Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Being charged with a criminal or traffic offence is often extremely stressful, even for people who have been in court before.

Being charged with a criminal or traffic offence is often extremely stressful, even for people who have been in court before.

It’s natural to have questions, and we encourage you to ask as many questions as you need before making a decision. To get you started, we have set out a number of frequently asked questions below, but if you need specific advice, please contact us.

About George Criminal Lawyers

Why choose George Criminal Lawyers?2024-02-23T12:32:36+10:00

Because we have the experience, skills and reputation needed to get you the best possible result. Also, we are excellent communicators. Unlike other firms, we won’t leave you in the dark, wondering what is happening with your matter or why your lawyer never responds to your emails or phone calls.

Who is Andrew George?2024-02-23T12:25:20+10:00

Andrew George is the Principal Lawyer at George Criminal Lawyers. Admitted in 2011, he has over 13 years of experience practising in criminal law, and has represented clients charged with the most serious crimes in Australia. A passionate lawyer and analyst, he leaves no stone unturned in defending his clients and achieving exceptional results.

Do you offer free initial consultations?2023-09-27T17:01:16+10:00

Yes, we offer free initial consultations by phone. You can book a time using our online booking page, submit a contact form enquiry, or text, call or email us to set it up.

For in-person consultations at our office (or elsewhere), we charge $275 for an hour. If you want to book an in-person conference, just head to the online booking page to select an available timeslot.

How much do you charge?2024-02-23T12:36:18+10:00

We are open and honest about our fees, and invite you to contact us for a quote before making a decision. Our fees are competitive and reflect our experience, skill and the exceptional outcomes we achieve. If you find a cheaper rate elsewhere, but you want us to represent you, we will usually be happy to match it or beat it.

For simple matters, such as a first time minor drug possession or a traffic charge, we are usually able to offer a fixed fee starting at $1,650.

We can also offer fixed fees for bail applications, appeals, and work licence applications.

For more complex or serious criminal matters, the fees are calculated based on which path your matter has to take through the court system, and whether you want to plead guilty or have a trial. Once we have that information, we can give you an accurate estimate of fees.

Why is choosing a criminal lawyer so important?2023-09-19T10:35:51+10:00

Having worked in this industry for over a decade, it is very clear that some firms simply don’t care about you once they have your money. We’ve heard countless stories from clients who have come to us, sometimes too late, telling us that they could never get in touch with their lawyer or find out what is happening with their matter. Their entire future was on the line and it’s simply not good enough. And, just as concerning is that some firms don’t have a basic knowledge or understanding of the area of law that they practice in.

Do you travel?2024-02-23T12:26:20+10:00

Absolutely, because we know exactly what you get when you use the local lawyers. We will travel wherever you need us, including interstate. Just contact us to confirm our availability and fees.

What are your business hours?2023-09-19T10:31:00+10:00

We usually answer calls and attend appointments between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, but we are contactable 24 hours by SMS or email. If you need to speak to us or require assistance outside of these hours, including weekends, just get in touch.

Being charged and going to court

The police want to question me. What should I do?2023-09-20T19:14:32+10:00

Never speak to the police unless it is to confirm who you are. Their primary goal is to obtain evidence from you which can support the charge they are investigating. You should contact us immediately for advice.

What is the process after being charged?2023-09-19T10:31:46+10:00

Once you engage our services, we will request a copy of the facts from police (known as a QP9) and any criminal or traffic history that you might have. The QP9 will provide a summary of the facts and allow us to provide you with some initial advice about your options.

The next steps from there depend on the nature of the matter and what you want to do. If we can’t get your charges dropped or resolve the matter through negotiations, then serious indictable offences will progress through the Magistrates Court and be committed (transferred) to the District or Supreme Court. Other matters remain in the Magistrates Court, and can be dealt with as a plea of guilty or listed for trial.

Do I have to attend court?2023-09-19T10:33:35+10:00

Generally, no.

You don’t have to personally attend court if you have a lawyer, unless you’re on a Notice to Appear (NTA), have failed to appear in court, or need to vary your bail conditons. If you are being sentenced or have a trial, you will also need to come to court.

In all other cases, we appear at court for you and take the stress and inconvenience out of having to worry about this.

Will the media find out about my case?2023-09-19T10:33:47+10:00

Because all courts are generally open to the public, the media are free to come and go as they please – which means they can report on anything they see in court that day. They can’t report details that would identify children, or where a Magistrate or Judge makes a non-publication order.

While we have little control over whether your case will be reported, there are measures we can put in place if you want to protect your privacy. Our policy is not to talk to the media unless you specifically authorise us to.

How long will my matter take in court?2023-09-19T10:32:23+10:00

Depending on what your charge is, your matter could go one of a few different ways.

