It is always a distressing situation when one is faced with a criminal charge. Nevertheless, we are here to help you and be not just your lawyer, but also your friend as you navigate the maze of criminal procedure.
Even before a trial starts, the investigation process is fraught with minefields for the unrepresented. Unlike in other jurisdictions, in Singapore, the investigative agencies only need to grant access to legal counsel after a reasonable time and not immediately. As such, your lawyer is usually not able to sit in together with you during statement taking. Additionally, the oft heard phrase in Hollywood movies, “you have the right to remain silent”, may not apply in Singapore as adverse inferences may be drawn against you if you do not disclose your defence adequately in your Cautioned Statement.
All of this makes it all the more imperative that our excellent criminal defenders are engaged early to give you timely advice before any statements are taken. They will also advise you on whether there are improper actions by investigation officers which may merit a complaint against them. Before you go for any statement taking, our competent criminal defence team will ensure that they review all the relevant documents together with you to ensure that you are ready and well-prepared to give your statements, telling the truth at all times while ensuring that your interests are safeguarded and your version of events will be seen in the most favourable light.
Sometimes, one is incorrectly accused of a crime. Somebody else may have a vendetta against you, causing them to lodge a false report. Other times, there may be a misunderstanding with the investigative agencies, causing them to believe that you have committed a crime although you are actually not guilty.
Criminal Procedure is a complex topic, involving not just the Criminal Procedure Code but a large body of case law which is difficult for the layman to digest. Even what documents you can obtain from the investigative agencies, Prosecution, or other parties may turn out to be a complicated issue. The Criminal Case Disclosure Conference process is also not easy for the layman as the Case for the Defence and Defence Supplementary Bundle must be properly prepared to avoid dangerous mistakes which may affect your case negatively at trial. Beyond that, it would be necessary to cross examine the witnesses to test the evidence.
Our best criminal defence lawyers will hold your hand every step of the way and do our best to clear your name.
Everybody makes a mistake in life. Just because one has done something wrong does not mean that everything is a lost cause and one has to give up hope. The Singapore Prison Service also believes that offenders can turn over a new leaf, as shown in their great support for the Yellow Ribbon Project.
When you have committed an offence, it is always imperative that the mitigating factors in your favour are highlighted to the Court in order that you obtain the most favourable sentence possible. Care must also be taken to also minimise the impact of aggravating factors. The layperson may not always be aware of what is mitigating and what is aggravating, and a mistake may well result in a worse sentence. It is also difficult for the layperson to research all the case precedents to advocate effectively for a lighter sentence.
Even when you have committed a criminal offence, our finest criminal defence counsel will do their best to ensure that we advocate effectively to persuade the Court and/or the Prosecution that you are deserving of a compassionate and lighter sentence.
IV. APPEALS, CRIMINAL MOTIONS, CRIMINAL REVISIONS, CRIMINAL REFERENCES AND POINTS RESERVED
Sometimes, a trial or guilty plea may not go in your favour. You might be dissatisfied with your conviction by a lower court when you believe that you are not guilty of the offence. You could also be dissatisfied because the sentence was too harsh. The Prosecution could also have appealed the decision, which you will need to resist.
Criminal procedure has many provisions for rectifying decisions made by lower courts, the most common of which is an appeal. This entails many intricate steps from filing the Notice of Appeal, to the Petition of Appeal, until the Written Submissions and Bundles of Authorities before the appeal can proceed for hearing. You might also need to pursue the other avenues stated above. All of this is a highly involved process for which the layperson is not trained.
Our great criminal defence lawyers will ensure that their efforts to safeguard your rights do not end after the trial is over. They will go the extra mile to leave no stone unturned in exploring whether there are other legitimate avenues to improve your situation.