Crimes in Ringwood / Maroondah are on the increase
The latest Crime Statistics Agency Report indicates an overall increase in reported crimes by 4.3% from the previous year. The largest increases were seen in family violence (8.2%), sexual assault (9.5%), stalking and harassment (10.8%), and breaches of court orders (56.9%). The increase might also be explained by the zealous way that these types of matters are now prosecuted.
In the greater City of Maroondah, which includes the suburbs of Croydon, Heathmont, Ringwood East, Ringwood North, Warranwood, Croydon North, Croydon South, Croydon Hills, Bayswater North, parts of Kilsyth South, Vermont, Park Orchards and Ringwood, there was also an increase in crime from previous years.
In the Ringwood area in particular, breaches of orders were high, up over 30% from the previous year. There was also an increase in crimes against the person. There were over 1600 property damage and deception offences, and over 100 drug offences.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence in Ringwood or the surrounding Maroondah area, you should contact a local lawyer as soon as possible. Dribbin and Brown’s Ringwood lawyers are expert criminal defence lawyers, and can help you with all of your criminal law matters. A conveniently short distance from the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court, Dribbin and Brown’s Ringwood office caters to the Ringwood and greater Maroondah areas.
If you have been charged in Ringwood, live in Ringwood or are summonsed to appear in the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court, contact one of our expert lawyers in Ringwood as soon as possible.
Crimes against the person
Crimes against the person include offences such as assault, sexual offences, stalking and harassment, and threats to harm or threats to kill. In the Ringwood/Maroondah area, there were 591 assault offences recorded in the 2014/15 year. There were 163 recorded sexual offences (such as indecent assault and rape), up nearly 20% from the previous year. Stalking and harassment offences also increased by over 40% from the previous year.
The courts take these crimes very seriously. A central concern of the Australian criminal law is to ensure the safety and liberty of its citizens, and any breach of these laws against persons are dealt with by the courts. Assault offences carry a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment, and are often accompanied by heavy fines or community corrections orders. Assault charges include threatened assaults, threats of harm, intimidating behaviour and deprivation of liberty.
If you have been charged with assault, you should contact a specialist criminal lawyer in Ringwood immediately. You may have certain defences open to you, such as self-defence, which you can discuss with your criminal defence lawyer. It is important that you contact a Ringwood lawyer as soon as possible, to ensure you are given the best chance if you do ultimately need to answer a charge in court.
Property and deception offences
Property and deception offences include crimes such as theft, robbery, burglary, criminal damage, graffiti, and obtaining property by deception. These were the most heavily represented crimes in the Ringwood/Maroondah area, with over 4000 property and deception offences recorded over the last year. Property and deception offences make up more than 50% of the recorded offences in the area.
Destroying or damaging property is covered by section 197 of the Crimes Act. It is an offence to intentionally destroy property belonging to another person, or property that is owned jointly by another person and the accused. This means that if you damage or destroy property – even if you own part of it – you could be liable to criminal punishment. The maximum penalty for destroying or damaging property is 10 years imprisonment.
If, in the process of damaging or destroying the property you put someone’s life in danger, you may face even greater penalties for endangering life, an offence that carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. A threat to destroy or damage property is also a criminal offence pursuant to section 198 of the Crimes Act.
If you have been charged with criminal damage of property or destruction of property, you should seek a Ringwood lawyer as soon as possible to raise any defences you might have. Intent is a large element of the offence, and you may be able to avoid criminal conviction if you did not intend to damage the property.
It is a criminal offence to commit burglary under section 76 of the Crimes Act. If you have entered a building or part of a building as a trespasser with intent to steal or commit another offence, you could be facing a maximum of 10 years in prison. The definition of ‘a building’ also includes cars and boats used for habitation. So you may be charged with burglary for stealing from a motor vehicle, if that vehicle is a caravan for example. If you have been charged with burglary, you should seek advice from a lawyer in Ringwood as quickly as possible.
Theft is one of the most commonly committed crimes in any area. In the Ringwood/Maroondah area, there were over 2300 recorded instances of theft last year. That makes up more than a quarter of the reported incidents for the year.
It is an offence to commit theft under section 74 of the Crimes Act. The law dealing with theft is long and complicated, and includes a number of issues such as whether borrowing without returning is theft, whether intention to steal is needed before or after taking something that does not belong to you, and other relevant factors.
However, if you have been charged with theft, you may be liable to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, and/or other heavy fines and orders. If you have been charged with theft in the Ringwood area, or may be charged with theft, you should contact a lawyer in Ringwood as soon as you can, in order to allow time to prepare your matter.
Obtaining property or financial advantage by deception
If you have been charged with obtaining property by deception, or obtaining a financial advantage by deception, you could be facing 10 years in prison upon conviction. Deception offences include things such as bank fraud, ATM fraud, and giving any false or misleading information in order to illegally obtain a financial or property gain. The courts treat deception cases very seriously, and you should seek professional legal representation from a Ringwood lawyer immediately if you have been charged with obtaining a financial advantage by deception, or obtaining property by deception.
Justice procedure offences
Justice procedure offences have increased by over 60% over the previous year. This may be largely attributed to a higher number of orders issued by the courts. This has been a result of the recent abolition of the suspended sentence criminal penalty. Breach of orders include breaches of family violence intervention orders, intervention orders, community corrections orders, cost orders, and other justice procedures. There were nearly 1400 breaches of court orders in the 2014/15 financial year.
The courts take a breach of orders very seriously, as it indicates you are unable or unwilling to comply with the orders set by the court. Orders are often made in lieu of prison or fines, and a breach of such orders can result in the subsequent enforcement of fines or imprisonment. If you have breached a community corrections order for example, you may face up to 3 months in prison, or a hefty fine.
Contact a Ringwood lawyer
If you live in Ringwood, have been charged in Ringwood, or are summonsed to appear in the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court, you should contact an experienced criminal lawyer in Ringwood immediately. Dribbin and Brown’s lawyers specialise in criminal proceedings, and are available not only at our Ringwood office, but also in Moorabbin, Dandenong, Frankston and the Melbourne CBD.
If you have been charged with any of the above offences, another criminal offence, or are expecting to be charged with a criminal offence, do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers in Ringwood immediately. A consultation can be arranged for you to assess your options, or you may make an appointment to have a lawyer handle your case. Contact one of Dribbin and Brown’s Ringwood lawyers today.