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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Comprehensive Guide On General Principles Of Criminal Law In Australia

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The criminal law in Australia has been formulated to serve the best interest of the citizens. The law ensures that justice is served to everyone. There are top criminal lawyers in Perth who want the best for their clients.

However, as a citizen, you should also gather some valuable information on the general principles of criminal law, and how an individual can fight for his/her rights when in trouble. Let us take a glance at the general principles of criminal law in Australia.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

According to Australian law, a person accused of a crime is not guilty until proven at the court of law. The judge needs to offer the final verdict that the person is guilty. It needs to be confirmed before the judge that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof lies on the shoulder of the prosecution. This means that the accused is not required to prove that they are not guilty. Instead, the prosecution needs to establish the crime of the accused.

The prosecution needs to provide adequate evidence and convince the judge that a person is guilty. This rule applies to all criminal proceedings. However, in some cases, the defendant provides proof to establish a specific point. In cases where a person has committed a prohibited act due to a reasonable excuse, the defendant has to explain their reason. Then the prosecution attempts to establish how the excuse was not valid.

Right To Remain Silent

An essential principle of Australian criminal law is the right to remain silent. But the accused will have to give their name and address if enquired by the police. Refusing to tell one’s name and address to the police can be considered an offence. The accused must understand that they have the right to remain silent. An accused may refuse to answer questions or participate in an interview without a criminal lawyer Perth WA.

Anything a person says to police can be used against the person in the trial. It is necessary that the things have to be told in a formal interview to be used later in a trial. Making careless and hasty statements in front of the police can be detrimental for a person. It is wise for an accused to use their right to remain silent and speak only in their lawyer’s presence. The fact that a person chose to remain silent cannot be used against them. This means that a prosecutor cannot justify that a person is guilty by referring to their silence.

Double Jeopardy

The principle of double jeopardy ensures that no person is punished for the same crime more than once. But a new trial can be ordered if the first trial is deemed as a mistrial. In some instances, double jeopardy is no longer applicable.

For example, if fresh and compelling evidence about a case can be produced, the case may be reopened. This time the verdict of the jury may change due to more evidence. But the evidence has to be substantial and reliable for double jeopardy to become inapplicable.

Tips To Choose A Good Criminal Lawyer

The significance of having a good criminal lawyer cannot be stressed enough. Finding the right attorney can make all the difference in your case. Having a good criminal lawyer will ensure that you are represented accurately in court. The process of looking for an efficient lawyer can be daunting. But we can offer you a few tips that will help you in your search. The tips are as follows:

Find A Responsive Criminal Lawyer

There are many criminal lawyers in Perth. However, it is essential to find someone who is responsive. Time plays a crucial role in determining the fate of your case. It is your duty to find a lawyer who knows the value of time and takes immediate action. The lawyer should grab the necessary details of the case and sit down to work. Your lawyer should have frequent conversations with you to remain updated about the case.

Your attorney should be experienced, but it is pivotal to look at the enthusiasm of the attorney. Your attorney should be hard-working and offer you the best defence possible. A good lawyer will ask you to accept a plea offer only when it is sure to work in your favour. The right attorney will dive into your case and help you decide whether to accept a plea or go to trial.

Choose A Criminal Lawyer Who Oozes Confidence

Confidence is the key to winning a case. Criminal trials proceed at a fast pace. Your attorney will have to be an expert at making objections within mere seconds. Choose an attorney who is comfortable in a court hearing. A reasonable attorney will know all the laws over the top of their head. They will be familiar with court proceedings and will be able to make decisions in your best interest.

You must check the success rate and reputation of a lawyer before asking them to take your case. You must hire a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with cases similar to yours. For instance, you should choose a drink driving lawyers if a case is lodged against you for driving drunk. Your lawyer needs to be confident about making quick decisions. However, your consideration is vital before finalising any significant decision.

Look For A Prominent Fee Structure

You should choose a lawyer who will provide you with a detailed fee structure. The lawyer should give you an idea about the amount that you will have to pay. This will ensure that there is no confusion regarding the bill later. The least expensive or the most expensive lawyer isn’t always the best choice. Instead, you should verify the services provided by a lawyer and select the one most suitable for you.


The basic principles of the Australian law state that no accused are guilty until proved otherwise. An accused can refuse to answer any questions asked by the police except for their name and address. No person can be penalised for the same crime more than once, but some exceptional scenarios exist. A criminal lawyer is responsible for representing you in court. Therefore, it is vital to hire an experienced and efficient criminal lawyer, who can offer you proper representation.


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