Criminal Law

By Kate Gunther


‘tis the Season to be jolly…(but not too jolly)

It’s that time of year again – Party time!

This blog is not one of those stuffy lawyer blogs about being restrained at your office Christmas party. Ours is not that type of law firm.  If the need arises for you to sit on your boss’ lap and pretend to be a Christmas elf, then sobeit.

This blog is directed at helping you to avoid getting into more serious trouble.  Criminal trouble.  The kind our firm spends most of January trying to get you all out of!

With Christmas around the corner most of us are facing a barrage of office parties and social gatherings, all undoubtedly accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol. Whether you plan on drinking to numb the pain of endless small talk, drinking to avoid having to speak to your ex, or just to make your night a “big one”, it’s important to remember that law enforcement officers are watchful for those of us who have a little too much fun and may cross the line.

So for those of you who plan to over-indulge in the next two months or so, here is some helpful advice to try and avoid coming to the attention of Mr Plod and becoming my next client:

  1. The police who are on the beat around the city at night and on weekends are not known for their sense of humour. They do not appreciate you trying to take their hat, asking to hold their gun or commenting on the size of their… a’hem… baton;
  2. Police have the power to move you on and even tell you not to return to a particular area within a certain period of time. When the police give you a proper move on direction and you do not comply, they can arrest you. Whilst you may want to argue with them (even as a criminal lawyer), often it is best for you just to go;
  3. CCTV technology around the CBD is very good quality! If you’re going to do something stupid/criminal, you can pretty much guarantee you will be caught on camera. In particular, I happen to know for a fact the Mooseheads cameras are excellent quality (no judgement please);
  4. As tempting as it is to be a vigilante, be aware that if you use your phone to record the city beat cops executing their duties, they will probably be unimpressed with you for making their lives more difficult and will likely confiscate your phone as evidence. If you are as attached to your phone as I am, be aware of this risk.
  5. Finally, get a cab. Don’t drink and drive. Counting drinks doesn’t work. In my experience (as a lawyer, drinker and driver) you are best not to drive in the first place.

So go out and have fun this party season – just not too much fun. Although it will probably result in more work for us in 2017 (and make our Partners very happy), we would prefer you didn’t get into trouble in the first place!