201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
99 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601
Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
It is our experience that a well drafted court character reference can have an impact upon the sentence that is imposed by the court. We believe that a court character reference must paint a picture of your character. If your character references don’t help you stand out from the other offenders in court then you will be dealt with just like all the other cases.Most court character references make statements like this “James Brown is hardworking, energetic and generous with his time and money”. We believe that these references have very little impact upon the sentence imposed by the Court. As some Magistrate’s comment I have never read a bad character reference. But by the use of examples, illustrations and stories a referee can bring your character to life.
|Download a guide on how to write an effective character reference.|
Armstrong Legal has a team of lawyers who specialise in representing clients charged with assault. These lawyers appear daily before the Local and District Courts in New South Wales.What this means for you:
It is common practise where an offender has a number of drug related offences on their record for a Magistrate to question the offender as to whether they have a drug problem. If you do have a drug problem it is wise to have drug counselling to help you abstain from drugs. Under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act the court must take into account your attempts to rehabilitate yourself when imposing a sentence.
MERIT (magistrates early referral into treatment) is a program based in Local Courts in New South Wales that provides the opportunity for adult offenders who have drug problems to work, on a voluntary basis, towards rehabilitation as part of the bail process.MERIT Teams, based in NSW Health conduct the assessment of participants. Based on the assessment, you may be accepted into MERIT to receive targeted drug treatment. The MERIT treatment program will be developed to match your individual needs. The Court will make the your involvement in MERIT a condition of bail.
Participants are closely case-managed by the MERIT Team throughout the program and the Magistrate receives regular reports on your progress. The final hearing and sentence generally coincide with the completion of the MERIT program. Magistrates are then able to consider the your progress in treatment as part of final sentencing. It is our experience that participants who commit to the program receive a marked discount in the penalty imposed.
|Download a fact sheet about MERIT written by the Australian Government|
Completing a Traffic Offender Program demonstrates to the magistrate that you are serious about improving your driving behaviour. The Traffic Offenders Program is designed to increase peoples understanding of their social obligations, particularly where they relate to traffic laws. When sentencing a drug driving offender, a magistrate may take into account any changes of attitude displayed since you attended the traffic offender programThe course is for normally 7 or 8 weeks, one day per week for approximately 2 hours.
|Download a fact sheet on when & where the programs are run throughout NSW|