Frequently Asked Questions

What types of cases do Hounsell Cunningham handle?

Hounsell Cunningham is a Criminal Defence Law Firm specialising in all areas of criminal law and related matters, including traffic offences, commission hearings and domestic violence matters.

Does Hounsell Cunningham charge hourly rates or fixed fees?

At Hounsell Cunningham we provide you with a fixed fee amount for representation on your matter. This will give you the certainty of knowing the costs associated with your matter from the outset. There are no hidden fees.

Can I enter into a payment plan?

Yes, you can enter into a payment plan. We usually require an initial retainer amount to be deposited into our Trust Account. After that, the balance can be paid off over time. The full amount will however need to have been deposited into our Trust Account before the finalisation of your matter.

What is the difference between a “conviction” and “no conviction” being recorded against me?

When you are being sentenced for any offence, a Judge or Magistrate will determine whether or a not a conviction is recorded against you. If a conviction is not recorded, it will mean that the offence will usually not show up on a criminal history check (there are exceptions to this). It will however remain on your history and be seen by a Court if you are required to attend Court for any matter in the future. If a conviction is recorded, it will show on a criminal history check. This can have a significant impact on travel or future job prospects.

Do I need a lawyer with me at Court?

No. You do not need to have a lawyer with you at Court. You can always choose to represent yourself. You will then be required to advise the Court of any factors that the Court can take into consideration on a plea of guilty or if you are pleading not guilty represent yourself at the trial. Having an experienced criminal defence lawyer will allow for all relevant information to be put before the Court in a way that ensures you achieve the best possible outcome.

Should I do a police interview?

It is usually advised that you should not do an interview with police. It is very rare that you will be able to talk yourself out of being charged. You may however inadvertently talk yourself out of possible defences or talk yourself into more significant charges. There are exceptions to the general rule of not providing an interview, so we always advise to speak to a criminal defence lawyer before speaking to police.

When should I contact a criminal lawyer?

You should speak to a criminal lawyer as soon as you are aware that police wish to speak to you or immediately upon having contact with police. This will ensure that you are protecting your rights, possible defences and ensuring that you get the best possible outcome of your matter.

How can I change my Court date?

In most circumstances it is possible to adjourn your matter to a later date. It is usually a requirement for yourself or your legal representative to appear on your current court date to request the adjournment. It may however be possible to apply online or via email. We suggest speaking to a lawyer who can provide you with advice specific to your situation and charges.

I already have a lawyer, can I change?

Yes. You are able to seek alternate representation if you are not happy with your current lawyer. Your life is in your hands, so it is vital that you trust the lawyer acting on your behalf. It is usually an easy process to change lawyers, however if your matter is being funded by Legal Aid, the process becomes much harder. Please contact our office if you are seeking advice about changing lawyers.

Will the media find out about my case?

Most criminal matters will be heard in an open court. This means that members of the public, including media, are able to sit and listen to your matter. There is then a possibility that your matter may be reported on. Please be aware however that there are hundreds of matters in court on any given day and it is very unlikely that your matter will make the news.