In this case study, we highlight our recent successful work in a criminal law case, where our criminal law team achieved an exceptional outcome in a joint criminal enterprise matter over three years of careful preparation and negotiation with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution. 

Birchgrove Legal is pleased to present the outcome of a challenging criminal law matter that we have been involved in for the last three years. Our success in this matter highlights our firm’s strength in the criminal law, the tenacity of our staff, who continue to work relentlessly in pursuit of our clients’ outcomes. 

Our criminal law team worked on this matter for three years and returned an outcome that was virtually impossible to envision when we started.

The matter in question involved  our client along with six co-accuseds being charged under a joint criminal enterprise relating to more than $18,000,000 in bank deposits being conducted so as to avoid reporting requirements on threshold transactions, contrary to sections 11.2A(1) and 400.3(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). This offence carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 25 years.

Our firm undertook two years of challenging negotiations with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to limit our client’s role in the syndicate to only that which could be proven against her. This was especially taxing because we had to analyse over 25,000 pages of evidence.

All co-offenders received substantial full time custodial sentences, except our client, who received a two-year Intensive Correction Order (ICO) that is to be served in the community.

The sentencing Judge agreed to treat our client in the said manner  because of the hardship that would be suffered by third parties if our client were to be given a prison sentence, including that which would be suffered by her young son for whom she is the sole carer of.

It took careful preparation and meticulous presentation to court, through real evidence of the hardship that would be suffered by parties involved. This included gathering evidence from over a decade ago to evince the position we were arguing. Such hardship is a mitigating factor to be taken into account when sentencing under s 21A(2)(d) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and the common law. 

The common law posits that it is only where circumstances are “highly exceptional” and where it would be inhumane to refuse to do so that hardship to others in sentencing can be taken into account, per R v Edwards.

Her Honour felt that this was one such “exceptional” case and imposed a non-full-time custodial sentence where she would have not otherwise done so.

Birchrgove Legal continues to achieve significant outcomes for our clients in a range of criminal law matters. If you are looking for an experienced, highly skilled and pragmatic legal team that defends client interests like their own, contact us today.

Birchgrove Legal is a boutique Sydney law firm at the cutting edge of innovative approaches to serving clients across its practice areas and industry sectors. Get in touch with one of our authors to discuss your needs further.