Our expert criminal lawyers, led by Principal Glenn Thexton, recently answered a range of frequently asked questions from the general public. If you’ve got a particular question relating to Criminal Law, see if we’ve already answered it below:
1. If you were mistreated many years ago by the police and as a result have suffered from depression or any other psychological or physical disorder, do you still have grounds to fight the case today?
Yes. You may have a cause of action against the police and/or individuals involved. It depends on the case, the details of the mistreatment and the evidence.
2. Can the police go into your house without anyone home at the time?
Generally they can, only if they have a search warrant, or if they have reason to believe that a person is on the property and there is cause to arrest that person, but not for all offences.
3. Can birth parents be charged as criminals when they commit a criminal act against their children?
Birth parents or biological parents can be charged with criminal offending against their own children.
4. If someone was convicted of Dangerous Driving Causing Death, but during the trial no attempt was made to establish how he or she came to be in the circumstance that resulted in a collision, is there room to appeal or repeal the conviction?
Such a person may have prospects for an appeal on the basis that there was nothing challenged regarding the circumstances.
5. Can we go to Court to fight for the Government to stop raiding places that grow cannabis for medicinal purposes?
The people growing medicinal cannabis may raise a defence in my view of necessity.
6. Do you only look at Victorian laws or Commonwealth laws?
We are able to provide advice in respect to both State and Commonwealth laws, and also other State laws for that matter.
7. Am I allowed access to all my medical information from my GP, medical practitioners and specialists without them first seeking legal consult?
Yes, this is your private information that you are entitled to have a copy of.
8. Who and how do I report to regarding a sexist judge?
You should write a letter to the chief magistrate and also to your local PM and tell them to get a transcript of the day that you were in court. If you don't get a reply, keep following up until you do. This is the sort of thing that can bring about a major change.
9. Parking Fines! Are they seen as a criminal matter?
Parking fines can become part criminal if a warrant is issued to enforce them and that is what can lead to jail. It is also possible to issue a civil warrant for arrest to bring a person to court and this is essentially how fines are enforced.
10. Is there any way to have your criminal history wiped or not show on a criminal history check?
Victoria Police have a policy in place called the “Information Release Policy” that applies to requests for a person’s criminal conviction history. The police policy states that it will release details of prior offences if 10 years has passed since an adult was last found guilty of an offence, and a five year waiting period applies to juvenile offending. After these periods the criminal history should not be released.
11. Is it against the law and a criminal act if someone forges another person’s signature on a legal JSA (job safety act) document and hands the forms into Work Cover saying he or she has signed it after hurting themselves at work?
I think this would be a breach of the relevant Work Cover legislation that may give rise to a criminal prosecution.
12. Is there any chance of winning a forfeiture of a car?
Yes, it is possible to defend an application for forfeiture of a vehicle.