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Criminal Lawyers Adelaide – Criminal Law and Police Matters

Regardless of whether you have been charged with a minor Police matter, or you are facing a serious criminal charge, our experienced criminal lawyers can assist you. Scammell & Co. will provide a fearless and comprehensive defence to any criminal charges laid against you. Where you concede a charge, we will work to persuade the Prosecution and the Court that a low penalty should be imposed.

Scammell & Co criminal lawyers can advise you about the following:

  • What is legally required for the Police to prove the charge;
  • Whether you have a defence to the charge;
  • Whether the Police are likely to withdraw the charge; and
  • The penalty you are likely to receive and what steps should be taken to improve your chances of achieving the best result.

We can also accompany you at the Police interview, negotiate with Prosecution and appear on your behalf at Court hearings.

Whether the offence is dealt with in the Magistrates Court, District Court or Supreme Court, you will benefit from skilled and experienced legal representation.

The Courts we attend include:

  • Supreme Court of South Australia;
  • District Court of South Australia;
  • Adelaide Magistrates Court;
  • Port Adelaide Magistrates Court;
  • Elizabeth Magistrates Court;
  • Christies Beach Magistrates Court;
  • Adelaide Youth Court; and
  • All country Courts where sufficient funding exists to cover necessary associated travel and other expenses.

Scammell & Co Solicitors assists clients across a wide range of Criminal and Police Matters including:

  • Drug offences (including trafficking, possession, manufacture and cultivation)
  • Driving and Traffic offences
  • Common Assault
  • Serious Assault
  • Sex Offences
  • Child exploitation material offences
  • Offensive image material matters 
  • Domestic Violence
  • Intervention Orders / Restraining Orders (applications / breaches / revocations)
  • Trespass and Stalking offences
  • Property Damage / Vandalism / Grafitti offences
  • Theft / Stealing & Dishonesty Offences / Break and enter offences
  • Social Security and Taxation offences
  • Fraud / White collar crime
  • Firearm offences
  • Homicide (Manslaughter / Murder)
  • Criminal Assets Confiscation Law
  • Criminal charges in relation to Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Bail applications / bail breaches
  • Criminal charge reduction or withdrawal
  • Police procedure complaints

Migrant Convictions

In the event you are a migrant/born outside of Australia, and you are convicted of an offence and receive a term of imprisonment, the Federal Government may decide to cancel your visa.  In the event the term of imprisonment is at least 6 years in length, they could even cancel your Australian citizenship. Please refer to our Migration Law page on this website for information about how we can make an application to revoke this cancellation of visa/citizenship on your behalf.

What Scammell & Co Solicitors will achieve for you

Our service includes face-to-face appointments with you during which we will obtain detailed instructions about the allegations you are facing. We will advise you fully about your matter, and reach an agreement with you on the most appropriate strategy to achieve the best possible outcome.

For urgent advice please call 0412 975 081 or contact one of the solicitors listed below who are dedicated to Criminal Law and Police Matters.

For detailed information regarding driving offences including drink or drug driving, speeding or driving whilst disqualified or suspended, please refer to our Traffic Offences webpage.

Our professional and experienced Criminal Law and Police Matters team is ready to assist you…

Darren Russo

Ursula Matson

Anthony Barilla

Vivian Ngo

FAQs Click on the questions below to reveal the answer.

What should I bring to an appointment?

Any documents received from the Police i.e. Summons, Complaint, Bail forms, Property receipt and other Police documentation.

Can I avoid a conviction on my record?

When a Court hands down a penalty, a conviction for that offence will generally be recorded against your name. Convictions can sometimes affect your future employment, your ability to travel overseas and / or your ability to get certain licences such as a driver’s licence to drive motor vehicles.

In certain circumstances, a Court can deal with your matter without recording a conviction if there is a good reason. Getting early advice on this issue is extremely important if an application is to be made.

What are my rights when being questioned by Police?

It is important that you remain cooperative and polite with Police but we recommend that you exercise your right to remain silent until you have received legal advice. There are some questions that you are required by law to answer, otherwise you will be charged with an offence for failing to do so. The information that you must provide to Police is:

  • Your full name.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your address.

If the Police inquiry relates to a motor vehicle then it will be necessary for you to provide the name of the person that was driving the motor vehicle at the date and time nominated by Police.

To other questions simply reply: “I exercise my right to remain silent until I receive legal advice”, or simply say “I don’t wish to answer.”

Call Scammell & Co. on 8447 4466 or 8212 6875 (or after hours on 0412 975 081) as soon as the Police give you an opportunity to call a solicitor. We will provide you with further advice over the telephone and we can even negotiate with the Police to get bail for you.

What will Scammell & Co. achieve for me?

We can provide a fearless and comprehensive defence to any charges laid against you. Where you concede a charge, we will work to persuade the Prosecution and the Court that a low penalty should be imposed. We provide realistic advice.

What if I need urgent advice?

One of our solicitors is always available to take your call after hours on 0412 975 081.

I have received an expiation notice and want to challenge it. What should I do? If I pay the fine, will I lose my licence?

Do not pay the fine until you have discussed your options with one of our solicitors, but do so immediately you have received notification of a fine. There is a section on the notice that you can complete entitled ‘Election to be Prosecuted’. Complete that form in a timely fashion and arrange an appointment with one of our solicitors. We can discuss with you whether you have a defence to the charge, and help you make an application for a reduction of demerit points, if appropriate.

