Are you facing criminal charges?
Whatever the charges against you, it is important that you seek legal advice and where necessary, representation.
The right legal help can make a big difference to the outcome of your case.
When choosing a criminal lawyer, make sure they have experience and a good track record in winning cases that are like yours.
In many cases, it is possible for your lawyer to push for your charges to be withdrawn, or to negotiate a lesser charge if you wish to plead guilty.
Having your charges withdrawn before the matter goes to a hearing can save you a lot of time, stress and money.
There are a few situations in which you may be able to successfully get your charges dropped, and your lawyer can advise you further if any of them apply in your case.
Where there is a fault with the prosecution’s case
Police have to follow legal procedures when they obtain evidence against someone, particularly in drug, drink driving, assault and sexual assault cases.
If the evidence the prosecution plans to submit against you is faulty, your lawyer may be able to apply for the charges to be withdrawn.
Some situations where this may apply include drink driving charges where breath testing took place more than two hours after you last drove, and drug charges where police didn’t follow proper procedure when searching you, or your premises or vehicle.
Your lawyer will be able to tell you whether or not the evidence against you is allowable and if it isn’t, there is a good chance they may be able to have the charges against you withdrawn.
Where the evidence against you is weak
If the evidence against you is weak – including when it’s your word against another’s – your lawyer can write to the prosecution and point out the weakness and request to have the charges against you withdrawn.
If the prosecution still wants to proceed, your lawyer can make sure the problems with their case are pointed out in court, which can help you get an outcome in your favour.
Your lawyer can also make sure that any evidence against you is accurate, and statements are worded accurately, so they don’t mislead the magistrate or judge.
Where you can get a Section 10
Although a Section 10 isn’t a withdrawal of charges, by getting a Section 10 you won’t have a criminal conviction recorded against you, and you won’t face any penalties.
Section 10 orders are applicable only where you plead guilty to an offence, and they are often easier to get for more minor offences if you have no previous criminal history.
But it is possible to get Section 10s for more serious or repeat offences, particularly if you can demonstrate the impact a criminal conviction would have on your lifestyle or employment.
An experienced lawyer can help you get a Section 10 order even for more serious offences.
Getting charges against you withdrawn isn’t easy and can take a lot of hard work from a good criminal lawyer.
If you’re appearing at a NSW court, make sure you engage experienced criminal lawyers who have a proven track record of successfully having criminal charges withdrawn.