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Benefits of having a Brisbane criminal lawyer on your side at coercive hearings

Investigative or coercive hearings are a common occurrence in Queensland today. These hearings investigate accusations of wrongdoing ranging from corruption and misappropriation of funds through to drug trafficking, murder and other serious criminal activity. 

Coercive hearings are fact-finding hearings that authorised bodies conduct. Their main aim is to collect evidence and information in relation to a subject or alleged crime. Coercive hearings can be daunting and the consequences serious. 

The bodies that conduct these hearings are different from the normal court proceedings. One thing that these two have in common is that whatever you say may still incriminate you in the commission of a serious criminal offence. Or worse yet, constitute a serious criminal offence itself. 

You don’t ordinarily have the option to refuse to appear at the hearing once you’ve received a notice to attend and give evidence or provide documents. You are also not generally allowed to say ‘no comment’ as a response to a question at a coercive hearing and your right to silence can be taken away. In most cases, you will have to show up and answer all the questions that you’re asked, even if those questions incriminate you in serious criminal offences. 

Below are some of the major benefits of consulting the best Brisbane criminal lawyers before attending any coercive hearing.  

They understand the process

An experienced criminal lawyer in Brisbane will understand how these hearings work. They also know what type of questions to expect and can provide you with guidance about how best to answer those questions. This is why you need to seek advice before attending any hearing.

If you don’t consult a Brisbane criminal lawyer, you might end up making decisions that land you in serious trouble with the law. Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, you may end up saying something at the hearing which lands you in trouble with the very body you have been compelled to appear before. A good lawyer can help you to articulate and present your thoughts and better understand your rights. 

A good criminal lawyer in Brisbane will ensure that you understand the process and improve your chances of coming out of these hearings unscathed.

Your Brisbane criminal lawyer will look out for you

Coercive hearings happen to investigate allegations of serious criminal activity and to hold people accountable for their actions. Take for example if there were allegations of corruption at your workplace. And an inquiry was set up to figure out how it happened and who let it happen. 

When appearing in front of such a hearing, you need to have someone looking out for your best interests. You don’t want to end up out of a job or worse, in jail, because the answers you provided at the hearing have been misunderstood or taken out of context and landed you in a pickle. Having a lawyer to advise you on the process and answer all your questions before, during and after the hearing can make a huge difference. 

A lawyer also offers you support when facing a coercive hearing. Many people don’t perform well in interviews or when they’re placed under pressure. Being compelled to answer questions that could land you in serious trouble, in front of investigators,  could cause you to panic and answer questions the wrong way. 

Knowing that you have a professional Brisbane criminal lawyer for support will help you stay calm. This way you’ll be able to answer the questions the best you can.

Lawyers are also bound by the solicitor-client privilege. This means that you can tell them all your concerns and fears. Letting them know everything in advance will help them to prepare you for questions. This will reduce the chances of questions throwing you off. Lawyers also have a duty to represent your best interest and so you can trust that they are working for your best outcome.

They understand your rights

When you attend a coercive hearing, you’ll need to know what your obligations are. Knowing your rights and obligations will help you ensure that no one takes advantage of you and that you don’t land yourself in more trouble. Your lawyer can also step in on your behalf when you’re asked to answer a question that falls outside your obligations or infringes on your rights.

You should remember that in these coercive hearings, you often have no right to silence. You’ll need to answer all the questions asked, so it’s important to know how – even the ones that you feel you shouldn’t answer. 

Where to go for criminal lawyer services in Brisbane

Getting summoned to appear at a coercive hearing can put undue stress on you and your life but you don’t have to go through that gruelling process alone. Howden Saggers are available to help you. We have experience in providing legal advice for coercive hearings in Brisbane.

Our dedicated team of solicitors will ensure that you get the best outcome possible. This is why we are available to offer you the best advice and support that you need before you appear at the hearing. We also understand the law in relation to coercive hearings. We will help you navigate the hearing process without landing yourself in hot water.

Perjury and contempt are serious criminal offences and sometimes carry mandatory imprisonment as a penalty. Our team of Brisbane criminal lawyers will help you to understand why you need to follow the requests of the investigators. At the same time, we’ll be protecting your interests. You don’t want to take a chance and go through this process alone. Instead, call us as soon as you get a notice to attend a coercive hearing and we’ll help you get through it.