Mark Savic Legal offers specialist representation for all criminal matters from the Coffs Coast to North Brisbane.
For further information about individual criminal law areas that Mark Savic Legal can assist with, please click on the links below.
Drug offences are serious. If you have been charged, an experienced criminal lawyer on your side is the key to a better outcome.
Due to the seriousness of drug offences in the eyes of the law, it’s imperative you get legal advice as soon as possible. With tough maximum penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment, your choice of criminal lawyer is an important decision. Mark Savic Legal will help you prepare for and navigate through this turbulent time.
With a reputation for achieving successful outcomes for clients, Mark Savic Legal will defend your rights and keep you informed throughout the entire journey.
Your drug charge likely comes under one of the following offences, as outlined by the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld):
- Possession of dangerous drugs
- Possession of things for use in connection with drug offences
- Producing dangerous drugs
- Supplying dangerous drugs
- Permitting place to be used for commission of drugs
- Trafficking in dangerous drugs
Of course, the most serious of the drug offences in both States is those involving some commercial aspect to the offence, like trafficking for example. But despite the Parliament in both States setting extremely high penalties for trafficking, the courts have shown (particularly recently in New South Wales) that being convicted of it doesn’t inevitably lead to imprisonment, provided the correct pre-sentence preparation has occurred.
Evidence which touches upon other matters found in the sentencing law of both States can, if presented persuasively, then lead a court to impose a penalty which doesn’t involve full time imprisonment. Concepts like the prospects of re-offending, (the degree to which the offending is responsible for the offending), and the scope of rehabilitation can also assist in producing non-custodial outcomes now.
What is a ‘dangerous drug’?
Drugs are separated into two categories, Schedule 1 and Schedule 2, with Schedule 1 drugs being classed as the most serious substances. Drug offences connected with a Schedule 1 drug tend to attract a harsher penalty.
|Schedule 1 Drugs (Part 1):||Schedule 2 Drugs:|
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) [Ecstacy]
Schedule 1 Drugs (Part 2):
All anabolic and androgenic steroidal agents.
Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB)
For the full list of Schedule 1 & 2 drugs, see Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987.
Why Do I Need A Drug Lawyer?
Complex legal principles apply when such a consideration is being determined before a court. A person without experience with such matters will simply be unable to cope with those principles and how they apply to the circumstances of his or her case.
If you’ve been charged with a Drug offence in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.
DRUG DRIVING OFFENCES
In NSW and QLD the drug driving laws allow police to perform random roadside drug driving tests to determine if you are under the effects of illegal substances whilst driving. These drug tests are conducted by taking a sample of your saliva and testing it for the following illegal substances:
- Cannabis (THC – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol)
- Methylamphetamine (speed, ice, crystal meth, base)
- Ecstasy (MDMA – Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
There is zero tolerance and any trace of the nominated drugs in your system will result in you being penalised. There are two offences relating to drug driving:
- Driving while a relevant drug is present
- Driving under the influence of drugs
DRIVING WHILE A RELEVANT DRUG IS PRESENT
This is a more common charge and means that a person is guilty of driving a motor vehicle while having an illicit drug present in their blood or saliva.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS
Considered to be a more serious offence with heavier penalties, driving under the influence of a drug occurs in situations when the person charged appears to have been seriously affected by drugs.
DRUG AND DRIVING PENALTIES
If your saliva test returns a positive result, you will be required to do a second test. If the second test is also positive your licence will be suspended automatically for a 24-hour period.
DRUG DRIVING PENALTIES IN NSW
In NSW penalties can include fines up to $2, 200, up to 9 months in jail and licence disqualification for a first offence.
ALL YOU NEED IS EXPERIENCED AND TRUSTED DRUG DRIVING LAWYER.
If you’ve been charged with a drug driving offence in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.
Every state in Australia prohibits driving a car, truck, motorbike, boat or any other vehicle if you’ve consumed too much alcohol or any drugs.