If it’s a fairly minor offence that you want to plead guilty to, it can usually be dealt with at your first court appearance. If you want us to try and have the charge dropped, then it will usually take a few more court appearances.

If the charge is more serious, or you want to contest it at a trial, it could go on for many months, and up to years, depending on which path you choose to take.

Serious charges that must proceed in the District and Supreme Court typically take about 9-12 months to be finalised for a plea of guilty, and 12-18 months if you want a trial before a jury.

Do I have to say anything at court?2023-09-19T10:32:13+10:00

Usually you’re not required to speak in court other than to say the words “guilty” or “not guilty” when charges are read to you.

The reason you have a lawyer is so that they can speak on your behalf, and say the things that need to be said to get you the best result. It is this careful skill in advocacy that you are paying for, so there’s no need to worry about having to talk.

If you need to give evidence about what happened, then we will give you that advice and prepare you thoroughly to ensure that everything goes smoothly when the time comes.

Why you shouldn’t use a duty lawyer2023-09-19T10:39:16+10:00

Because you are taking a gamble on your future. Duty lawyers typically spend about 5 or 10 minutes with you to discuss your matter on the day of court. They might not ask you the right questions about what happened, and they won’t have any supporting material to hand up to the Magistrate to help reduce your penalty. You also won’t know who the duty lawyer is and their level of experience and skill.

We strongly recommend you contact us to represent you so we can safeguard your rights and the outcome.

I want to have a trial — what happens?2023-09-19T10:48:06+10:00

If we can’t get your charges dropped or downgraded and you want to go to trial, then the court will give you a date for your trial. Magistrates Court trials are usually listed for a single day, with Supreme and District Court trials lasting 2-3 days on average.

Leading up to the trial, there are a number of steps involved. Firstly, we ensure we have all of the evidence, including any evidence you might have in your defence. If we need to, we issue subpoenas or seek directions from the court for further evidence to be disclosed. Secondly, we might need to make applications to the court to exclude evidence obtained through illegal searches, prejudicial evidence, or to exclude statements made by you. Thirdly, we attend conferences with you and a barrister to fully prepare for the trial. Lastly, we attend court with you for the trial.

Our experience and reputation as trial lawyers means you have the best possible chance of being found not guilty. Our experience means that we intimately understand the problems with the evidence in each case, the law, and can provide you with advice and representation of the highest standard in Queensland.

What happens if I want to plead guilty?2023-09-19T10:33:00+10:00

If you’re likely to be sentenced, or want to plead guilty, then you can rest assured that you will receive the best possible outcome. We know exactly what supporting evidence the court wants to see. We will help you organise character references, reports and medical evidence to ensure that no stone is left unturned.

Our connections in the industry mean we can provide extensive material to the court by referring you to rehabilitation for issues like drugs, alcohol, violence and road safety. We can also arrange consultations, treatment and expert reports through close working relationships with leading experts in psychology and psychiatry.

Will I have a conviction recorded?2023-09-19T10:33:06+10:00

The answer to this question varies depending on what the charge is, whether you have any criminal history, and a range of other factors.

Generally, if it’s a first offence which is not too serious, you can be fairly confident you won’t have a conviction recorded. But it still takes an experienced criminal lawyer to ensure this occurs, as it’s not automatic and it should never be assumed it won’t happen.

Any sentence of imprisonment means an automatic conviction.

Obviously every situation is different and we can give you more specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

Will I have to tell anyone about my conviction?2023-09-19T10:33:11+10:00

If your conviction is not recorded, then it will not show up in a criminal history check and you do not have to tell anyone you have a criminal history.

However, just like most things, there are exceptions. Certain people can see it, including the Government, Blue Card services, and other employers or providers that ask whether or not you’ve been “found guilty or pleaded guilty to an offence”.

In addition, certain countries may ask whether you’ve been “found guilty of an offence”, so you should check before travelling to determine their specific requirements.

If a conviction is recorded, it will show up in a criminal history check for a period of 5 years (in the Magistrates Court) and 10 years (in the District and Supreme Courts). After that time, it automatically expires, provided you haven’t committed any other offences. If the sentence is longer than 2 and a half years jail, then the conviction lasts forever.

What can expect if I go to jail?2023-09-19T09:46:52+10:00

If you’re given a sentence of actual imprisonment, then your sentence starts immediately. You’re taken from the courtroom and into a police watchhouse where you are usually held for a few days. Once transport to a prison is organised, you’ll then be taken out to the prison for processing.

Generally, men are sent to Brisbane Correctional Centre (BCC) and women are sent to the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre (BWCC). Following your admission, you may be transferred to another prison depending on space, the length of your sentence and your classification.

Caxton Legal have a great guide about prison life which can be found here.

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