FAQS

Why should I choose Toomey Defence Lawyers?

Sophie Toomey and her team are absolutely dedicated to fighting hard to protect your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your individual case. Appreciating how daunting it can be for you to deal with the law, Sophie promises to provide you with a high level of service and to guide you through every step of the legal process.

Professional, approachable and friendly, Sophie is available to answer enquiries at all times and guarantees to keep you fully informed about your case at each stage. She has extensive knowledge of both Criminal and Traffic Law, and is renowned for her strong work ethic and commitment to her clients as well as her tenacious approach to every case. Sophie will work tirelessly and exhaust every possible avenue to ensure a positive result for you.

Sophie is also on the Legal Aid general criminal law panel and serious crime panel for NSW, which means she can appear in Legal Aid matters at any Sydney or country NSW court.

Where are you based and which areas of Sydney do you cover?

Our Sydney CBD office is based at:

Level 1, 299 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 02 82510038

We cover all Sydney and metropolitan courts (including Campbelltown, Penrith and Parramatta), as well as courts in country NSW.

Can you help me apply for Legal Aid?

Yes, we can advise on your eligibility for Legal Aid and can apply on your behalf. We are able to represent legally aided clients in the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeal and in complex criminal trials in the NSW District Court. Please call us for more information on who can apply.

What fees can I expect to pay, and do you offer fixed-fee agreements?

Our fees are reasonable and competitive, and we are always open to discussing a fixed fee for your matter. If a fixed fee is not appropriate for your case, we will provide you with a detailed costs agreement that outlines all potential costs, and we will minimise fees where possible. When you pay for Sophie to be at court she will not send a less experienced solicitor. Talk to Sophie directly about a fixed-fee agreement.

Is there any way of avoiding a criminal record?

Yes, there is. In all NSW criminal cases where the defendant pleads guilty, the court has the discretion to apply a Section 10 dismissal rather than imposing a penalty and recording a conviction.

‘Section 10’ refers to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, which allows a court that finds you guilty of an offence to discharge you without recording a conviction. As there is no conviction, there is no criminal record. This also means no loss of your driver’s license or any other penalty.

You may receive one of three types of Section 10:

  • Section 10 dismissal – Section 10(1)(a): This is where the court dismisses the offence without any conditions at all.
  • Conditional dismissal with a good behaviour bond – Section 10(1)(b): A court may dismiss a charge under Section 10 but decide to also put you on a good behaviour bond, which can last for a maximum of two years. This bond may have a number of conditions that you must abide by in order to avoid having a different sentence for the offence applied.
  • Conditional dismissal with a rehabilitation course – Section 10(1)(c): In this instance the Section 10 is conditional on you entering a program relevant to your case, such as the Traffic Offenders program. You must successfully complete the program and comply with and action plan arising from your participation in the program.

What is a character reference, and do I need one?

A character reference is a written document that outlines your specific character traits and is presented to the court during the sentencing process. If can assist the court in appreciating your unique situation and the context in which you may have committed an offence, and may impact on the penalty you are given.

Examples of people that can provide a character reference for you include:

  • Anyone who knows you well
  • A past or present employer
  • An old family friend
  • A family member

After assessing your case, we will advise whether or not a character reference will be required. We will also provide you with an example character reference that can be used as a guide.

PLEASE NOTE: The information provided on this website should not be treated as a substitute for professional legal advice. If you would like to arrange a free initial consultation with Toomey Defence Lawyers, please contact Sophie Toomey on 0417 669 703 or email toomey.lawyer@gmail.com

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