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CRIMLAW Criminal Defence
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ABN 71 162 812 946


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This is Annie’s Story


Annie’s mum was anxious and despondent and it was showing to her work colleagues. She had decided she wasn’t going to tell anyone at work what has happened to Annie. She wasn’t going to tell anyone. If she didn’t speak about it then maybe it would go away. But the worry continued.

Annie is her only daughter and had only turned 18 a few months ago. She had changed in the last few months. She was moodier than usual and was sleeping all day, going out all night and barely eating enough that her already slim build was starting to look gaunt. As a concerned mum she would ask if Annie was alright but this just led to fight and attitude so she stopped and hoped this ‘new’ Annie was only temporary.


That was until the day that Annie can home and told her mum that she had been charged by police for drugs.


Drugs – what do you mean drugs? Annie. How could you? When did you start taking drugs. Annie didn’t want to talk about it. Burying her head in the sand seemed to be a family trait.


Well mum did what all caring parents would do in that situation. She took Annie to a lawyer to try and understand what this all meant and how serious it was for Annie. She had never been in trouble with the law before. In fact no one in the family had. She went to a lawyer she found on the internet who advertised themselves as ‘experts in criminal law’.


The lawyer seemed like he knew what he was doing. He had fancy degrees on the wall and his office looked like a lawyer’s office should, files and papers on every flat surface and lots of books on bookshelves. He explained that Annie was charged with Supplying a Prohibited Drug under section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (NSW) 1999. The drug being Ecstacy, or MDMA, or in legal terms 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine. And because she had 20 pills on her the weight made it a charge that was serious. Very serious – like gaol time serious. It was strictly indictable meaning it would be finalised in the District Court. What made matters worse was that when the police seized her phone they found text messages from Annie that showed her supplying drugs in the past.

The lawyer said that it was an open and shut case. Annie would have to plead guilty and when she was sentenced in the District Court in a few months time she would probably be sent to gaol.


The ride home in the car that day was a silent one. As both Annie and her mum tried to understand that Annie’s future would involve a criminal conviction and being sent to gaol, Annie’s mum had the further worry of how she was going to afford the legal fees to pay for the lawyer. Without doing any checking around and accepting the lawyer at face value, she agreed to and entered a cost agreement to pay this ‘expert’ $15,000 in legal fees – just so that her only daughter would be sent to gaol.


As the weeks and months went by, and long after the $15,000 had been transferred to the lawyer, there seem to be just adjournment after adjournment. The court case seemed to be taking forever and all they were being told was that it was a normal delay and Annie would be sentenced very soon. Annie sometimes sat at the dinner table and cried to her mum that she just wished they would take her to gaol now because the waiting was just too stressful for them both. After those conversations there was a lot of tears around the dinner table at Annie’s house.


One fateful day at work it was all too much for Annie’s mum. She broke down in tears in front of a colleague and found herself confessing her dark little secret to a work friend. It was a defining moment in the life of Annie’s mum and certainly was a moment of change for the future of Annie.

It was in that moment that the friend suggested that Annie’s mum get a second opinion. The friend knew a lawyer that was a great criminal lawyer and she was sure he would be happy to talk to her and give her some advice. And he probably wont charge you for the time either.


You guessed it. That lawyer was me… Robert Kaufmann from Crimlaw.


I still remember the day that Annie’s mum called me. Through the tears she explained what had happened to Annie. Based on what she told me I thought the lawyer probably had it right. But a good mechanic won’t diagnose a car without seeing the vehicle so I asked her to send me the papers and I'll look them over and give her my thoughts.

After receiving the papers it didn’t look good for Annie. True it was that she was young, never been in trouble with the law and had made a very big mistake but the law was pretty clear on people who sold drugs in the community. Some sort of gaol was a real likelihood. Adding to the fact that the number of pills she had on her meant she would be sentenced in the District Court the penalty would be all that more severe.


Maybe the first decision of change came when Annie and her mother decided they wanted to change lawyers and retain me. I wasn’t making any promises. I didn’t pretend to have a magic wand or special trick but they both said they felt more comfortable with me as their lawyer than they had felt in the months before with their expensive ‘expert’.


Sadly that $15,000 had gone. Long spent on probably more law books for that fancy office. Annie’s mum realised that she would have to pay again but she was prepared to just for the peace of mind she said she got with me taking over. Little did she realised I don’t work that way. I called her and Annie to my office for a meeting and explained to Annie that she was no longer a child and that if she was going to be adult enough to be sent to gaol she can be adult enough to pay her own legal expenses. There was a moment of horror in her face as she must have wondered how she would get the $15,000 or whatever I was likely to charge. But I am not a monster. I asked Annie what she was earning and what she could afford and we agreed on a price that ‘she’ could afford. I even agreed she could pay it off over time just so long as she met her debt by the last court date. She readily agreed and for the first time she felt like she had some control over her court case. She was no longer a passive victim.


A short while later it was agreed that Annie would plead guilty to the offences and we would start the process of getting the charges before the District Court and get her sentenced. My only caveat was that I would keep thinking and working on any way that I might see for her to avoid gaol.


Its strange how the mind works but at 11pm on the night before her court case I had a thought. It was the thought that would change Annie’s life and it is the reason why I keep doing this job. I text Annie at that hour to say that I had an idea that might work to save her from gaol and if she would trust me that I wanted her to leave it up to me. If I failed then we would be at the same place we were. No more cost but all options exhausted. A light bulb moment that changed a young girl’s life.


Now I’m not going to tell you what that thought was. Nor how I was able to do what I was able to do. That my dear reader is the bait. The reason I hope you call me. To see if I can do the same for your matter or one of your loved ones. 1300 777 529 in case you missed it from all over my Webpage page.


After a short period of negotiation with the prosecution and with some brilliant lawyering on my part – haha – the case against Annie changed dramatically.

She was no longer headed for the District Court. She still pleaded guilty to drug supply and still received a conviction but... she was sentenced in the Local Court – and after some persuasive advocacy on my part, explaining to the court in detail who Annie really was, how she fell into this life of crime, how she had gone about changing her life from the person she was when she was committing these offences and convincing the court that she had changed her ways and that gaol would not serve her interests nor that of the community, the Court agreed and Annie was ordered to complete some community service and enter a good behaviour bond.


Annie walked out of court that day… her hand held very tightly by her mother. Tears again, but this time they were tears of joy and relief.

Annie had taken control of her court matter. She had paid for her lawyer herself, she had taken responsibility for her crime and by simply making the choice to use Crimlaw she had changed her future.

That was Annie’s story. Whilst her name and some details have been changed to protect her identity, these closing words are all hers…


Hi Rob,

I would just like to thank you for all of your hard work in my matter. After speaking with numerous solicitors before coming across you I was under the impression I was going straight to jail regardless of what I had done to clean up my life.


I never thought I would receive such a good outcome for my matter. Thank you for going above and beyond to prevent me from going to jail; I honestly would not know what to do if that was the case.


After going through multiple visits to court it has really taught me so much about life and how it is precious and too short to be making silly mistakes.

I will remember this for the rest of my life and although this will stay on my record I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for me.


I will be recommending you to anyone who is in need of a solicitor as I can swear by your hard work.


Thank you so much on behalf of myself and my mother.

All the best,


Annie

 


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