DRINK DRIVING PENALTIES NSW
There are certain drink driving cases where a disqualification period is not the greatest concern – particularly in New South Wales with cases of high range drink driving.
Unlike Queensland, NSW has what is called a ‘Guideline Judgment’ in place, stating that imprisonment should not be considered unavailable for even first offences of high range drink and driving. So, when faced with those types of matters Mark Savic Legal can rely on a thorough understanding of these cases and their application to demonstrate why prison is not right for the client.
Only an experienced practitioner in New South Wales law would know that they do not have work licences in that State and that the only way to retain your driver licence is to encourage a court to either dismiss the charge or place you on a bond. Once again, the only way such a result can be obtained is to place your matter in the hands of someone who understands those laws and deals with them on a daily basis.
DRINK DRIVING IN QUEENSLAND – WHAT’S THE PENALTY?
Obviously, the real concern for anyone facing a DUI or drug driving charge in QLD is the length of disqualification they face. Actually, all sorts of things impact on the court’s starting point: the level of intoxicant found in the driver’s blood, the type of driving exhibited, the distance over which the vehicle was being driven, the nature and extent of the driver’s traffic history, etc.
Some drink and driving lawyers simply accept all of this as being proven without testing it.
But at Mark Savic Legal, decades of experience means identifying flaws in these matters.
For example, if a driver’s traffic history contains a drink-driving entry on it within the last five years, the potential disqualification period jumps significantly. However, if the police do not treat that traffic history in accordance with the law prior to the sentence, a careful advocate can ask the court to effectively disregard it. That single act can save a driver many months of disqualification. It is something Mark Savic Legal considers in every drink or drug driving matter.
DRINK DRIVING CHARGES DEFENCE
In other cases, clients simply cannot afford to lose their driver’s licence at all. That means every effort must be made to find any possible defence open to them. Unlike other firms, Mark Savic Legal has many years of experience in successfully raising all sorts of technical defences.
In some cases that may involve a very careful calculation of the time that elapsed between the act of driving and the request made of the driver to provide a specimen of breath or blood. Or, in other matters, it could involve demonstrating that the officer who operated the breath analysis device was the same as that which initially required the driver to provide a specimen of breath. These types of unusual investigations can reveal errors that afford drivers a defence to a drink or drug driving charge.
Of course, we also prepare and provides all of the common drink driving services such as
- Work licence applications
- Removal of disqualification periods
- Lifting of suspensions
Knowledge and experience are the only tools to use when so much is at stake. If you’ve been charged with a drink driving offence in Coffs Harbour, Maclean, Woolgoolga, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today.
CAUSING GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM (GBH)
Even a single punch can cause grievous bodily harm and being charged with that offence is very serious indeed. The attached statistics demonstrate that actual imprisonment is by far the most likely penalty, with 88% of those convicted of it receiving full time prison.
For certain cases pertaining to GBH charges, the offence range varies significantly, and relevant factors will include the nature of the injuries sustained, the age of the offender, the criminal history of the offender, whether or not a weapon was used, whether the offence was established by one blow or whether there was a sustained attack on the complainant.
If you’ve been charged with causing grievous bodily harm in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.
PUBLIC NUISANCE OFFENCES
WHAT MIGHT CONSTITUTE A PUBLIC NUISANCE?
This is possibly the most commonly encountered offence seen by a criminal defence lawyer. The reason for this is that a wide range of circumstances can give rise to the offence, and those circumstances are often associated with significant alcohol consumption.
A quick look at section 6 of the Summary Offences Act 2005 reveals that just one of the vague types of conduct falling into the category of public nuisance is called “disorderly conduct”. Now, according to the case of Coleman v Power  HCA 39 “disorderly conduct” means behaviour which is likely to cause a disturbance, or annoy, or insult others sufficiently deeply or seriously to warrant the interference of the criminal law.
But obviously whether one type of conduct or another fits that description is open to interpretation. What annoys or insults one person might not annoy or insult another. And that can present real problems for anyone charged with public nuisance – particularly if alcohol is alleged to have been involved.
