Criminal Lawyers Brisbane
Irish Bentley Lawyers is a leading criminal firm – our work includes contesting the validity of criminal law legislation in the High Court and our Principal Zeke Bentley is often called on by the media (e.g.: Ross Kemp’s “Extreme World”) to discuss Australia’s criminal law system.
Relevantly, our Criminal Law division complements our migration services – a few examples:
- You have to show you are of good character despite a past overseas criminal record.We receive many referrals from other Law Firms where a past criminal record needs to be explained.
We know what needs to be said to minimise a sentence from a Judge, which ensures we can raise the same arguments, in a similar persuasive fashion, to the DIBP, and we have successfully done so for client with records for drink driving, leaving the scene of an accident, assault, hooliganism, possession of firearms and a variety of other offences.
We also know how to get the details of the original record by contacting the overseas Courts or the lawyers who were involved.
- You are charged with an offence whilst in Australia on a temporary visa (e.g. drink driving, assault).
If you are charged, then this can seriously impact future visa applications and you may need a criminal justice visa.
It is also wise to lodge the visa ASAP before the conviction is entered, and to conduct that criminal defence in a way that attracts helpful comments from the Judge and the prosecutor, so that these comments can be included in submissions to the DIBP.
Further, you may need a bridging visa which allows you to stay here so that you can defend the charges against you – also known as a Criminal Justice Visa – and like all of the above examples, this requires the criminal lawyer and the migration lawyer to co-operate to ensure the two separate files are run in a way which helps the other file.
- You have received your permanent residency visa and get charged with a serious offence.
There has been an alarming trend in Australia to cancel permanent residency visas (and other visas) where you have been charged (even if you have not had the chance of a trial) or where there is a historically relevant conviction of 12 months’ jail (suspended or not).
The normal “innocent until proven guilty” rule is ignored for non-citizens and you can be deported before your defence is even heard. Any non-citizen, who is charged with an offence liable to a jail term, needs a criminal lawyer working with their migration lawyer, because your entire visa status is at risk and you may be deported before you even get a chance to defend the charges.
Over 1000 visas have been cancelled in 2016 alone, and many of those visa holders have not committed an offence for decades, and have lived here for decades, and even established families here (which are broken up by the cancellations).
We have had success in this area, noting any Appeal of a visa cancellation requires experience in administrative law and the Federal Court system – areas where we have enjoyed considerable success right through to attacking State Legislation as constitutionally invalid in the High Court.