For most people, an Initial Consultation with a Criminal Defence Lawyer is the first time that they have come into contact with the criminal justice system. Most have usually never had to engage the services of a Criminal Defence Lawyer and do not know what to expect when preparing for an Initial Consultation in relation to their criminal or intervention order matter.

The process can be particularly distressing if you are looking to engage a Criminal Defence Lawyer for your child or partner. You may be overwhelmed with the responsibility of engaging the best possible lawyer for your loved one, particularly if your loved one has been remanded in custody or is under the age of 18 years.

An Initial Consultation with a lawyer is the first step toward navigating the criminal justice system or intervention order system. It is an opportunity to meet with one or more lawyers to find the best fit for you. If you are looking to engage a Criminal Defence Lawyer for your child, you will be keen to ensure that the lawyer you engage can communicate effectively with your son or daughter and be sensitive to their needs and concerns.

Our Initial Client Consultation Process

At Galbally Parker Lawyers, we implement an Initial Client Consultation Process:

1. First, we ask that you complete our online New Client Questionnaire, which can be located HERE. This provides us with all of the information that we need to open up a new lead or file for you. The legal profession legislation requires us to get the basic information from our clients prior to commencing work on their matter. The New Client Questionnaire is a time effective and easy way for new clients approaching our firm to provide all their information, through the convenience of an online Questionnaire.

2. Secondly, we schedule an Initial Client Consultation with one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers for up to 60 minutes for a fixed fee of $330.00. The Consultation is obligation-free, meaning that you are not obliged to engage our office and cannot be invoiced for any further fees unless you formally engage us to represent you. We can conduct consultations in person at our office, via virtual meeting (ie, Zoom or Teams) or via telephone. We can accommodate your preference. If the potential client is in custody, we only conduct Initial Client Consultation via Jabber (the virtual meeting program operated by the Department of Corrections) or in person at the Melbourne Assessment Prison on Spencer Street in the Melbourne CBD.

3. Prior to the Initial Client Consultation, you are invited to send through any materials relevant to your matter. These include charge sheets, preliminary briefs and intervention order applications. The benefit of providing these materials in advance is that our lawyers are aware of the nature of your proceedings before the Consultation, so that you can best use your time discussing your matter and obtaining advice.

During the Initial Client Consultation, one of our lawyers will explain legal professional privilege, the criminal procedure or intervention order procedure for your matter and the law that applies to your case. For example, if you are charged with assault, our lawyer will explain the summary stream procedure in the Magistrates’ Court, the elements of the offence and what defences may be available.

The Initial Client Consultation is an opportunity for you, as the client, to meet one of our lawyers to assess whether you would like to engage our firm to act for you. Feeling comfortable with your representatives is important in the context of criminal and intervention order proceedings. It allows you to feel more relaxed about the process and confident in the representation of your rights and interests. You also get to learn more about our firm and what we can offer you or your loved one.

After the Initial Client Consultation

After the Initial Client Consultation, we will send you our Retainer Letter and Costs Disclosure Statement. These documents outline the terms and conditions of engaging our firm and your rights in relation to us. The legal profession legislation requires every law firm to provide you with a Costs Disclosure Statement which outlines the manner in which the firm charges, the conditions of the retainer and your rights.

If after engaging in an Initial Client Consultation and considering the Retainer Letter and Costs Disclosure Statement, you decide to engage our firm we will ask that you sign the Statement where indicated and deposit the retainer amount in trust. The retainer is, essentially, a deposit confirming our engagement which also puts us in funds to start work on your matter. This initial work will include opening a file for you, obtaining all available materials from yourself/your former firm/Victoria Police, going on record as acting for you with the Court and preparing an analysis of the evidence.

How Our Criminal Defence Lawyers Can Help You

If you are interested in an Initial Client Consultation with one of our experienced Criminal Defence Lawyers, contact our office and we will be happy to assist you. Our team of Melbourne Criminal Lawyers specialise in a wide range of areas of criminal law, including family violence, drug offences, assault and bail applications.