But you might ask yourself, why is this type of wide definition such a problem. Well, in 2008 the Crime and Misconduct Commission conducted a review of all sentences imposed on offenders convicted of public nuisance and concluded, amongst other things, that just over half of them ended up with a conviction recorded against their names. The effect of such a result is that all of the aspirations you had as a university student or apprentice evaporate.
HOW CAN THAT BE AVOIDED?
One of the real issues in public nuisance matters is whether the conduct complained of really constitutes the type of “public nuisance” the Summary Offences Act sought to prohibit. If not carefully considered, a court may make judgements about your conduct which are completely at odds with how you perceived it or intended it to be viewed. Contextualising the conduct alleged with the aid of current community standards, the defendant’s intention and the help of precedent may see you avoid the consequences of a conviction.
Contact Mark Savic Legal today in relation to public nuisance charges.
The following cannot be stressed enough. If you have been charged with murder you must have a highly competent criminal lawyer on your case from the moment you are charged.
Mistakes made by less competent legal representation in the early stages of a matter, like for example when considering the issue of bail for a murder suspect, can inadvertently assist the prosecution case against you, or at worst remove possible defences you may have had available to you later on.
These types of cases are prosecuted with real vigour and so each move made by your legal representative must be very carefully considered.
You will also find that during a murder investigation the police cast their net for incriminating evidence a lot wider than when investigating other matters. They search for evidence of motive, for example, by picking through financial arrangements or dredging up stories of broken relationships.
CRIMINAL LAWYER FOR MURDER RELATED CASES
Often, though, what they find amounts to very little without their subjective interpretation of it. A criminal lawyer experienced in murder cases should be independently investigating these elements of the crime in order to exclude them from possible use in the case against his client.
Remember, in such a serious matter as murder, the State will have access to all sorts of specialists whose evidence they will use to attempt to convict you. They may, for example, use toxicologists to show poisoning or ballistics experts to match bullets to firearms. This type of evidence can prove to be devastating in court. But a criminal lawyer experienced in murder cases will have access to an equally impressive array of experts to potentially combat the opinions expressed by the State’s specialist witnesses.
Make no mistake, if you ever need experience on your side, you’ll want it when you are charged with murder.
Contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your matter.
This charge is very serious indeed. So serious that in Queensland it can only be dealt with by a District Court. Those courts have stated that if you are charged with wounding, a range of 18 months to 2 years imprisonment is appropriate. Matters which aggravate or make worse the penalty to be imposed include:
(a). more serious injury.
(b). how much preparation the offender took before committing the crime.
(c). whether the offender had a criminal history.
(d). whether the offender pleads guilty at an early or late stage in the proceedings.
Contact Mark Savic Legal today in relation to unlawful wounding matters.
In both New South Wales and Queensland bail is one of the most important parts of any matter, but unfortunately it is one which seems to be overlooked by many practitioners and clients alike.
BAIL APPLICATIONS…YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT
All applications for bail start in the Magistrates Court in Queensland or the Local Court in New South Wales. And for all matters, you only get golden opportunity for bail.
If your application for bail is unsuccessful, you will need to either bring a further application in the Supreme Courts of either State or you will have the tricky task of finding some new material related to the case which will allow you try again in the Magistrates or Local Court.
The concept is one which requires the applicant for bail to show that in this second application for bail, there is information or material in support of that application which is relevant and obviously different to what was relied upon when the first application for bail was made.
Many practitioners make the mistake of proceeding with a second application after simply speaking to the client and without carefully reviewing the first one in order to ensure that what they rely on supports bail and is clearly different to what was said on the first occasion.
Mark Savic Legal has achieved a great deal of success by actually obtaining the transcript of the submissions made and decision rendered when the first application was made. That way, there can be no suggestion that what lawyers tell the court isn’t materially different from what was said previously.
