WHEN CAN POLICE TAKE A DNA SAMPLE IN SA?

Posted on Feb 27, 2014

In 1999 South Australia police began to compile a database of DNA profiles which has grown to over 100,000 assisted by the powers created by the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007.  A DNA sample is taken by police by means of a simple procedure known as a ‘buccal swab’ which involves using an implement to essentially scrape skin cells from inside the cheek. Police powers to take DNA Under the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007 the Police can obtain a DNA sample from a person without their consent under two circumstances,...

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WHAT IS AN AGGRAVATED OFFENCE?

Posted on Feb 27, 2014

In many cases when a person is charged with a criminal offence the wording of the charge states, “This is an aggravated offence.”  What does this mean and what is the significance of an offence being aggravated? Most “Aggravated Offences”, and the circumstances which constitute an “Aggravated Offence”, are outlined in section 5AA of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935. There are many ways in which an offence is deemed to be an Aggravated Offence.  Below is a list of the most common ways in which an offence is deemed to be an...

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DO I NEED A LAWYER IF I’M PLEADING GUILTY?

Posted on Feb 26, 2014

A recent penalty handed down in the Adelaide Magistrates Court has highlighted the importance of getting legal advice even when pleading guilty to what seems like straight forward matters. In a recent well publicised matter, the defendant was charged with a category 2 drink driving offence (0.08% to 0.149%) as well as a charge of driving without due care. The defendant had recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.122% which is in the mid-range of a category 2 offence (ie 0.08% or more and less than 0.15%). The minimum penalties for a...

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WHAT IS THE DIVERSION COURT PROGRAM?

Posted on Feb 18, 2014

Treatment Intervention Program and Drug Court Program What is it? The Intervention Programs are run in a specialist court and are not heard with the general criminal listings. The term “intervention program” is defined by legislation[1] as a program that provides supervised treatment, supervised rehabilitation, supervised behaviour management and/or supervised access to support services. Why does it exist? The Program is based on research and aims to address the underlying causes of crime prior to sentencing in an effort to reduce the risk...

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FORMALISING YOUR FAMILY LAW PROPERTY SETTLEMENT

Posted on Jan 20, 2014

You have just reached an agreement with your former spouse or de facto partner in regards to the division of property following the breakdown of your relationship.  Is a verbal agreement enough? Are your future interests protected?  Should you formalise the agreement in writing?  Would a statutory declaration be enough? Some people that find themselves at this point in their lives believe that a simple verbal understanding between their former partner and themselves is enough and do not believe it is necessary to obtain legal advice from...

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CHARGED THREE TIMES FOR THE SAME OFFENCE?

Posted on Apr 8, 2013

If you have been charged with a criminal offence or traffic offence, always seek legal advice because even if you admit the offences, you might have been charged incorrectly. It is not unusual for a person to be charged with a number of offences that are ‘duplicitous’ because they arise out of the same incident. In a recent decision of the Full Court of the Supreme Court of South Australia, a juvenile appealed against the sentence he received in the Youth Court. The juvenile had been charged with three counts of aggravated...

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SURROGACY AGREEMENTS

Posted on Mar 27, 2013

It is possible to enter into a legally recognised surrogacy agreement in South Australia if all parties are at least 18 years of age, subject to certain legal requirements. Such an agreement would enable a third party (the surrogate mother) to carry and give birth to a child for commissioning parents who, for various reasons, are unable to carry and give birth to a natural child. We have all heard of cases where a surrogate mother has reneged on an agreement and refused to relinquish the child following birth, and the ability to have a...

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WHY SHOULD YOUR PARTNER OR SPOUSE LIVE IN THE FORMER MATRIMONIAL HOME RENT FREE WHILE YOU PAY RENT ELSEWHERE?

Posted on Mar 22, 2013

During the tumultuous end of your relationship, you may have had to leave the home you shared together. You may have been asked or told to leave. The home may have been owned outright or you were still making mortgage payments on that home at the time of separation. You find yourself having to pay rent elsewhere while they enjoy the family home. If you were married or in a domestic partnership that was a de facto relationship you may be able to assert they pay you an ‘Occupation Fee’. Your former partner or spouse should not remain...

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FLY IN FLY OUT (FIFO) EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS

Posted on Mar 22, 2013

Working in the Coal Seam Gas Industry or the Mining Industry usually means workers are required to fly in and fly out of the work site on a rostered basis. You could spend as long as three weeks out of four on a site. You work your shift and then spend your non-working hours in employer accommodation, eating your meals in employer canteens and using recreational facilities provided by your employer, and sometimes assisting the nearby towns in events which will encourage goodwill between the employer and the town. At your induction they tell...

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ARE BINDING FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS ACTUALLY BINDING?

Posted on Mar 21, 2013

You may be considering entering into a Binding Financial Agreement with your partner or spouse following the breakdown of your relationship. You may have been advised that entering into a Binding Financial Agreement was easier and less stressful and did not require the involvement of the Family Court. In a current appeal before the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia, the appellant is seeking to have his pre-nuptial agreement set aside on the basis that the solicitor who prepared the document failed to give him proper legal advice on...

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