Stephen Bourne Lawyer - Criminal Defence
(c) Stephen Bourne 2016   

Stephen Bourne
Barrister at Law
LLM MBS MSc(Psych) ANZIIF(Fellow)


Criminal Defence

For much of my career as a lawyer, I have acted for individuals charged with criminal offences. Many of these charges have involved very serious allegations, and the prospect of lengthy prison sentences. Anyone charged with a criminal offence will naturally want to 'get off' it, especially if the allegations are false. Occasionally police withdraw charges based on new information, otherwise avoiding a guilty finding requires the court or jury to conclude there is reasonable doubt.

My role when I am instructed as a criminal defence lawyer, is to ensure that my client gets the very best advice at all stages, and a fair trial (if the matter goes to trial) that shows the client in the best light. An acquital -- the best outcome -- means that the charge has not been proved. If the client is found guilty, or pleads guilty, the next stage is sentencing. This presents an opportunity to convince the court that the client should be discharged without conviction, or in other cases to put forward evidence in support of a more lenient sentence. For example, arguments can be made for home detention or supervision rather than jail, or for a jail sentence to be suspended (subject to the options available to the court).

Following arrest, and also during the trial and sentencing process, it may be necessary to present arguments in support of bail or continued bail, to avoid the client being locked up pending the final outcome. While bail arguments will partly reflect the client's alleged offending and other historic conduct, the court's willingness to grant bail in a particular case may also depend on my ability to convince the court that my client will not reoffend while on bail.

Facing a criminal charge is not a pleasant experience, and very often clients are innocent or can point to circumstances of diminished culpability. Regardless of the client's circumstances or whether he or she is guilty or innocent, every case requires a careful forensic approach to the evidence. Through my experience as a trial lawyer, and my knowledge of modern forensic methods, I am able to give appropriate advice and ensure that all required steps are taken.

If you are facing a criminal charge of any kind, give me a call on +64 (0) (3) 288 01 80 or +61 (0) 418 254 043.