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Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is located across the road from Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court.
Our firm represents clients in the Downing Centre every day and our lawyers are highly respected by the magistrates, judges and prosecutors in this busy courthouse.
We have an in-depth knowledge of the Downing Centre and a proven track record of obtaining outstanding results – many of which are published on this website (see recent cases).
Our top defence team has developed techniques over many years to achieve outstanding results in the Downing Centre – from drink driving, assault and drug cases to extremely complex District Court trials.
We guarantee that only Senior Criminal Lawyers will represent you in the Downing Centre Local Court and we offer ‘fixed fees’ for a range of cases, including:
The types of criminal cases heard in Downing Centre Local Court include:
For the best representation in our ‘home court’, contact Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today for a free first appointment with a Senior Criminal or Traffic Defence Lawyer.
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Our client is a 26 year medical science student, with a part time job dropping-off medical supplies to various locations.
He has a wife and young child.
He was detected by police driving at a speed greater than 45 km/h, being 162km/h in an 80km/h zone (ie 82km/h over the speed limit).
Police pulled him over and issued him with a police suspension notice for a period of 6 months.
Despite having a number of other driving offences on his record, our client was adamant that he wished to appeal the suspension.
We assisted him to prepare a range of materials, including character references and a letter of apology – which outlined his need for a licence for work and family commitments, including taking his elderly parents to medical appointments.
The test to lift or vary an immediate police suspension is onerous, requiring the demonstration of ‘exceptional circumstances’.
However, after making extensive verbal submissions to the presiding magistrate in Downing Centre Local Court, Her Honour saw fit to reduce the suspension from 6 months to 1 month – which was backdated to the time of the suspension.
This meant he could immediately reapply for his licence and meet his personal and employment obligations.
Our client is a 20 year old teaching student who was charged with ‘making a false representation resulting in a police investigation’. She made a complaint of sexual assault against her short term partner, who was many years her senior.
After her initial complaint to police, she indicated that she did not want to attend court because she did not want to face the trauma of reliving the incident.
When she refused to give a further statement clarifying various matters, police formed the view that she was lying and charged her with making a false complaint.
The case ultimately proceeded to a defended hearing in Downing Centre Local Court, where our lawyers were able to establish that police had failed to adequately investigate her initial complaint – failing to follow up leads or to gather any forensic or other evidence from the incident scene. They further failed to make sufficient inquiries into her alleged false complaint.
The Magistrate remarked that there was insufficient evidence against our client and found her not guilty.
We then made an application for costs against police. His Honour found that the investigation was conducted in an unreasonable and improper manner, awarding full legal costs in our client’s favour.
Our client is a 26-year-old member of the Australia Defence Force.
He was charged with 5 offences of possessing explosives and prohibited weapons.
He was suspended without pay from the Defence Force pending the outcome of the charges.
Once he contacted our firm, we immediately commenced negotiations which resulted in police withdrawing 3 of the charges.
We negotiated significant amendments to the police ‘fact sheet’ which more accurately reflected the circumstances of the offending. Our client then entered a plea of guilty to the remaining 2 charges.
In Downing Centre Local Court, we presented information about the circumstances leading up to the offending conduct, our client’s personal circumstances and the effect that a criminal conviction would have upon him.
We also called his father to give oral evidence on our client’s behalf.
Recognising the very serious nature of the charges - including the fact that one of the offences carries a maximum penalty of 14-years imprisonment - we made extensive and detailed oral submissions seeking leniency from the Magistrate.
His Honour was ultimately persuaded to grant our client a 12-month good behaviour bond under section 10 – which means he avoids a criminal conviction altogether.
He hopes to recommence his position and move forward with his life.
Our client is a 34 year old school teacher in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs.
On a Sunday, he was playing a social game of basketball when he took exception to being heavily fouled by an opponent. He approached the opponent and elbowed him to the right side of the face, causing him to collapse face-first to the ground and remain unconscious for several minutes.
An ambulance arrived and the opponent was rushed to hospital suffering from a severe concussion, heavy swelling and bruising to the face and head, and several broken teeth.
