Galbally Parker Criminal Defence Lawyers

Galbally Parker Criminal Defence Lawyers

Criminal Defence Lawyers | Melbourne

We. Are. Different.

Est. 1976


As the first Melbourne firm to practice exclusively in criminal defence law, our criminal defence lawyers have the skill, experience and understanding to deliver the best representation for you or your loved one.

This is the discreet boutique service that our experienced criminal defence lawyers deliver. This is why our firm is recognised as one of the best criminal defence firms in Melbourne. Our results speak for themselves.


Doyles Leading Criminal law Firm 2024
Criminal Defence Lawyers Doyles Criminal Law 2023 Leading
Doyles Criminal Law 2022
Doyles Criminal Law 2021
Doyles Criminal Law 2020
Doyles Criminal Law 2019
Doyles Criminal Law 2018

Our Services


We are different

Find Our Firm

Experienced. Competitive. Passionate. Progressive.

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Whether you are facing arrest, Police interview, criminal charges or disciplinary proceedings, all are serious and stressful events.

If this is you, or if this is happening to someone you love, you are likely feeling overwhelmed and scared. This may be the very first time you have approached by Police or involved in criminal proceedings, which can be life changing.

If this is you, engaging an experienced criminal defence lawyer as early in the proceedings as you can is essential, both for you personally and for the outcome of your matter.

We provide the personal, thorough service which only an experienced and passionate criminal defence lawyer can provide. Every person is entitled to a vigorous defence of their rights.

We provide that service at competitive rates, utilising the best technologies and with attention to detail. We value and support our team so that you will always be represented by the very best.

We invite all prospective clients to contact our office to arrange a fixed fee and obligation free appointment with an experienced criminal lawyer to discuss their pending matters.

The Reality of Going to Trial: 6 Facts You May Not Know

Every day, accused people stand trial in front of a jury of their peers, who are charged with delivering a verdict on their guilt. It is a nerve-wracking time for an accused person and, in all likelihood, they have never gone through the process before.  Listed below...

Youth Crime: Youth Justice Applications for Sentencing

In Victoria, separate bail and sentencing regimes exist which apply specifically to children and young people. This article outlines the youth justice framework which applies to people under the age of 21 who are to be sentenced to serious offences (or multiple...

Sentencing Act Compensation Applications

In Victoria, if you have been found guilty and been convicted of an offence, you may be liable for victims compensation. Under the Sentencing Act, victims can apply for compensation if they have suffered injury as a result of the offender’s crime. Such orders differ...

Understanding the 2024 Bail Reforms

For a number of years, and particularly since the tragic events which unfolded in Bourke Street, Melbourne, in 2017, the issue of bail has been a contentious and political issue. More recently, the death of Veronica Nelson in custody (and the subsequent coronial...

Examining the Use of ‘Self-Defence’ for Assault-Related Charges in Victoria

Self defence is a commonly used defence in Victoria for charges relating to assault, and in some cases, manslaughter, and murder. Originally a common law defence, self defence was codified in the Victorian Crimes Act 1958 in 2005. Since then, provisions have been...

Understanding Different Manslaughter Charges in Victoria

In Victoria, there are different offences that relate to the unlawful killing of another person. Aside from murder, these include: Voluntary manslaughter; Involuntary manslaughter; Single punch manslaughter (King hit manslaughter); Workplace manslaughter; and Suicide...

Guide to Surety – Answering Common Questions Asked when Applying for Bail

One of the most common questions criminal lawyers get asked from our clients’ family members is in relation to providing the court a surety for the accused’s bail. For many, providing a surety will feel like a very big decision and you may be overwhelmed, particularly...

De-Banking: Can my Bank Close my Account Due to Criminal Offending? 

In the last five years, since the Royal Commission into the Banking Sector, we have seen the introduction of individual ‘de-banking’. ‘De-banking’ is a process by which your bank refuses to continue to service you. This means that they can refuse to allow you to...

Know Your Rights: Navigating Police Questioning (Part 2)

Before diving into the details of Navigating Police Questioning in Part 2, check out Part 1 to build a solid foundation on your legal rights and protections. There are several additional rules and procedures that the police are required to follow when questioning a...

Know Your Rights: Navigating Police Questioning (Part 1)

Being approached by the police can be extremely intimidating, especially if you’re unaware of your legal rights when being approached, questioned, detained, and arrested by the police. However, fear not, as Part 1 of this guide will prepare you in any given situation....

Criminal Defence Lawyers: Key Practice Areas



Bail Applications

Restraining Orders

Property Damage

Cyber Crime

Drug Offences

Intervention Order

Family Violence




Murder & Manslaughter

Sexual Offences

Organised Crime

Coroners Court

View our full range of Practice Areas

Galbally Parker: Why Our Clients Trust Our Criminal Defence Lawyers To Deliver for Them

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When it comes to finding a criminal defence law firm, you deserve a firm that is experienced, qualified, competent and extremely knowledgeable about the world of criminal law. More than just these qualities, though, you deserve a team of lawyers who will approach your case with compassion and understanding. You want a lawyer who will take the time to understand your situation, to hear your side of the story and to advocate for your rights with an unfailing commitment to justice.

