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.