Sex offences are among the most serious charges in Queensland criminal law.
Penalties of imprisonment (involving actual custody) are routinely handed down by the Courts.
In addition, there are often other significant consequences, including:
- inability to obtain a Blue Card
- restrictions on international travel
- being subject to reporting requirements under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act.
You can rely on us
Julia and Rebecca have proven trial and advocacy experience for sex offences.
Our experience is your advantage
Examples of the outstanding results we have achieved for our clients include:
- receiving ‘not guilty’ verdicts in jury and magistrate trials
- having no conviction recorded for unlawful carnal knowledge
- holding successful negotiations with the prosecution to have all charges withdrawn
- negotiating the withdrawal/discontinuation of rape offences
- successfully achieving the cross-examination of the complainant at the committal stage
- securing downgrade to lesser charges for clients
- getting non-custodial sentences such as wholly suspended sentences, probation, community service, fines and good behaviour bonds.
Mistake of fact
The ‘mistake of fact’ defence applies to some sex offences, including rape, sexual assault and unlawful carnal knowledge.
If the accused person believed, honestly and reasonably, that the complainant consented to the sex act, this belief can be used as a defence against the charge.
The defence ensures a person is not guilty of a criminal offence if that person “does or omits to do an act under an honest and reasonable, but mistaken, belief in the existence of any state of things”.
There are several important limitations to the defence.
The person’s belief must have been honest at the time the alleged offence was committed and the belief must be reasonable in the circumstances.
With reference to the surrounding facts and evidence, the jury decides whether an accused person held an honest but mistaken belief about consent.
Learn more about mistake of fact in our article.
Seek advice early
If you are charged with a sex offence, you should seek specialist legal advice and representation.
Properly defending these charges requires experienced and specialist strategy and advocacy, and early, expert advice may make all the difference.
Decisions made early on in proceedings may have a profound impact at your trial, so early legal advice is essential.
Make us your first call.
You need a dedicated, experienced lawyer on your side. That’s us.