Myths About Adelaide Criminal Cases

May 1, 2023

There is a lot of fictitious information about Adelaide’s criminal cases on social media, newspapers, and even radio. You can get accurate information about the criminal justice system by visiting different official government websites or formal publications. Also, you can consult with criminal lawyers, Adelaide for anything criminal law. Without much further ado, here are some of the most prominent myths about Adelaide criminal cases. Take a look.

Juries are Lenient Compared to Judges

Indictment cases at the District Court and Supreme Court confer to the defendant the right to a jury trial. However, a defendant has better luck with a judge than with a jury, at least most of the time. According to statistics, more defendants are acquitted in judge-alone hearings than those with juries. Judges understand the law better and can ignore personal prejudices better than the jury (they are members of the public, after all).

Judges are More Lenient on Offenders Than the Public

If you read newspaper blogs or listen to radio shock-jocks, you’ve probably read about judges being especially “lenient” to offenders. Of course, since it’s their job, journalists hand-pick cases and twist them to suit the narrative they are trying to propagate. A study conducted in New South Wales (NSW) found that about two-thirds of the population believed judges and magistrates to be too lenient on offenders.

You will be intrigued to learn that these study results were put to the test soon after. Sixty laymen were asked to watch cases with relevant evidence and suggest the most appropriate penalties. When compared to the rulings given by the judge, more than half of the participants handed down a more lenient punishment. Also, a more recent study conducted in 2013 revealed that judges and magistrates were actually stricter than before.

The Police Will Go Easy on You If You Do as They Say

You may have heard people say that the police will help you if you cooperate. Sometimes the police may act like they have your best interests at heart and even offer legal advice to you or coerce you into pleading guilty. We cannot put it above them to recommend pushover lawyers or advice against legal representation altogether.

Remember, the police are not your friend, and they have no reason to help. They can trick you into incriminating yourself, which can only result in pressing your current charges or more. Instead, refrain from saying anything in the “interview” without a competent criminal lawyer representing you.

Defendants are Vicious Criminals

Many people perceive all defendants to be dangerous criminals who can strike at any time. While this may be true for some, most defendants are pretty “regular” people; especially considering that over 20% of court cases in Adelaide involve drunk driving, with drug possession being a close second. Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped police officers from coming to court fully armed.

Real-life Court is Like TV

Legal TV shows portray courtrooms to be filled with drama, witty advocates, and thick suspense, but the reality of things might disappoint you. Especially in lower courts, there are numerous cases to be heard daily with no room for theatrics. You are more likely to see uneventful legal submissions, short deliberations with the prosecution, and other unexciting activities.

You Have the Right to a Lawyer

If you love watching Law & Order and similar TV shows, you may have the notion that every defendant has the absolute right to an attorney. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In Australia, you do not have the right to a state-provided lawyer for any criminal offense. This is contrary to the norm in the United States, where each defendant has the right to a lawyer appointed by the court.

Australia offers its defendants a somewhat limited right to a fair trial. As a defendant, you are at liberty to hire your own attorney to pay out of pocket or through a legal aid grant. A defendant can request the adjournment of their case as they look for an attorney, especially for severe charges heard before the District or Supreme Courts. But, the judge has the discretion to grant or deny your bail request based on certain exceptions.

There you have it, some of the most common myths about criminal cases in Adelaide debunked. These could come in handy if you or your loved one find yourselves on the wrong side of the law. Learning a few interesting facts never hurt either way!

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