An ever-growing list of charges require those seeking bail to show why their continued detention (without bail) is not justified. Despite what some practitioners may think, this involves a lot more than simply proposing some conditions that might keep the person seeking bail law abiding whilst on bail.
For instance, at Mark Savic Legal, the case is tediously examined in an effort to find an arguable defence so that the court hearing the bail application might consider it unjust to allow someone to languish in custody awaiting a trial they might ultimately win.
GET HELP WITH YOUR CRIMINAL MATTER
Mark Savic Legal has helped many clients to be granted bail in various courts across NSW and QLD.
Knowledge and experience are the best tools to use when your freedom is at stake. If you’re seeking bail in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.
If you feel aggrieved by the penalty you have received in court or the fact that you have been convicted of something you didn’t do, the only remedy you have left is to appeal the sentence or conviction to a higher court. These matters are very specialised.
APPEALS IN NEW SOUTH WALES
In New South Wales an appeal from the severity of a sentence imposed or conviction in the Local Court must be heard in the District Court. The appeal document must be filed within 28 days of the sentence being imposed.
And for appeals against severity of sentence the hearing will effectively be a fresh plea in mitigation before the District Court judge. But for appeals against conviction the District Court will review the transcript of what occurred in the Local Court and determine if what occurred there was lawful.
APPEALS IN QUEENSLAND
Likewise, in Queensland both types of appeals are heard in the District Court. The appeal document must be filed within 1 calendar month from the date the Magistrates Court rendered the sentence or verdict. And for both types of appeals the hearing will be conducted by the District Court judge reviewing the transcript of what occurred in the Magistrates Court to determine if all occurred lawfully.
In both States appeals from decisions imposed in the District or Supreme Courts are heard in the Court of Appeal.
Success in these jurisdictions depends on very careful preparation and a solid understanding of the applicable law. Generally, for sentence matters the law that relates to the charge preferred needs to be scrutinised as do comparative sentences from previous similar matters.
For appeals against conviction a lot more needs to be considered, often including the admissibility of certain evidence and the validity of judicial directions given to the tribunal of fact.
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENCES
Possessing, Making or Distributing Child Exploitation Material
This type of offence occurs when a person possesses images of children under the age of 16 and it doesn’t matter whether they are of actual or animated children.
Given that the images are generally located on personal devices like phones or computers, cases involving child pornography defence are very difficult. Consequently, most people charged with these offences are likely to face sentencing.
In 2013, the penalties for committing offences relating to possession of child exploitation material in Queensland have more than doubled in severity. Actual imprisonment is no longer considered a sentence or last resort for them. Matters which dramatically affect the applicable sentencing range include accurate diagnosis of the cause of the offense and thorough relevant rehabilitation.
Experience has shown that identifying a genuine medical trigger for such conduct dramatically reduces an offender’s culpability and proper treatment lessens the need for deterrent penalties like imprisonment.
In NSW, it was recently affirmed that unless ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist, a sentence of immediate imprisonment is warranted for offences relating to child pornography.
Arguing ‘Exceptional Circumstances’
When looking for ‘exceptional circumstances’, very careful attention should be paid to matters such as:
- how the material came into the possession of the offender.
- how long and in what way they were kept.
- what the offender did with the materials.
There may be one or many other matters that a court can take into consideration when trying to identify ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Given the extremely narrow scope of factors that may constitute ‘exceptional circumstances’, only a criminal lawyer that is experienced in these types of cases will be able to identify and effectively present the relevant factors to a court that will qualify your case as having ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Will a conviction be recorded?
Given that for the State version of this offence the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment, and that the vast majority of offenders who are convicted of this type of offending receive a period of actual imprisonment, avoiding the recording of a conviction is extremely difficult. But it can be done. Recently in the case of The Queen v [REDACTED] I convinced the sentencing court that my client should receive a penalty which permitted it to refrain from recording the conviction against his name. It was a fine balancing exercise. Firstly, I recognised that the gravity of the offending must be lowered. This was done by demonstrating that the Crown could not adequately classify each of the images. Then the type of treatment and rehabilitation specific to my client’s reasons for offending had to be secured. Lastly, strong evidence of the intertwined relationship between my client’s employment and continued rehabilitation needed to be demonstrated. In the end, that was all accomplished and my client was appropriately given a sentence which was very rare indeed.