Our client described his response as a ‘brain explosion’. He was immediately remorseful and undertook counselling at our direction. He also gathered character references.
Our defence team negotiated several amendments to the ‘full facts’ and obtained a detailed counselling report. Our client then entered a plea of guilty.
After lengthy submissions in Downing Centre Court, the magistrate was persuaded to grant a ‘section 10 bond’ – which means our client avoids a criminal record and can continue with his career.
The Magistrate in Downing Centre Local Court allowed our 34 year old client from Mosman to avoid a conviction and a licence disqualification despite the fact that he was an ‘L plater’ and registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.07.
The charge arose when our client decided to drive home after having some drinks on a Friday night. He was stopped by police for a random breath test and blew a low range reading.
He had a learner licence at the time, but no ‘L’ plates were displayed.
Our lawyers assisted him with character references and a letter of apology to the court.
He also completed the Traffic Offender Program.
These materials were presented to the court on our client’s sentencing date, and lengthy submissions were made which ultimately persuaded the Magistrate to grant him a 12 month good behaviour bond under ‘section 10’, which means that he avoids a criminal record and licence disqualification.
This is despite this offence carrying an automatic disqualification period of 6 months.
Our client is a 43 year old chiropractor living in an apartment block in Sydney.
It was alleged that on a Sunday morning, two of his neighbours heard loud music coming from the building’s parking lot and went down to investigate.
They saw our client cleaning his car and asked him to turn his music down. An argument then occurred during which, it was alleged, our client kicked his female neighbour to the chest causing her to fall to the ground and punched his male neighbour to the face several times, also causing him to fall.
Paramedics were called and the neighbours were said to be suffering from bruising, cuts, abrasions and severe pain.
Police then attended and charged our client with ‘Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm’ and ‘Common Assault’. They also applied for an Apprehended Violence Order against him.
Our client was adamant that he did not strike the female at all and that he acted in self-defence in relation to the male.
Our lawyers obtained CCTV footage which showed parts of the incident, and did not show our client striking the female.
The case went to a full-day defended hearing in Downing Centre Local Court where our legal team persuaded the Magistrate that:
(a) there was insufficient evidence to establish that our client struck the female, and
(b) there was a reasonable possibility that our client acted in self-defence in respect of the male.
Accordingly, our client was found ‘not guilty’ and all charges and the AVO against him were dismissed.
Our client is a 48 year old architect from Surry Hills, Sydney.
His home adjoins that of his neighbour, the complainant. The two have been engaged in an ongoing dispute regarding various issues, including noise.
Just after 3pm on a Tuesday, our client was moving his two wheelie bins when the the neighbour exited her front door and complained about the noise it made.
The disagreement quickly escalated into an argument, and our client allegedly threatened the complainant and pushed one of the bins hard into her thigh, causing pain.
Police were called and our client was charged with assault after statements were taken from the complainant and an independent observer, who supported the complainant's version of events.
Police also made an application for an Apprehended Violence Order ('AVO').
The case went all the way to a defended hearing in Downing Centre Local Court.
The independent witness gave testimony in court supporting the complainant's version of events.
However, through careful preparation and skilful cross-examination, we were able to systematically discredit both the complainant and the independent witness on the stand.
The Presiding Magistrate ultimately found our client 'not guilty' of all charges and also dismissed the AVO that was brought against him.
It is yet another example that cases can certainly be won even if there is an 'independent witness' that backs-up the complainant's story.
Our client is a 27 year old mother from Killara who has previously been convicted of a range of criminal offences.
She was employed from November 2012 until January 2014 as an accountant a book keeper with an online company that compares the prices of online goods.
Between August and December 2013, she entered 12 invoices totalling over $64,000 into the company’s accounting system which purported to pay a legitimate company for their outstanding invoices.
However, she changed the bank account details so that the payments were made into a fake bank account that she was later shown to access.
She resigned after the anomalies were brought to her attention.