If the defending of my Police matter is successful, either by winning at trial or by the Police withdrawing the charges against me (‘dropping the charges’), can I recover any of my legal fees?

It is possible to make an application for costs at the conclusion of the matter in the Magistrates Court and Youth Court (for summary matters), but not in the District or Supreme Courts. Costs are ordinarily applied for on a court scale rate and are unlikely to cover your full legal costs. Occasionally, and in specific circumstances, your solicitor can apply for what is known as indemnity costs, which provides for more of your costs to be covered. We will advise you if this is possible in your circumstances.

I have just had my first court appearance and the matter has been adjourned (put off to another date). Am I still on bail?

The short answer is usually “yes”, unless the Court formally withdraws your bail agreement. Assuming you have been arrested (not summonsed to court) you may have entered into a police bail agreement. Once you go to court and adjourn the matter, most Magistrates will say that bail is to continue, which means you are placed on court bail for the duration of your court case.

If you are on bail, it is very important that you follow all of your bail conditions including attending every court hearing in your matter. Breaching your bail conditions is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment. If you wish to have anything altered on the bail agreement – for example, you want to move house and change your bail address – you will need a solicitor to make a formal application to the court to vary your bail. We can explain your bail conditions to you.

I have recently been arrested and placed on police bail to appear in court at a later date. I need to get my bail conditions varied to travel interstate for work. What should I do?

Prior to your first court date the police (not the court) have control over your bail and bail conditions. To change your conditions or to seek permission to leave the state you will need to go to the nearest police station, speak to the bail sergeant and make the request to vary your bail conditions. We are able to assist you in conducting these negotiations with the police. If the police will not alter your bail, you will need to wait until your first court hearing before you can apply to the court to vary your bail.

Mouth swab / DNA tests – should I agree?

You should speak to a solicitor before agreeing to either of these procedures.

I understand that the police may have CCTV footage of my alleged offending. Can my solicitor view this footage?

You are entitled to see the evidence that makes up the case against you. Your solicitor will obtain any CCTV footage from the police prosecution unit, should this be in their possession. However, this may not be available until your matter has been before the court for some time. Sometimes, we may be able to attend at hotel, shop or other locations where the CCTV footage is held and independently view the CCTV footage. If you believe there is CCTV footage which may shed light on your case, you should inform your solicitor and discuss the possibility of obtaining the footage.

I have been charged and asked if I would like to provide a statement. Should I do this?

The safest option is usually not give a statement to police. Providing a statement is unlikely to help your case, even if you think that you can “explain everything” and even if you believe that you are guilty of the offence and just want to “give a confession”. Do not feel pressured to provide a statement – remaining silent cannot be held against you in court. Sometimes your statement is the strongest evidence that the police have against you. Providing a statement to police may affect our ability to persuade police to drop their charges.

We are able to obtain statements, notes, CCTV footage, forensic test results and other evidence from prosecution in relation to our matter. It is important we review that material prior to obtaining your final instructions.

Should I involve the media in my case?

It is almost always not advisable to involve the media in your matter. Although this is always your decision, we ask you to bear in mind that your statement and the media’s interpretation of it may impact negatively on our ability to successfully negotiate with Prosecution regarding your matter. Further, your statements to the media can be used as evidence at any trial that may take place in your matter. Finally, the media will not always report things in the way that you want them to report. For all of these reasons, giving a statement to the media could have a negative impact on the outcome of your matter.

I have a trial at the Magistrates Court, will there be a jury?

You do not have the option of a jury trial in the Magistrates Court. A Magistrate will hear the trial and decide whether you are guilty or not guilty of the offence(s). However, if you are charged with a minor indictable offence such as assault or manufacturing a controlled drug, you can elect to have a trial by jury, in which case your matter will be transferred to the District Court.

I would like a suppression order because I am worried about the embarrassment that my case will cause my family. Is this an option?

It is very difficult to secure a suppression order. The chances are that any suppression application will be refused by the Court. Embarrassment to yourself, or to your family, is not sufficient grounds for the Court to order the suppression of your name. It is also very important to bear in mind that if you make an application for a suppression order, you may well attract attention from the media. However, in some cases it may be possible to make a successful application for a suppression order. Our experienced criminal lawyers can advise you on whether you have grounds to make a successful application for a suppression order.

What are the penalties for youth offenders?

There are many different penalty options for youth offenders. Often youths in criminal matters are ordered to attend a Family Conference. This will involve the youth’s family, the police and possibly the victim(s) of the offence(s) who meet to discuss what penalty should be imposed. Officially, all that will be recorded on a minor’s record would be “Family Conference”. There are other options such as a formal caution, or “Without Conviction”, that we can discuss with you. In more serious matters an obligation to be of good behaviour or a period of detention is possible – even through your child is under the age of 18 years.

The final decision on penalty and whether a conviction should be recorded is up to the Magistrate or Judge hearing the matter. However, if your solicitor has negotiated with the Prosecution regarding the desired outcome, any agreement can be helpful in persuading the Magistrate or Judge as to what should be imposed as a penalty. Therefore, we suggest that you obtain advice from one of our solicitors at the earliest possible opportunity.