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Client Information and General Terms-2017                                       Download

 

What to do next?

It is a stressful experience to be charged with an offence.  The Criminal Justice system has centuries of tradition and procedures which can seem confusing and contradictory. It is very important at this initial stage to get the right advice before you do anything to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

As your first step, we recommend that you Call Us Free for Free Advice first as part of an initial discussion so that you can tell us your situation.

During our call we can discuss with you what to do next, potential next steps and possible costs involved if you decide you would like us to represent you.

We are some of New Zealand’s leading criminal defence lawyers  with successful outcomes for our clients across many different types of charges.

Contact us on 0800 LAW LAW (0800 529 529) or email us at: admin@defence.co.nz. We will be glad to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that our clients often ask:

Q? The police have asked me to come in for questioning and it is suggested I don’t need a lawyer. Do I need a lawyer?
A.

A lawyer works for you. The Police are not working for you. Sometimes cooperation is in your best interests. However clients can inadvertently incriminate themselves. A simple admission that you were in the vicinity of a crime scene, or providing your cell phone number can be used as evidence against you. There are numerous cases where an innocent person’s police statement has been used to convict them. The safest advice is to speak to a lawyer. Often there is no cost for the first discussion with a lawyer.

Q? The police have charged me with a crime, how to I go about finding a good lawyer to represent me?
A.

You should look for a lawyer who is experienced with your type of case. A lawyer who has proven success and a lawyer who you feel comfortable with.  A good lawyer will meet with potential clients to make sure they are they are right for the job. A good lawyer will explain the costs, and explain the level of expertise that they bring to a case.

Q? I’ve been charged with a crime and I don’t want anyone to know about it, what can I do?
A.

You can apply for name suppression including suppression of any details that will identify you. The application will need to be supported by evidence and legal submissions. A lawyer experienced in name suppression is required. The Police and media may push strongly for your name to be published.

Q? What does it cost to have a lawyer represent me?
A.

The costs depend on how much work the lawyer does on your case.  Normally the more serious the charge the more work will be required.  Some clients want to avoid any conviction and therefore want a lawyer to spend a large amount of time on even a relatively minor charge.

Most lawyers charge on an hourly basis. A junior lawyer may charge between $150-$250 per hour, an intermediate lawyer $250-$350 and a senior lawyer between $300 and $500. Senior commercial lawyers and QCs may sometimes charge in excess of $500 an hour.

Our senior barristers charge between $350 and $400 per hour. Our intermediate barrister at $270.

Q? I can’t pay a lawyer, can I get legal aid?
A.

You may be eligible for legal aid and if your case is serious you may be allowed to choose your lawyer.  Please contact us to discuss legal aid for serious cases and appeals.

Q? How long do cases take?
A.

Cases typically take between six months and two years to go through the court systems.  An appeal normally takes between three and nine months.

Q? My family member is in prison, can I arrange a lawyer to help?
A.

Yes, if the defendant is in custody then we can meet with family members or other supporters to begin working on the case.  We can then arrange to interview the client at prison or via a video link to the prison.