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NSW Pleading Guilty to Assault - Self Represent in Court?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by tom, 29 November 2014.

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  1. tom

    tom Member

    28 November 2014
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    Hi. I am going to court on Wednesday for 3 counts of common assault and malicious damage.
    It happened after a dispute with the neighbour. I was taken to hospital so not charged on the night. The police tried to issue an AVO, but I went down to Melbourne the day after the incident to spend time with family.

    The police left 1 message saying contact them. I left 5 messages for the investigating officer and she never got back to me. They then rang and told me that I have to go for an interview and be issued the AVO before the court date (I was told that I do not have to do the interview).

    Just wanted to know if I can get the fact / charge sheet from the cops?
    If I have to have the AVO issued prior to the court date?
    Plead guilty and ask for sentencing at a later date?

  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
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    Hi Tom,

    Self-representation is your choice. Of course, it will be cheaper to self-represent but it always pays to have a lawyer because proceedings can be surprisingly difficult. Further, lawyers give invaluable advice about courtroom conduct, how best to present your version of facts/evidence and how to best plead mitigated sentencing. In any case, I would suggest first speaking with your local community legal advisor and asking legal aid if you qualify for their assistance.

    In relation to the AVO, best to take a look at this: "apprehended violence orders: Legal Aid NSW" It sounds like the police have tried to issue you with an AVO application (initiated by the applicant, probably your neighbour). There will be a court hearing in relation to whether the AVO should be granted. You get an opportunity to contest the AVO at the hearing either by handing in paper evidence (your statement) or by attending the hearing personally.

    In relation to your charges for assault, this is separate from an AVO and therefore, the AVO hearing may be heard before the assault hearing. If you wish to plead guilty, you can try and argue mitigation of sentencing within the circumstances. Sentencing will likely be heard at a later date. This will be determined by court. Before your court hearing, you should ask the police for a QP9 (police court brief). You should have already got your charge sheet earlier than this (separate from the QP9). Sometimes the police does not prepare the QP9 in time for the first day of hearing. In this case, you should tell the court that you have not yet received it and list to court your attempts to contact police and to obtain the brief.

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