribly stressful time for the accused, their family and friends. The Criminal Justice system is generally totally unknown to those charged. It is complex and often difficult to understand. As well as achieving the best possible outcome, our criminal lawyers in Melbourne have the expertise to assist you through that process and to reduce the stress for all concerned.
You may not be under investigation or be charged, but still may require legal advice. When a person dies in unusual circumstances, there will probably be a Coronial Inquest. If they are a member of your family or you have knowledge of the incident you may be asked to make a statement to Police and appear as a witness in the Coroner’s Court. You may have an application for an Intervention Order issued against you. You may have had a working with Children permit refused. VicRoads may have suspended your licence. In these examples, you are not charged with offences, but will benefit from legal advice and legal representation if necessary.
Frequently Asked Legal Questions
For more frequently asked questions related to criminal law, please visit our FAQ page.
What you say in a record of interview can significantly impact the course of your case. Therefore, before answering questions, you should always contact a criminal lawyer for advice, regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty.
Depending on the circumstances, a lawyer may advise you to answer questions from the police, provide a written statement or answer 'no comment'.
You will always be given the opportunity by the police to call a lawyer before an interview commences. We highly recommend doing so.
Once charged by the police, your matter will go to Court. Cases generally go through a number of hearings before reaching the final hearing.
You have a decision to make and should get legal advice. You can:
Plead guilty - Your lawyer will prepare a plea and the Court will sentence you according to the sentencing options set out by the legislation.
Plead not guilty - You fight the charges at a contested hearing / trial. If you 'win', no sentenced is imposed. If found guilty, the court imposes a sentence as above.
Relatively recent changes to Victoria Police Policy mean that if you are charged by the police, those charges will now appear on your criminal record, even before they have been determined by a Court.
This can have a significant impact particularly for job seekers, as it is common for employers to seek a criminal record check from prospective employees.
The Criminal Defence Process
If you have been charged with a crime, you need advice and representation. When facing allegations of criminal behaviour what you do first is vital to the successful outcome of your matter. The first thing to do is to call us for expert practical advice and for an explanation of your legal rights.
We defend people charged by the police, whether it concerns a simple traffic offence or the most serious charge, murder, and all offences in between. There are two types of matters that the police may charge you with:
1. Summary Matters
This is a less serious offence and will usually be dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
- Arrest and interview
- Release pending summons or further investigation
- Charge and release on bail; or Remand into Custody
- If remanded in Custody, Bail Application
- Solicitor requests Brief of evidence from Informant
- Solicitor conducts a Summary Case Conference with the Prosecutor
- Mention date: Matter proceeds only if pleading guilty
- Mention date: Matter adjourned as plea of not guilty
- Contest Mention: Parties attend Court date to indicate areas of dispute and to arrange Contested Hearing. Court will encourage resolution. If case resolved can plead guilty at Contest Mention.
- Contested Hearing
2. Indictable Matters
This is a more serious offence and will be dealt with in the County or Supreme Court.
- Arrest and Interview
- Release pending summons or further investigation, or
- Charged, and either: Release on bail
- Charged, and either: Remand into Custody (then consider bail application)
- Filing Hearing in Magistrates’ Court
- Service of Brief on Solicitor
- Preparation of Form 32 – Request witnesses to be cross examined at Committal
- Committal Mention – Magistrates’ Court
- Committal – Magistrates’ Court. This hearing determines whether there is sufficient evidence to send the matter to trial
- Case conference – County / Supreme Court
- Directions hearing – County / Supreme Court
- Trial – County / Supreme Court
Which Court will my matter be heard in?
Victoria's courts have different levels of power, and the court your matter is heard in will be determined by the location and seriousness of the alleged offence.
Appeals from the Magistrates Court are heard in the County Court. An Appeal of a County Court case is heard in the Court of Criminal Appeal (Supreme Court). If the defendant is under 18 at the time of the offence, he/she is dealt with in the Children’s Court. An inquest into a death is held at the Coroner’s Court.
The Magistrates Court hears traffic offences, less serious assaults, and dishonesty matters up to a value of $25,000 and less serious drug offences, among other things.
Melbourne County Court
The Melbourne County Court hears cases involving serious assault, serious sexual assault and rape, armed robbery, major dishonesty and fraud offences and serious drug offences.
Victorian Supreme Court
The Supreme Court hears cases of murder, manslaughter, major drug cases and other such offences. These days it also hears Terrorism offences.
Why choose Anthony Isaacs as your Criminal Defence Lawyer?
When you are looking for a Criminal Lawyer, every firm will promise to “get you the best possible result” – but can they? The difference between quality representation and the rest, can be measured on the following three factors:
Experience, Service and Value.
The outcomes of criminal matters have significant impacts upon peoples’ lives. At the highest, it may result in a period of imprisonment. In other cases, careers, livelihoods and reputations might be at stake. Whatever the circumstances, sentences will bear upon the accused and often their family and friends for the rest of their lives.
Why is experience important? Even though each case will present its own set of circumstances and issues, it is likely to share some basic elements with other matters which have been previously heard before the Courts. A lawyer who has dealt with similar matters before will be aware how to best navigate a path to a successful outcome. Whilst every client we see is unique in what has occurred, there are very few, if any, offences that we have not dealt with before in over 40 years of criminal defence work.
Complimenting experience is knowledge. Not only is it important to engage a lawyer who has dealt with similar matters, but also one who remains up to date with legal developments such as amendments to legislation and case law. This is particularly important for offences such as digital crimes where the landscape changes rapidly. We are subscribed to a number of law bulletins and receive hard copy legislative updates to ensure that we are fully equipped to deal with any matter
These elements combined means that we are confident in our advice and the decisions that we make, and that we are able to give you a reliable prediction of the likely outcome of a case.
Finally, years in the industry builds rapport with other parties in the system such as the Court, Prosecutors and experts who defence solicitors engage to support their cases. Hiring a lawyer with these networks and connections maximises your chances of obtaining the best result. The experts we use all have strong reputations with the Courts and we share excellent working relationships.
Whilst the outcome of a matter is vital, lawyers are ultimately offering a service to their clients, and this service should extend far beyond the final day in Court.
We find that during their first conference, many clients are extremely anxious, scared and overwhelmed by the prospect of facing charges. The justice system is often completely foreign to them, and part of the fear they experience is usually associated with not knowing what is going to happen.
One of our roles is to minimise the stresses involved, which we do by
- Explaining clearly and in detail, what the court process is
- What all of the available options are
- The reasoning behind our advice
- Dealing with other parties in the matter on behalf of the client
- Being available to our clients through telephone, text and email
From the time you are charged, a criminal case may take many months, and sometimes more than a year to conclude. Engaging a solicitor whom you know is going to be honest, reliable and contactable over the course of the journey are all qualities which will make the process far easier.
We make every effort to see that our clients understand exactly where they stand, what is occurring, and that we have done everything possible to provide a quality service to our clients.
More and more we are finding that clients are willing to shop around to find the right lawyer to represent them, and so they should. Court cases are often significant financial commitments and clients should feel comfortable with and have confidence in their choice of solicitor.
We find that after conducting a free initial conference with us, clients engage our services because we provide experience and service at an affordable up-front cost. Where possible we charge lump-sum fees so that you know exactly how much a case will cost and that there are no hidden costs along the way. We don’t charge in five minute blocks and we don’t charge for 30 second phone calls.
Talk to us
Given the importance of obtaining the right outcome, choosing a criminal lawyer should never be based on cost alone. We would encourage you to think about these three factors during your search.
Call us for a free, honest and confidential discussion about your case to see how you can use our services to obtain the best outcome.