At Galbally Parker, we pride ourselves on being the type of compassionate criminal law firm you deserve. Whether your matter is a simple traffic law case or a complex criminal matter, we will approach it with the same attention to detail that we give to every client. This is why our firm has achieved the results we have and have earned our reputation as an industry leader in criminal defence law. We are accessible to our clients and we make you part of the solution. Making sure that you are fully informed and supported is important to us. This is one of the aspects of our practice that make us different. 

What makes Galbally Parker Lawyers Different from other Melbourne Criminal Law Firms? 

In addition to this focus on understanding, empathy and quality customer service, here are a few other superlatives you can expect when you hire a Galbally Parker criminal defence lawyers:

  • In-depth experience with criminal cases: Our law firm is the oldest exclusive private criminal law firm in Melbourne. We continue to focus only on criminal defence. We still have a long list of practice areas—from drug matters to cybercrime and theft—but don’t stray beyond criminal cases. We hire the best criminal defence lawyers in Melbourne and our staff retention is second to none. Consequently, the institutional knowledge of our firm is exceptional, leading to the best results for our clients.


  • Personalised service to each client: As a private firm with a broad bandwidth and an emphasis on customer service, we make sure that every single client receives the personalised service they deserve. Our lawyers are accessible, communicative, driven and dedicated to resolving your case. Whether you have questions about your legal defence or need someone to fight for your rights or protect you against unfair prosecution measures, you can trust that we are always in your corner.


  • Honest advice and consultation: We begin our client relationships with a 60-minute consultation appointment. During this appointment, one of our criminal defence lawyers will discuss your matter with you, give you initial advice, disclose details about our fee structure and help you determine the best next steps. Our goal with these consultations is to help prospective clients make a game plan for what to do next. We always like to say that no one has ever walked out of an initial consultation feeling worse.

Galbally Parker: The First to Value Criminal Defence Law and Practice Exclusively as Criminal Defence Lawyers

Galbally Parker (previously ‘Galbally Rolfe’) was established in 1976 by Brian Rolfe and Bob Galbally. In 2013, Brian Rolfe retired from the practice and from the law.  It was the first firm to focus purely on criminal defence practice and to establish itself as an exclusively criminal defence law firm in Melbourne.

In 2019, Bob Galbally stepped aside from day-to-day operations, and Ruth Parker took over as Principal. The firm was shortly thereafter rebranded as ‘Galbally Parker,’ and continues in our legacy to offer the top-tier legal services for which we are known.

To set up an initial consultation with our attentive, experienced and compassionate criminal defence law firm, contact us today.

Where are we?

Our contact details:

Level 4 East,
224 Queen Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000


Telephone: 03 9670 8771

Fax: 03 9670 1594

Or message us on Facebook:

Criminal Defence Lawyers FAQs

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What Matters Do your Criminal Defence Lawyers Handle?

Our criminal defence lawyers have expertise in handling all criminal matters, ranging from manslaughter to traffic offences, assault offences, sex offences, fraud, theft, organised crime, and other serious indictable offences.

Which Courts Do You Work In?

Our Melbourne-based criminal defence lawyers work in all courts throughout Victoria from the local Magistrates’ Court to the Supreme Court of Victoria. We will represent your case at all levels of the judiciary, ensuring you receive comprehensive legal representation.

What do I do if I’ve Been Charged with an Offence?

After being charged, you will receive a charge sheet and a summary that details the specific allegations made against you. Typically, this documentation will include a court date to which you are required to appear. It is of utmost importance that you seek legal representation from a criminal defence lawyer at this stage who will provide advice on the next steps and prepare you for court.

Should I Seek Help from a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

In all cases, your best defence is a lawyer who specialises in criminal defence and has expertise in the area you are alleged to have committed an offence. A criminal defence lawyer can help you to avoid charges before they are laid, avoid convictions, lessen penalties such as monetary fines, avoid and shorten terms of imprisonment or alternatively, assist you in receiving a Community Corrections Order before receiving a sentence of imprisonment.  Always seek advice from your lawyer before attempting to navigate the criminal justice system.

Can a Criminal Defence Lawyer Help Me Avoid Conviction?

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, your most effective defence is a lawyer who specialises in criminal defence law, with experience in the specific area of the alleged offence. It is imperative that you seek guidance from your lawyer before attempting to navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system. Your future is invaluable and deserves the utmost attention and protection.

What are the Outcomes that can Result from a Criminal Charge?

