Common Misconceptions About Criminal Law

Common Misconceptions About Criminal Law

Criminal law is a complex field that often leads to numerous misconceptions, especially for those who are not well-versed in its intricacies. Whether it’s television dramas, sensational news stories, or casual conversations, myths about criminal law can be pervasive, to say the least. As a dedicated team of criminal lawyers at Rawlings Criminal Law, we believe it’s so important to debunk these misconceptions to ensure a better understanding of the legal system, especially right here in Queensland, Australia. 

 

MISCONCEPTION 1: CRIMINAL LAWYERS ONLY DEFEND GUILTY PEOPLE

Now, this is by far one of the most common myths about criminal law, that lawyers will only represent those who are guilty. But honestly, this could be further from the truth. But what is our primary role? Well, a criminal lawyer’s primary role is to ensure that everyone receives a fair trial and that their legal rights are protected, regardless of guilt or innocence. 

The principle of “innocent until proven guilty” is also the bedrock of our legal system. As lawyers, we defend our clients who on occasion have been wrongly accused, so we’re going to ensure that the prosecution case is scrutinised meticulously. It’s not about getting guilty people off the hook, it’s about ensuring that justice is served correctly. 

 

MISCONCEPTION 2: ALL CRIMINAL CASES GO TO TRIAL

Thanks to media, such as books, shows, and movies, there’s the idea out there that every criminal case ends up in a dramatic courtroom trial. But in reality, most criminal cases in Queensland are resolved without going to trial. There are a lot of different options out there, such as plea negotiations, submissions and alternative dispute resolutions, and all of these play a massive role in the criminal justice system. 

A skilled criminal lawyer negotiates with prosecutors to attempt to resolve their client’s matter which can result in the withdrawal or reduction of charges. All parties involved usually benefit from this meaning time, resources and importantly money is saved in the process.

 

 

MISCONCEPTION 3: YOU CAN TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF AN ARREST

When confronted by law enforcement, some people think they can talk their way out of an arrest by explaining their side of the story. This is something else that’s usually shown in the media, but rarely does it work. In fact, participating in a police interview can often make matters worse. Anything you say can be used against you in court, and without proper legal guidance, you might inadvertently incriminate yourself.

But what should you do when you get arrested? Well, in this case, if you get arrested or even questioned, it’s crucial to exercise your right to remain silent and request to speak with a lawyer. You can count on needing the right advice and representation so your rights will be protected the entire time. 

 

MISCONCEPTION 4: POLICE NEED A WARRANT TO SEARCH YOUR PROPERTY

While it’s true that police generally need a warrant to search your property, there are several exceptions to this rule. Here in Queensland, police can conduct a search without a warrant under certain circumstances, such as if they have a reasonable suspicion that evidence of an indictable offence is at the place and may be concealed or destroyed unless immediately entered, or if they are in pursuit of a suspect. 

Understanding when and how the police can conduct a search is really important. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, so if you believe your rights have been violated during a search, a criminal lawyer can help you challenge the legality of the evidence obtained. 

 

MISCONCEPTION 5: ONLY MAJOR CRIMES REQUIRE A CRIMINAL LAWYER

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people here in Queensland and the rest of Australia who think that only serious offenses like murder or armed robbery necessitate the expertise of a criminal lawyer. However, even minor charges, such as traffic offences, drug possession, or public nuisance, can benefit from legal representation.Simple offences may result in a loss of licence, a criminal conviction being recorded against you which could affect your ability to travel and apply for certain jobs and it can result in the loss of government authorities such as a blue card (for working with children) and a weapons licence.

No matter what charge you’re facing, a criminal lawyer can help you; they can help you understand the charges, navigate the legal system, and work towards the best possible outcome. Even if this all seems minor, no matter how minor the offence, there can still be significant consequences, and that’s just not something you deserve.

 

MISCONCEPTION 6: THE BEST DEFENCE IS ALWAYS THE TRUTH

So this one might be surprising. While honesty is important, the legal system is not just about what happened but also about what can be proven. The truth might be on your side, but if the evidence doesn’t support your version of events, you might still be at a disadvantage.

But you can count on a criminal lawyer who knows how to gather evidence, find witnesses, and build a strong case to support your defence. They can also identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, which can be crucial in achieving a favourable outcome. They’ll go above and beyond for you, so that’s something you can count on.

 

MISCONCEPTION 7: REPRESENTING YOURSELF IS A GOOD WAY TO SAVE MONEY

Are you looking to save money? Do you think representing yourself might be a good idea? Well, think again! This is never advisable. You have to understand how intricate criminal law can be, and the stakes are very high. Without the expertise and experience of a criminal lawyer, you are at a significant disadvantage. 

 They know the nuances, and they understand the law inside and out. You want a favourable outcome, and the best way to get this is through an experienced criminal lawyer

 

 

MISCONCEPTION 8: ALL CRIMINAL LAWYERS ARE THE SAME

Not all criminal lawyers have the same level of experience or expertise. It’s important to choose a lawyer who specialises in criminal, traffic and domestic violence law and has a proven track record in handling cases similar to yours.

 

WHY GO WITH RAWLINGS CRIMINAL LAW

At Rawlings Criminal Law, our team of criminal lawyers is committed to providing personalised and effective legal representation. We understand the unique challenges of each case and work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.