Criminal

If you've been accused of a crime or offence, it's important that you get in touch with our criminal law team as soon as possible so that we can help you, provide you with legal advice, protect your rights and ensure that you are treated according to the law.

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Criminal Law

Criminal Law Offences


If you have been charged with a criminal offence then you need a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer to stand by your side and ensure the best possible outcome.

You are innocent until proven guilty, and our role is to advise you as to your rights and options and advocate for you to the fullest extent permitted by law.

We can advise you about:
• How to respond to questioning by Police or other agencies,
• Alternatives to receiving a conviction such as obtaining a Police diversion or discharge without conviction,
• Deciding whether to enter a guilty plea,
• Defending the charges against you, and
• Making submissions about sentencing.

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Discharge without conviction

Usually, if a person is found guilty of an offence, they are convicted. However, the judge has the discretion not to convict. This is called a discharge without conviction. It means the defendant, although guilty, will have no criminal record.  

 

To grant a discharge without conviction the judge must be satisfied on the evidence that the consequence of the conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence. 

 

The indirect consequences of a conviction may include loss of employment, inability to travel overseas for work or education, or loss of immigration status. Depending on your circumstances, these consequences may justify an application for a discharge without conviction.

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Traffic offences

Our team have significant experience defending careless driving, dangerous driving and reckless driving charges. 

 

Obtaining legal advice is essential to understand your options. The law recognises that not every motor vehicle accident is a crime. These charges can be successfully defended.  The prosecution’s evidence is often not sufficient to prove the defendant is guilty of the offence they have been charged with.

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Theft and Fraud

We provide advice about defending the full range of dishonesty offences ranging from simple theft to complex fraud and white-collar crime. 

Accusations of dishonesty offences need to be addressed immediately. Your first step should be appointing the right legal representative to ensure the greatest chance of success.

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Drink Driving

The consequences of a conviction for excess blood or breath alcohol are serious and can range from being fined and/or disqualified from holding a driver's licence to imprisonment. 

 

We can provide advice about whether any defences are available, whether a discharge without conviction could be available, whether to enter a guilty plea, possible arguments in mitigation of any sentence, and about obtaining a limited licence.

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Criminal Legal Aid

For serious charges (14 years or more) you can choose which legal aid lawyer you want to be assigned to represent you. For all other charges, you normally can not choose which legal aid lawyer is assigned to represent you.

 

There are only certain circumstances (e.g. if the legal aid lawyer currently represents you or has represented you in the last 2 years) where Legal Aid may choose to assign the lawyer of your choice. Legal aid lawyers are normally assigned on a ‘rotation’ basis.

If you want to apply for criminal legal aid, a duty lawyer can help you fill in a legal aid form or you can fill in the form yourself and send it to wgncriminallegalaid@justice.govt.nz. A lawyer will then be assigned to you who can provide you with legal advice. For more information, please see the Ministry of Justice website: Legal aid | New Zealand Ministry of Justice

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Are Legal Fees Holding You Back From Seeking Professional Legal Help?

Discover how legal aid can provide the support you need. At Lawhub, we are proud to be an approved legal aid provider in family law, relationship property matters, and employment law for employees. Click below to see if legal aid can help support you and your unique circumstances.

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Criminal Specialists

Derick Lotz

Derick is an Associate at Lawhub with extensive general criminal defence expertise. Derick also specialises in Commercial, Litigation and Family Law.

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Associate - LLB, BCom

Criminal, Commercial, Litigation and General Law.
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"I wish to thank Derick for his assistance over the past year and a half dealing with a challenging criminal matter. He handled it professionally at the appropriate stages, showing patience and understanding during my inquiries, especially when the legal system and process were completely new to me. Thanks again to Derick and the Lawhub team for your assistance."

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