A Forensic Psychologist has an understanding of the legal process, is experienced in assessment and providing a report for your court hearing. They generally have experience working with persons charged with criminal offences. On occasion they might be asked to provide a report for court and in some circumstances will attend and give evidence if required in the court hearing.


Slades & Parsons Lawyers are happy to discuss with you the need for such assessment and report and discuss the most appropriate forensic psychologist for your case. In some cases it is important to determine whether there are personal factors that may be very relevant to any sentence a magistrate or judge may impose.


In some cases we recommend ongoing treatment and counselling be instigated as soon as practicable however there may be difficulties obtaining early appointments due to demand. If the client is already in custody (not on bail) then arrangements can be made to have an in prison assessment. We can assist you with this process.


Whether you need to engage the services of a forensic psychologist will depend on the circumstances of your offending, the level of seriousness of the offence and matters personal. If you have had any previous assistance from health professionals, drug and alcohol counsellors, psychological or psychiatric services it is important to discuss these matters with your lawyer.



CORONER’S COURT AND CORONIAL INQUESTS


A witness can make an application to be excused from giving evidence on the grounds that the evidence they give may tend to prove that they committed an offence.  The Coroner may then grant a Certificate to the witness, which means that any evidence they give cannot later be used in evidence.  The witness can then either elect to give evidence, with the protection of the Certificate, or continue to object to giving evidence.  The Coroner may compel a witness to give evidence if it is in the interests of justice to do so.


If you have been summoned to give evidence as a witness at a Coronial Inquest, Slades & Parsons have specialist criminal lawyers who can help you.  We provide legal advice and representation to people who could be at risk of incriminating themselves in a criminal offence through the evidence they give at the inquest


See Coroners Act 2008; section 57 – Privilege in respect of self-incrimination in other proceedings: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca2008120/s57.html.