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VIC Charged for Assault - What Can I Do at Court Hearing?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Porkncheese, 5 August 2016.

  1. Porkncheese

    Porkncheese Active Member

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    Hi.

    I've been charged with damaging property, unlawful assault and stalking. I cannot afford a lawyer and will be running the case myself. I have sought legal advice and have a strong defence which should see me get acquitted. I have done a lot of study and research and understand the procedure of the hearing.

    I have a few questions.

    Will the informant take the witness stand and can I cross-examine her?

    When cross-examining, can I have the witness read out parts of their own statements?

    Can I openly record the audio of the hearing?

    Can I use text conversations as evidence and can I have the witness read them out?

    The informant unlawfully disclosed personal information. How and when do I bring this up?

    Can I present documented evidence such as receipts, photos, character reference, etc, when giving my address to the magistrate?

    The police has no evidence of myself or my vehicle being near the scene of the alledged crime. How do I best convince the prosecution to drop the charges?

    If police had a fingerprint analysis of something, can I get the report from it?

    When the charges get dropped or I get acquitted, can I apply for reimbursement of loss of income due to the trial?
     
  2. Ponala

    Ponala Well-Known Member

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    Will the informant take the witness stand and can I cross-examine her? --- Yes

    When cross-examining, can I have the witness read out parts of their own statements?
    --- Yes, but they may have already given that evidence during their evidence in chief, so be aware of why you are referring to them to certain sections of their statement. Should be the basis of a question, or maybe in response to an answer.....ie. Can I get you to look at/ read out paragraph 3 where u say it was a red car, but now ehn I asked you a question about the colour of the car you said purple. No point getting them to read parts unless you have a point to it.

    Can I openly record the audio of the hearing? --- No

    Can I use text conversations as evidence and can I have the witness read them out? -- Yes, but they carry little weight unless you can prove who they have come from. Just because they appear on a phone with a sender's name/number doesn't mean they came from that person/number.

    The informant unlawfully disclosed personal information. How and when do I bring this up? -- During cross examine. How do you know who disclosed info and how do u know it was unlawful?

    Can I present documented evidence such as receipts, photos, character reference, etc, when giving my address to the magistrate? --
    Yes, and during your evidence and during cross-examine of witnesses

    The police has no evidence of myself or my vehicle being near the scene of the alleged crime. How do I best convince the prosecution to drop the charges? -- Let them know your defence/case if you want to prior to the hearing ... but be aware if they decide not to drop it they now know your defence!

    If police had a fingerprint analysis of something, can I get the report from it? -- If the prints came back with your prints you can ask for a statement from the fingerprint expert. If prints came back to someone else or no prints came back you could ask the informant during cross-examine if they are aware whether f'prints were taken and if so what was the result.

    When the charges get dropped or I get acquitted, can I apply for reimbursement of loss of income due to the trial? -- you can apply for reasonable costs for defending yourself.
     
  3. Porkncheese

    Porkncheese Active Member

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    Thank you Ponola for your informative responses.

    "When cross-examining, can I have the witness read out parts of their own statements? --- Yes, but they may have already given that evidence during their evidence in chief, so be aware of why you are referring to them to certain sections of their statement. Should be the basis of a question, or maybe in response to an answer.....ie. Can I get you to look at/ read out paragraph 3 where u say it was a red car, but now ehn I asked you a question about the colour of the car you said purple. No point getting them to read parts unless you have a point to it."

    Yes I intend to use this method a few times exactly as you suggested. To show contradictions in their original statements against the formal statement and extract evidence. I was actually going to use this method to show the magistrate how my vehicle was incorrectly identified.


    "Can I use text conversations as evidence and can I have the witness read them out? -- Yes, but they carry little weight unless you can prove who they have come from. Just because they appear on a phone with a sender's name/number doesn't mean they came from that person/number."

    Yes I thought so to. That's why I have a plan to get her to admit it is her phone number.

    "The informant unlawfully disclosed personal information. How and when do I bring this up? -- During cross examine. How do you know who disclosed info and how do u know it was unlawful?"
    Part 4.4, section 114 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 tells us it's against the law.
    "The informant must not disclose the address or telephone number of any person in any information, document or thing provided to the accused"

    On the preliminary brief supplied by the informant the phone numbers of the two alledged victims are on their original statements.
    The police know there is an intervention order on me not to make any sort of contact with them. I feel they tried to set me up.