Upon her resignation, her employer located a range of items in her drawers and on her computer showing that she was clearly guilty of the offences; including manufactured documents and files stating the name of the legitimate company at the top and the fake account underneath.
The fraudulent invoices were also shown to have been entered through her log details in and submitted through her account.
The evidence against her was therefore overwhelming.
Our client saw another criminal law firm who, improperly in our view, set the matter down for a 3-day defended hearing and quoted her an exorbitant figure to represent her during that hearing.
We were instructed that she was not advised of any defence.
We were also instructed that no attempt had been made by her previous lawyers for her case to be withdrawn and that there had been no negotiations for the reduction of the charges, or the amendment of the ‘police facts’ – which was confirmed by the police officer in charge.
Our client came to see her just 3 weeks before the 3-day defended hearing.
When our Principal Mr U. Nedim carefully reviewed all of the evidence, it became abundantly clear that the prosecution case was overwhelming and that a defence was not available.
They immediately advised the client that she was wasting her money on such an expensive hearing and would be losing the benefit of a guilty plea.
Our client stated word to the effect of: ‘I knew that was the case’, ‘he always said take it to hearing but never told me why’, and ‘I don’t think he even read the documents’.
Our defence team immediately went into ‘damage control mode’.
We obtained full instructions which revealed psychological issues including depression, and which went some way towards explaining the conduct – without excusing it.
We quickly engaged a psychologist to prepare a detailed report.
We managed to convince police to merge the 12 charges into a single charge and, vitally, to delete nearly two-thirds of the ‘facts’ (ie the document handed-up to the magistrate) so that the offence appeared much less-serious.
We then advised the court that the case would be a ‘guilty plea’ and to ‘vacate’ (cancel) the three-day hearing.
This gave our client the benefit of a ‘discount on sentencing’; in other words, entitled her to a more lenient penalty.
On the day of sentencing, the Magistrate in Downing Centre Local Court praised our firm's efforts towards mitigating the case.
He gave our client a substantial sentencing discount for saving the court from having to hear a 3 day case whereby many witnesses would have to attend.
He took into consideration the positive psychological report and our detailed submissions, and released our client upon a 2 year ‘section 9 good behaviour bond’ – which is an outstanding result given the nature of the offence and her previous record.
Our client was extremely happy and relieved, and also thankful that our costs were far lower than what her previous lawyer wanted.
The Harbourlife Music Festival on 8th November 2014 led to a large number of arrests for drug possession.
On 5th December, our Senior Lawyers each represented 3 clients who pleaded guilty to drug possession in Downing Centre Local Court.
Our clients were from a range of economic, cultural and employment backgrounds – including students, retail worker, tradespersons and professionals in upper management.
ALL of our clients escaped criminal records after our lawyers persuaded the Magistrate to grant them ‘section 10s’ – which means guilty but no criminal conviction.
They are free to get on with their lives without the complications of a criminal record.
Our client is a 51 year old man who owns a terrace style house in Surry Hills.
His neighbour (the 'protected person') is a 52 year female owner of a converted warehouse residence that has been under renovations for some years.
Police applied for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) on behalf of the 'protected person' after she made numerous complaints including that: our client was constantly harassing and staring at her, yelled abuse at her, damaged one of her walls, dumped asbestos in her rear lane, repeatedly parked in her lane just outside her window etc.
Our legal team made it clear to police early-on in the case that those complaints had no evidentiary basis and were clearly frivolous and vexatious.
Police nevertheless went-ahead with the case and it eventually reached a defended hearing in Downing Centre Local Court.
During the hearing, our lawyers severely discredited the 'protected person' on the witness stand and made it abundantly clear that the AVO should never have been applied for in the first place.
The Magistrate dismissed the AVO and handed down a judgement that was extremely critical of police.
We then made an application for the officer in charge to pay our client's legal costs.
In NSW, section 99 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act severely restricts a defendant's ability to win costs against police in AVO cases.
Despite this, Her Honour ordered that the officer must pay all of our client's legal costs.
Our client is now considering pursuing additional avenues of complaint and compensation against both his neighbour and the police officer.
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