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Criminal charges

It's important to get legal advice before dealing with court and police charges.

The ALS is here to help you. Call us on 1800 765 767. This is a toll-free number.


We help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across NSW and the ACT.


What is criminal law? 

Criminal law usually involves an alleged crime. A crime is considered an offence against the state. A crime usually means there will be a risk of punishment.

Criminal law matters in court are always initiated by the police. If a court case has not been started by police, then it is not a criminal law matter. It might be a care and protection, civil law, or family law matter.

If you’re not sure whether you’ve been charged with a crime and whether you need to go to court, it’s important to speak with a lawyer. Please call us on 1800 765 767.


Who we help

We help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children who are charged with criminal offences. 

We may also be able to help if you're having problems with police but haven't been charged, or if you're on bail and having trouble understanding or meeting your conditions.

Our legal assistance is subject to a means and conflict test. The means test makes sure that our help is going to those people who need it most and would have trouble affording a lawyer otherwise. The conflict test makes sure that we don’t have any conflicts of interest in taking your case, so that you can be confident we are acting in your best interests.


How we help

The ALS provides legal advice and representation, as well as assistance and referrals in courts, prisons and ALS offices throughout NSW and the ACT. 

We represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people appearing before the Local Court, Children's Court, District Court, Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeal and sometimes even the High Court.

Give us a call if:

  • You’re having trouble with police
  • You’ve been charged with a crime
  • You’re going to court
  • You’re applying for bail
  • You want to appeal your sentence
  • You have another issue with the criminal law system and would like advice

We represent Aboriginal young people appearing in the Youth Koori Court, part of the Children's Court. Watch the above video featuring ALS Solicitor Carmen Just to find out more about how it works.


The ALS difference

At the ALS we’re serious about cultural safety. Aboriginal community field officers work alongside lawyers to offer high quality, culturally appropriate legal advice and court representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


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