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VIC Lawyer or Legal aid?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by boro_baba, May 12, 2008.

  1. Iv got a court case coming up for a number of things but the main being "Riding while suspended".

    Does anyone know wheather or not legal aids deal with this or do I need to get a lawyer?



    How much would it cost for a lawyer?

    Any help would be appreciated. :grin:
     
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  2. Eligabilty for Legal Aid depends on:
    (i) your abilty / inabilty to fund a lawyer, and
    (ii) If it is a type of case they will fund.

    Don't forget there is also a "duty solicitor" at the courts.

    I'd call Legal Aid and ask them.

    Most law firms do a "first interview free" as well.
    Look up firms on the Law Institute site.

    http://www.liv.asn.au
     
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  3. Thanx bud...

    Does any1 have any experience with a laywer/legal aid that they would like to recommend?
     
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  4. simple question - why are you defending it? what is the basis of your arguement. where you suspended or not?
     
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  5. legal aid will only help if there is a possibility of a custodial sentence..
     
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  6. ^^^
    What he said... and even then, they don't usually jump at the opportunity to work on 'traffic' cases...

    Lawyer up if you think it will cost you less than the charges from the court... bend over, and take it like a man...

    Cheers,
    Daewoo
     
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  7. Not quite true, but close enough. They used to do just about any work, but have cut right back to serious matters due to lack of Fed Govt funding.
    CLC's (Community legal Centres) are seeing a lot of folks the VLA would once have handled.

    Don't forget some law firms still do legal aid work as well.

    For the type of case described about the best a lawyer would do (in court) is seek a minimum penalty anyway, presuming that you aren't challenging the case. The court "duty solicitor" may be able to do this as well as anyone, and they are free.
     
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  8. Unless you where riding whilst unknowingly suspended (in which case you may have an out depending on the circumstances) then you don't have any way out. Was it you (identity), where you riding on a highway, was your licence under any form of suspension at the time. If the answer to all these is yes then IMHO best to learn a lesson, cop it on the chin and hope that the magistrate accepts your explanation (I am sure it is a good one!) and early plea for some leniency in penalty. Of course if you have prior convictions for similar offences you may be looking at a custodial sentence, in which case definitely speak to at least the duty solicitor first but best to do that regardless. The 'number of things' you mention may also cause you some grief in penalty depending on exactly what they are. You may be able to speak to the police prosecutor and do a deal to plead to some and have others withdrawn.
     
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  9. in NSW, legal aid wont even touch a traffic matter.
    good luck with it though...
     
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  10. Legal aid isn't free of course, it is means tested, but if you are young and aren't earning a whole lot and get a dodgy letter from mum and dad to say you pay a stack of board then you may fall under the threshhold, or only have to pay a nominal contribution. In addition they will generally only fund you for a guilty plea unless its a major crim trial. What you are looking for is someone to represent you to minimise your outcome.

    You don't want a VLA lawyer at this level, bless their little cotton socks. They are way to busy to spend any more time with you than a quick phone interview and maybe meet at court 5mins prior to your hearing.

    The best bet is to see a VLA funded/approved soli in your area. They should have a VLA sticker in the window. Check at the LIV website. An example may be P--l V-l- whose old man was a Magistrate and whose firm is fairly well regarded (just an example-do your own investigations). They will apply to VLA on your behalf for funding and that is that. They can't then charge extra if they take the case.

    If these "other matters" involve a possible custodial sentence it is essential you get a lawyer. If you turned up unrepresented the Magistrate would go off his nut. An experienced soli will make sure before the hearing you have bought a suit, got a haircut, you have enrolled in uni/tafe, that family turn up to support you etc. Also for a first offence they may get you into a diversion program. Now for driving offences this is actually ace you basically pay a small contribution to go off and do an advanced driving course. And you avoid a criminal conviction.

    All the best..


    :)
     
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  11. i got a duty lawyer / legal w/ever you wanna call it (free) i got done for careless driving and obscured num. got to keep my license and fines were dropped, catch: 1 point for 12 months (9month to go hehe)
     
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  12. Legal Aid will generally not get involved unless you earn pittence and you have some pretty substantial criminal history that indicates you may get a jail sentence.

    Otherwise, always good to have a chat to a duty lawyer or take advantage of a criminal lawyers "first consultation free" offer.

    Good luck!
     
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