People often do not know what to expect when finding or engaging legal representation
The following is a summary overview of how we operate and what you can expect in the process if you use DDD for your traffic matter.
Phase 1 – INQUIRY
- Choosing your expert legal representation starts with an inquiry.
- Either call, inquire online or email us directly with some initial details and we will get in touch right away to schedule you in for a free phone consultation with an expert traffic lawyer.
Phase 2 – FREE CONSULTATION
- After you send through your inquiry and get a time scheduled in for your call, an expert traffic lawyer will call you directly at the agreed time to find out the finer details about your case and listen to what has happened.
- We may ask you to email through your court papers or fine issued so we can assess the case properly before we provide you with our preliminary advice.
- Once we have received the information we need, we will provide you with our initial advice as to whether you have a case, what your options are and what we think the best way to proceed is.
Phase 3 – CHOOSE HOW TO PLEAD & ENGAGE
- Based on the information specific to your case, you may have the option to plead guilty or not guilty.
- We will provide you with a breakdown of fees and the potential strength of your case so you can decide which way you would like to proceed.
- Once you are comfortable with the way forward, we will prepare and send you the applicable Engagement Letter and Costs Agreement through the DocuSign e-platform for you to review and sign electronically, using your mobile device.
Phase 4 – COMMENCE PREPARATION
- Once you have signed the documentation and made your first payment (we provide flexible payment plans so you do not have to pay everything up-front) we will commence preparation for your matter.
- Depending on how you plead, we will send you a preparation for court checklist to assist you with gathering everything you need for your court date.
- If you are pleading not guilty, we will likely contact you to obtain further subjective information and supporting evidence.
Phase 5 (a) – ATTENDANCE AT COURT: GUILTY PLEA
- If pleading guilty, we will likely only need to attend once or twice at court to have the matter finalized.
- If you require an adjournment, we will do this for you.
- When we are attending to finalize the matter, we will ask you to meet us at court on the day, a little bit earlier, so we can discuss any last things before going in.
- We typically ask that our clients attend at court with us, however if you are unable to, we will discuss with you whether we think we can proceed in your absence, or alternative options if not.
PHASE 5 (b) – ATTENDANCE AT COURT: NOT GUILTY PLEA [USE FOR MELBOURNE ONLY]
- If pleading not guilty, we will likely need to attend a minimum of three court dates, and up to five or six, for more complex cases or where multiple additional adjournments or mentions are required.
- At the first attendance we will be meeting with the prosecution to discuss the grounds for contest and to try and negotiate for withdrawal of any of the charges, if applicable.
- We typically ask that our clients attend at court for the first mention with us, however if you are unable to, we will discuss with you whether we think we can proceed in your absence, or alternative options if not.
- We will discuss the matters contested and appear in front of the Magistrate to obtain a new date for “Contest Mention”.
- Contest Mention is to allow the prosecution to review their case after we have raised our grounds for contest and to obtain any additional evidence or statements from informants, if applicable or necessary.
- This date will normally be at least a month after the first mention, and even up to 8-10 weeks later. Typically we ask that you attend this date, however if we are very clear about what is proceeding we may sometimes be able to proceed without you present.
- If the prosecution is not able to verify or clarify their position by this date, sometimes the matter can be withdrawn before proceeding to the final stage.
- If the matter is not withdrawn, we will list for “Contest Hearing” and provide a list of any experts we will be calling.
- Contest Hearing is the final stage of the Not Guilty process, where all evidence will be heard from both sides and a decision will be made.
- Often independent expert reports and expert witnesses will need to be obtained for this.
- You will need to be present at this date.
- Contest Hearing’s are often scheduled quite far out due to backlog in the courts, and you may expect a Contest Hearing date to be anywhere from two to six months away from the Contest Mention date, depending on the court’s schedule.
- If you are successful at a Contest Hearing date, we may be able to make an application for your costs to be reimbursed, in part or in full. This depends on the circumstances of the case but we will typically make an application for at least some of your costs back.