Defend Yourself is a book for people who wish to defend a charge in court and to better understand court processes. The third edition has been fully revised to reflect constant changes in the various laws and the author has widened the scope, using examples from New South Wales and Victoria to illustrate principles of law.
The book acts as a guidebook with signposts to further information and assistance on court processes and procedures. Updated content includes: arrest and questioning; bail – release pending trial; lawyers and self-representation; court procedure; pleas; hearing and trials; how to research and prepare for a criminal case; evidence; sentencing; appeals; a glossary of legal terms; diagrams of a magistrate’s court, a typical jury trial, and the hearing or trial process; information on character references and warrants; an explanation of case law references; a reading list and contact points for further information and assistance.
It will be of interest to those who find themselves in the strange and often intimidating environment of the courtroom.
Arrest and questioning
Identification and arrest
Detention for questioning
Taking forensic samples
Bail – release pending trial
Your entitlement to release on bail
Conditions on bail
Failing to appear in court
Lawyers, money and ethics
Do I need a lawyer?
Putting things on the record
Some serious charges can be heard summarily
Considering the implications of a guilty plea
When should I plead guilty?
When should I plead not guilty?
After a plea
Hearings and trials
Collect evidence early
Obtain charge details
Research the law
Consider your defences
Common law defences
Investigate the prosecution evidence
Apply to have the charges dropped
Sources of legal information
Evidence and witnesses
Some important categories of evidence
The ‘voir dire’
Evidence and submissions
Sentences of juveniles
How to appeal
Application for annulment
Appeals against convinction
Appeals to higher courts
Appeals against sentence
Special inquiries in New South Wales
A Jury trial – typical court set-up
Magistrate’s Court – typical court set-up
Hearing or trial Process
Finding the law
Understanding case law references
Legal information at your local library