If you’ve been charged with a child pornography related offence in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.
A great deal of the workload performed by Mark Savic Legal relates to sexual offending. In every case which runs to trial an acquittal can be achieved.
Unlike many other offences, sex offences carry with them a stigma which regularly taints a jury and causes them to abrogate their obligation to be impartial, in favour of allowing their prejudices to guide their decision. The result of that to an accused can be catastrophic. Accordingly, these matters must be approached with great caution.
At Mark Savic Legal a careful approach is seen in examining whether there is value in testing the evidence of the “preliminary complaint” witnesses at committal. These are witnesses that the alleged victim has complained to after the incident. The law has acknowledged that most sexual offending is alleged to have occurred without being directly witnessed. Accordingly, “preliminary complaint” witnesses are heavily relied on by prosecutors to fortify the evidence of the alleged victim. Many lawyers, though, fail to take advantage of exploring the evidence of these witnesses at committal, and so lose an important forensic advantage at trial. Versions obtained from these witnesses through careful cross examination at committal can raise valuable questions about the truthfulness of an alleged victim’s recollection at trial.
Mark Savic Legal is always conscious of exploiting alternative searches to damage the credibility of the alleged victim. One such method is acquiring the records of other government departments that relate to an alleged victim, (for example the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women), to determine if their records disclose inconsistencies in the complaints they have received from and on behalf of the alleged victim. Such successful searches can have a damning effect on a prosecutor’s case.
These are just a few relevant examples of how Mark Savic Legal goes further than other firms to explore a potentially exculpatory path for clients charged with sexual offending.
Statistically, those convicted of sexual offending do end up serving a period of actual imprisonment. But it is not inevitable. Mark Savic Legal’s approach to sentencing for sex offending recognises the subtlety of the sentencing. It’s critical to find and disclose a demonstration of client remorse, while many colleagues will simply hand up an apology written by the accused. Unlike those, this method ensures the court can proceed to sentence on the basis that the client is actually remorseful and his or her sentence will be adjusted favourably.
Similarly, while competitors often habitually and blindly have their clients psychologically assessed prior to sentence, Mark Savic Legal will ensure that any assessment performed not only examines the mental composition of the client, but provides a basis for the sentencing court to make favourable findings about its mandatory considerations like the need to protect the community and the prospects of rehabilitation.
This is one of the reasons why numerous Mark Savic Legal clients have avoided a period of actual imprisonment when sentenced for sexual offending.
HOW CAN I DEAL WITH MULTIPLE COMPLAINANTS ALLEGING MULTIPLE CHARGES?
A sure-fire way for the Crown to dramatically increase the prospect of a jury finding you guilty is to put a lot of individual charges with different complainants on the one indictment. That way, they hope the jury will hear that you are alleged to have committed more than one sexual offence on more than one alleged victim. The theory behind that is that if more than one complainant says you’ve committed sexual misconduct against them such an allegation is more likely to be true.
To counteract this, Mark Savic Legal will closely examine this scenario to see if it is possible to dice up such an indictment in a way that prevents a jury from hearing multiple alleged victims claim to have been sexually mistreated by the one client. If there is success in separating these claims, the client’s chances of acquittal are dramatically improved.
Severing charges on indictment is a complex area of law and for obvious reasons, the Crown always fights hard to keep them together. Unfortunately, many law firms do not understand the complexity involved in severing an indictment and leave this problem until the first day of jury trial to consider it (or don’t consider it at all), and by then it’s almost always too late.
If you’ve been charged with a sex offence in Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Maclean, Grafton, Yamba, Northern NSW, The Gold Coast or Brisbane, contact Mark Savic Legal today to discuss your options.