Traffic & Criminal Law

Criminal Law

The criminal law in South Australia can be highly complicated, and changes frequently. If you are involved in a criminal matter, it is important to obtain advice from an experienced advocate who is familiar with the applicable legislation and case law.

Individuals who have their first encounter with the criminal law system are often unaware of their rights, and the consequences of not exercising their rights. We provide a 24-hour service for criminal law clients, so they can obtain important legal advice as and when they need it.

We work with experienced criminal barristers in Adelaide, and have positive professional relationships with a network of private investigators and industry experts to ensure that we are able to achieve the best possible results for our clients.

We provide advice and strategy in relation to a broad range of criminal matters, even where no charges have been laid. Our criminal law team is able to provide advice in relation to the impact that criminal investigations or charges may have on an individual’s employment, their statutory obligations and whether there are any regulatory bodies which may commence legal action against an individual after criminal investigations or charges have commenced.

We have extensive experience dealing with serious and high-profile cases, both in Court and before various regulatory bodies.

Traffic Law

Traffic law is a very technical area of law, which is often misunderstood by individuals who do not have the requisite professional legal expertise. We advise clients to arrange for a meeting with our traffic law experts as soon as possible after being charged with a traffic offence.

Traffic law in South Australia is primarily governed by the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) and the Motor Vehicles Act 1959 (SA), including the associated regulations. These Acts impose strict procedures, which need to be followed by the South Australian Policy (SAPOL) in order to secure a conviction. If SAPOL fail to comply with the provisions of the Acts (and other relevant Australian law), there may be an opportunity to have the charges thrown out.

The two most common enquiries regarding traffic law matters are:

Drink driving

Potential clients often contact us believing that once they have been charged with a drink driving offence, there is no defence to that charge. Our traffic law team is experienced in determining whether SAPOL has complied with all of the required legal and regulatory procedures in relation to drink driving matters. Where we identify an error or omission by SAPOL in this regard, you may have a complete defence to the drink driving charge, which can ultimately result in the charges against you being withdrawn or dismissed.

If you are charged with a drink driving offence, you will typically be issued with an instant loss of licence (ILOL). If you have received an ILOL, an application may be made to the Court to have the same withdrawn where there is a reasonable prospect that you may be acquitted of the charge. Applications for withdrawal of an ILOL are ordinarily reviewed by the Courts within days of such an application being lodged.

Demerit point reductions

Demerit points are accrued either when a fine is ‘expiated’ (paid) or where a court convicts a person of an offence for which demerit points apply. There is a process whereby demerit points can be reduced if you elect to be prosecuted for an offence that attracts demerit points and give evidence on oath about the circumstances surrounding the offence. This avenue is only available before an expiation notice has been paid so it is imperative to obtain legal advice before taking any action in relation to an expiation notice.

Our criminal and traffic law team can assist if you are arrested, charged or approached by the police to provide a statement regarding a criminal offence. We regularly appear in the relevant Courts representing people on a range of matters including:

  1. drink and drug driving;
  2. minor to serious driving offences;
  3. drug matters including possession, cultivation and dealing;
  4. sexual assault, indecent assault;
  5. resisting arrest;
  6. intervention orders (including domestic violence orders);
  7. arson, robbery, larceny, break and enter, theft, malicious damage; and
  8. bail applications.

A criminal record can have serious consequences, affect your career and job opportunities, potential scholarships and overseas travel. If you are involved in a criminal investigation or have been charged with an offence it is vital to obtain immediate legal advice to ensure your rights and interests are protected.

If you need any assistance contact Ash Bidhendi of our offices for a no-obligation discussion and for expert legal advice.