Dismissing Public Misconceptions About Criminal Lawyers in Melbourne

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  • December 2, 2018

To those who have their own notions about the way criminal lawyers in Melbourne operate, there will be a myriad of opinions about the practice.

From being overpaid to swooping in and cashing in on tragedy, the misconceptions are usually skewed to negative portrayals of dubious and morally bankrupt individuals.

In the criminal justice system however, citizens overlook the right to a fair trial and without these individuals, a charged person would be sent straight to jail.

So what are these public misconceptions exactly, and why are they incorrect?


You Have The Right To Find Legal Representation, But Its Not Given To You

Forget what you know about US pop culture when it comes to criminal lawyers in Melbourne, because the adage “you have the right to an attorney” is not applicable here. Defendants are available when an individual is charged with a crime as they can seek legal representation, either paid, pro bono or assigned from a public defendant’s office, but a solicitor is not afforded to a citizen in Melbourne regardless of their status. This can be a common misconception about how the justice system operates in Australia separate from the United States.


Lawyers Cover For Client Lies

Criminal lawyers in Melbourne must adhere to a strict code of conduct that allows them to practice in the state of Victoria. In order to keep their license, they cannot allow themselves to knowingly make false statements or to manipulate the court in any way shape or form. This could be seen with cases where a defendant withholds information in the knowledge that it would hurt their argument. Covering for lies is a misconception that is not only incorrect, but illegal.


lawyerYou Need To Be Rich To Win Your Case

It is an inescapable fact that the more money you have as a client, the higher the grade of criminal lawyers in Melbourne you can afford. Yet there have been enough case studies in Victoria alone to illustrate that a modestly affordable legal representative or even a public defendant can win in court. The burden of proof is on the prosecution after all, so a soundly built narrative that incorporates the facts and argued well should be enough to satisfy a courtroom. Wealth does play a role, but it is never possible to buy your way to a win.


Lawyers Can Protect You From Police Searches

In this day and age, criminal lawyers in Melbourne cannot claim to protect their client from a search without a warrant if that officer believes that there is a genuine risk or danger involved. Action can be taken to investigate and search a property in the evident that they see illegal activity taking place or there is possession of illegal materials such as weapons or drugs. Lawyers can help to fight a case where there is an unjust search following a complete lack of tangible evidence, but if a police officer believes that there could be imminent danger or illegal activity taking place, they are empowered to investigate.


Criminal Lawyers Operate With Dubious Morals

Depending on which television shows you watch or which anecdotal evidence you have come across, criminal lawyers in Melbourne could have a very shady reputation. Following some very high profile cases during the 1990s and the turn of the century in this city, public and private defendants are viewed as professionals who will carry through on a case for the sake of their paycheck and perhaps even the notoriety. A solicitor in this instance is only in a position to put forth the best possible defence in the eyes of the court and to present that information to an impartial judge or jury. It would be overly prejudicial to say that criminal lawyers, whether they be defendants or prosecutors, act with dubious morals.


Criminal Lawyers Like To Manipulate A Jury More Than A Judge

When a case goes to trial, criminal lawyers in Melbourne are tasked with matters of jury selection and to build their case around the need to satisfy a jury of peers. Many outside the legal system believe that representatives in this arena prefer this scenario to making an impression on a single judge, someone who is experienced and often unmoved by an impassioned defence.

The reality is that a solicitor acting as a defendant is more likely to win over a single judge than they are a jury within Australia. Why is this the case? A judge will carefully deliberate over the facts of a case and account for mitigating circumstances, whilst a jury can make gut instinct calls where biases and beliefs come into play.



The reality is there will always be a small handful of criminal lawyers in Melbourne who neglect their client or fail to present the best possible defence. Yet this should not paint a negative picture about their role and influence in a system that requires their diligence and input. Every citizen is afforded the ability to access legal representation, and to ensure justice is carried out, they need to be empowered to do their job to the full extent of the law.