Areas of Practice
Criminal and Traffic Law
If you have been charged with a criminal or traffic offence, a Nash Allen Williams & Wotton expert criminal defence solicitors can help.
We appear in the Local Court and District Court for clients in a wide variety of criminal and traffic matters as well as apprehended domestic/ personal violence matters. We can act and advise in relation to the conduct of the matter and can appear in court on your behalf in pleas, trial matters and sentence hearings.
The main legislation governing traffic offences in NSW is the Road Transport Act 2013. Other regulations that support this Act include Road Transport (General) Regulation 2021, Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2017, Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2017, and Road Rules 2014.
Breaching any of these can result in a fine or demerit point loss–at the very least–or in a suspended licence or imprisonment. Any offence that warrants a Court Appearance Notice should be considered serious.
But the consequences of a licence suspension, disqualification, or criminal record can significantly affect your ability to work. At Nash Allen Williams & Wotton we can advise on the best approach to a variety of traffic offences, including:
- Reckless driving
- Negligent driving
- Dangerous driving resulting in grievous bodily harm (GBH) or death
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving while suspended or on an expired licence
- Driving an unregistered vehicle
- Speeding appeals
- Street racing
- Heavy vehicle offences
We are always working towards the best possible outcome for you, when you find yourself being brought before the court.
Criminal law covers a very broad range of offences. Nash Allen Williams & Wotton expert criminal defence solicitors can act for you in criminal matters such as:
- Apprehended violence orders (AVOs) and breaches of those orders
- Offensive language or conduct
- Assault Police & resisting arrest
- Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH)
- Break, Enter and steal
- Robbery offences
- Drug offences
- Firearms offences
- Sexual offences
- Fraud or blackmail offences
- Commonwealth offences
Our solicitors understand that being charged with a criminal offence can be a difficult, stressful and frightening experience. From the moment police want to question you or your loved ones it is so important that you speak to us FIRST to ensure your legal rights are protected and also that future avenues of defence are kept open.
What you say or do at the very early stages of a police investigation can significantly affect, and indeed sometimes determine, the outcome of the matter even before any charges are laid.
Whether you want to plead not guilty and defend the charges or if you know you have done the wrong thing and want to plead guilty, if you are not being advised and represented by an experienced solicitor you are risking your reputation, your career, your relationships and very possibly your liberty.
At Nash Allen Williams & Wotton we have extensive experience in dealing with all aspects of criminal offences, from making bail applications, to advising, preparing for, and appearing in court on your behalf for trials and sentence proceedings.
Criminal law is complex, and it is important to have someone with a comprehensive understanding of the processes acting for you.
Criminal and Traffic Law FAQs
I’ve been given a Penalty Notice by Police and have to pay a fine. I’m not guilty, though. What can I do?
If you say you did not commit the offence, you should elect to have the matter heard by a court. Read the Penalty Notice and it will tell you how to make that election and when you have to do that by. After you make the election, you will be contacted by the court to let you know the court date. You will have to go to court then and tell the Magistrate what happened. You can be represented by a solicitor at court.
What do I bring to my appointment?
If you have an appointment with a solicitor about a criminal offence, you should bring your identification, the Penalty Notice or Court Attendance Notice given to you by police and any other documents that seem relevant to you. If the offence is a serious traffic offence, police may have already taken your licence from you. You may bring a support person with you to the appointment, if you wish.
I’ve heard that a solicitor can write to police and they will withdraw the charges against me. Is that correct?
It’s not quite as simple as that.
Sometimes the facts relied upon by police do not support the particular charges laid. When you seek advice from an experienced solicitor at an early stage, they can advise you if that has happened in your case. If it has, the solicitor can write to the police Local Area Commander and point out the error and ask police to amend or withdraw the particular charge or charges. This process is called making ‘representation to police’ and is only sometimes successful.
An example might be where a person is charged with possession of firearms ammunition that they are not licenced to possess. Reading the legislation closely, the solicitor sees that the person is, in fact, licenced to possess that ammunition after all. The solicitor may write to police and provide a copy of the person’s licence and ask police to withdraw the charge.
It is important to note that representations to police are not always successful.
How Long Do Offences Stay On Your Record?
Certain serious offences, along with offences for which you received a sentence of imprisonment of more than 6 months, stay on our criminal record forever. Most other offences that result in a criminal record become spent convictions ten years after the date of conviction.
I’ve got an ADVO out against me, for the protection of another person. That person has contacted me and said they don’t want the ADVO any more and they don’t mind me contacting them. Can I?
It is not a criminal offence to have an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) against you, but the courts treat any breach of an ADVO, very seriously.
If you breach an ADVO you could be arrested and charged. It is important that you understand clearly what behaviour of yours is prohibited by the orders and what you are allowed to do.
An ADVO will always be made for a certain period of time (6 months, 2 years or 5 years for example) and will prohibit certain specific conduct only – for example ‘you must not assault, threaten, stalk, harass or intimidate the person and you must not destroy or damage the person’s property’, are typical orders. You may also be prohibited from making contact with the person other than through your lawyer. If you have any doubts at all about what you can or cannot do under the ADVO, see a solicitor and have them explain it you.
The bottom line is, you must follow the orders even if the person doesn’t want you to or tells you that you don’t need to. If you attempt to do any of the things prohibited by the order you may be charged and may be convicted of a criminal offence.