A criminal offence can lead to a variety of potential consequences, regardless of whether you have been to court before, or if this is your initial appearance:

  • Dismissal: In this scenario, a magistrate finds you guilty but opts not to record a conviction on your record and dismisses the charges against you.
  • Discharge: When you attend court and the magistrate finds you guilty, but no penalty is imposed for the offence.
  • Adjourned Undertaking: Sometimes referred to as a ‘good behaviour bond’, an adjourned undertaking involves making a promise to the court to adhere to certain conditions while being released. These conditions may include maintaining good behaviour, making a donation to the court fund or a charity, or completing a course.
  • Fines: Certain criminal offences may result in a financial penalty where the magistrate or judge orders you to pay an amount appropriate for the committed offence. Although inconvenient and sometimes financially challenging, receiving a fine is often considered a favourable outcome. The amount of the fine is determined on a case-by-case basis, considering factors such as the offence committed, its severity, prior convictions, and individual circumstances.
  • Diversion Program: The diversion program is designed for first-time offenders. It enables them to completely avoid the criminal conviction process by participating in the program. Consult with one of our specialists if you think your case might qualify for diversion.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Criminal Defence Lawyer?

At our office, many individuals come to us unsure about their financial capabilities and the necessary steps for a successful outcome in their case. The cost of hiring a criminal defence lawyer can vary significantly depending on several factors. Some of the key factors that can influence the cost include:

  • The complexity of the case: Cases that are more complex and involve more serious charges or multiple offenses typically require more time and effort from your lawyer, which can result in higher fees.
  • The experience and reputation of the lawyer: Highly experienced and reputable criminal defence lawyers may charge higher fees than less experienced or lesser-known attorneys.
  • The stage of the legal process: Rates may vary depending on the stage of the case: investigation, pre-trial, or trial stage.

We highly recommend scheduling an initial appointment to acquaint ourselves with your situation, allowing you to decide whether you wish to proceed with our services, explore your options, or even determine if you require a criminal lawyer’s assistance.

Our initial appointment lasts for 60 minutes and is offered at a fixed fee of $330.00, which includes GST. This initial consultation is obligation-free, meaning you are under no obligation to continue retaining our services afterward. During this meeting, we can provide you with preliminary advice, transparently discuss our costs, and assure you that you have connected with one of our team members. The only requirement is pre-payment to secure your appointment, as our team values their time, and they are dedicating this hour to discuss your matter with you. If you need to cancel your appointment, you can receive a full refund up until the day before the scheduled meeting.

What Are My Rights if I am Arrested?

When you are arrested, it’s crucial to be aware of your rights to ensure your protection and proper legal representation The following are the basic rights you have when you are arrested:

  1. Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent during police questioning. This means you are not obligated to answer any questions that may incriminate you. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it’s often advisable to wait until you have legal counsel present before providing any statements.
  2. Right to a Lawyer: You have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed to represent you. Having a lawyer is crucial because they can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and help you make informed decisions about your case.
  3. Right to Know the Charges Against You: You have the right to know the specific charges against you. Law enforcement should inform you of the charges when you are arrested or shortly thereafter. This allows you to understand the nature of the accusations and prepare an appropriate defence.
  4. Right to Refuse Searches: You have the right to refuse searches of your person, vehicle, or property without a warrant. If law enforcement wants to search your belongings, you can explicitly state that you do not consent to a search unless they have a valid search warrant or probable cause.
  5. Right to Due Process: You have the right to due process of law. This means you are entitled to a fair and impartial legal process, including a timely and public trial by an impartial jury.

It’s important to exercise these rights if you find yourself in a situation where you are being arrested. Remember that cooperating with law enforcement doesn’t mean sacrificing your rights. You have the right to consult with an attorney before making any statements or decisions that could impact your case. Always seek legal advice from a qualified professional to ensure you fully understand your rights and options.

Can a criminal defence lawyer help with bail applications and pre-trial release?

Yes, a criminal defence lawyer can help with bail applications and pre-trial release. In fact, this is a crucial part of their role in representing their clients. Here’s how we would assist: criminal defence lawyer can assist:

1. Bail Applications: When someone is arrested and charged with a crime, they are often entitled to seek release on bail while they await trial. A criminal defence lawyer can help their client through the bail application process by:

  • Explaining the Process: Your lawyer will explain the bail process, ensuring you understand your rights and options.
  • Gathering Information: They will collect information about the defendant’s ties to the community, employment, family, and other factors that might be relevant to the court’s decision on bail.
  • Presenting the Case: Your lawyer will present a strong case to the court, arguing why you should be granted bail. This may involve countering the prosecution’s arguments against bail.
  • Negotiating Conditions: In some cases, your lawyer may negotiate specific bail conditions with the prosecutor to secure release while addressing any concerns the court may have.

2. Pre-trial Release: If you are granted bail, your lawyer will help ensure that the conditions of release are understood and met. This may involve:

  • Compliance: Ensuring you comply with all conditions set by the court, such as attending all court appearances, staying away from certain individuals or places, or participating in programs like drug testing or counselling.
  • Modifications: If the client faces challenges or needs adjustments to the bail conditions, your lawyer can file motions to request changes.

3. Appeals: If the court initially denies bail, your lawyer can help appeal the decision and work to secure pre-trial release at a later stage.

4. Advice and Support: Throughout the process, the lawyer will provide advice, support, and guidance to the client, ensuring they understand their rights and responsibilities related to bail and pre-trial release.

It’s important to note that the specific procedures and laws related to bail and pre-trial release can vary by jurisdiction, so having a knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer who is familiar with local practices and laws is essential in navigating these processes effectively.