I will be attending court for owing money to Centrelink. I have a court hearing in August and I don't know my rights. Do I have to have a lawyer present for my court hearing? And I just like to know what will happened for owing money to Centrelink?
I am attending parramatta court on the 12 of August.
I have been charge with not declaring my full income whilst receiving single parent income from Centrelink.
Now I owe them money and they are taking me to court for it. I don't know what should I do.
I don't have a personal lawyer. As I could not afford it. I will contact a legal aid for my rights. I will agree with everything the judge will say to me. I'm just wondering if I need a lawyer to represent me or could I just go there by myself? I am nervous as this would be the first time for me. Could I go jail for something like this?
There is no issue if you do not have a personal lawyer. As stated before, I strongly recommend you contact Legal Aid and check if you are eligible. I suggest you begin by contacting LawAccess at 1300 888 529 and they will provide assistance over the phone. The Local Court can give a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment per offence, and five years imprisonment all together; typically they issue fines. Depending on the location of your hearing (Local or District court, as I believe Parramatta has both.), the verdict differs. Of course you could represent yourself, although as stated above, lawyers have significantly higher knowledge of the Law and could benefit you greatly. In Court, legal terminology is commonly used and you may fail to understand, in this scenario - you must express your confusion to the Magistrate, or Judge.
I urge you to contact LawAccess at 1300 888 529 to gain a greater understanding of your case.