    "Can I present documented evidence such as receipts, photos, character reference, etc, when giving my address to the magistrate? -- Yes, and during your evidence and during cross-examine of witnesses"

    Ok because I thought I read somewhere that the defense cannot just hand up evidence during their address to the magistrate. It has to be presented through examining or cross examining a witness. Though i cannot find where I read that now.

    "The police has no evidence of myself or my vehicle being near the scene of the alleged crime. How do I best convince the prosecution to drop the charges? -- Let them know your defence/case if you want to prior to the hearing ... but be aware if they decide not to drop it they now know your defence!"

    Yes that is what I'm affraid of. My defense is based on many pieces of evidence such as an alibi, contradictions in their statements, their lack of evidence and documents.
    I don't want to tell them much more than this.


    "If police had a fingerprint analysis of something, can I get the report from it? -- If the prints came back with your prints you can ask for a statement from the fingerprint expert. If prints came back to someone else or no prints came back you could ask the informant during cross-examine if they are aware whether f'prints were taken and if so what was the result. "

    From what I've learnt since, they are obliged to hand me the results of that analysis regardless of the result.
     
  4. Ponala

    Ponala Well-Known Member

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    Getting her to admit a number is hers still doesn't prove it came from her phone or was sent by her. There are a number of programs etc. which one can use to show a message has come from one phone when actually sent from another. You need to get her to admit to the messages or show the messages on her phone or have her phone analysed (which you can't do).

    Documents - if you plan to use them as evidence yes need to be introduced during evidence in chief / cross examination. You can't use character references to attack someone's credibility.

    Fingerprints - It is regarded as expert evidence and you won't get a 'report' unless you can show why you need it. You may get a statement from the fingerprint person that basically says 'Fingerprints were received and processed by me and came back as Tom/Dick/Harry/no one. I would just put it to the informant during cross-examine "were f'prints taken?" "Yes/No" "And were f'prints located" "Yes/No" And what was the result of those f'prints" "Came back as yours/Came back as another/Got no result"

    If you are aware that prints were taken and they came back as yours, I wouldn't be taking issue with the process/analysis, you would look at other reasons as to why your prints were there ... I used to live there/I visited/was my car.......

    Section 114 of the Crim Proc Act is a procedural section only and has no repercussions for the info being released. There are also exemptions to the release of that info. in the Act and also accepted practices for the release - 'made a mistake'/'the accused already knew the numbers'/'victim was aware of the accused getting the number' It really is a mute argument as it does not deflect from the evidence.

    You state there is an intervention order between the victims and you. Be aware that if that is the case the victims are 'protected witnesses' and you will not be able to cross-examine them unless they give you permission too...which they will be advised against doing. So you will rock up to court to represent yourself and the victim's will give evidence and the prosecution will say they are protected witnesses and you will not be allowed to cross-examine them - there goes your chance of winning because their evidence will be undisputed and you can't put your evidence to them.
     
  5. Porkncheese

    Porkncheese Active Member

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    Thank you Ponala. Your information has been valued and much appreciated

    Oh, I cannot cross-examine the witnesses. Well... There are ways this can go.

    I'll try to round up enough cash for the lawyer to appear if it goes to a committal hearing. He says the prosecution should drop the charges or he would get me acquitted if it went to trial. So I'm hoping I get some kind of financial reimbursement.

    If I fall short of the funds then I will have to still run my case. Most of the info I was going to draw from the alleged victims are in their own statements. I should be able to draw most of it from the cross-examination of the informant. I'll present my evidence then and when I question my alibi.

    The finger prints I'm waiting for the results. I know I'm clean. And after 3 months of testing and analysing, they know I'm clean but won't say anything.

    Anyway, 1st visit to the magistrate, I just have to tell the prosecution what the lawyer told me. They should drop the case for lack of evidence or he is confident in getting me acquitted if it goes to trial and having myself financially reimbursed. I predict they will be stubborn. I will then have to face the magistrate and plead not guilty. He/she will then set out the dates for the next hearings.
     

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