Maintaining Working With Children’s Check Pending Outcome of Criminal Charges

This is a case study on maintaining Working With Children’s Check pending outcome of criminal charges.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client and his girlfriend were both charged with Intentionally Cause Injury. The circumstances of the alleged offending were that our client, his girlfriend, and some of their friends had attended at a nightclub in the Melbourne CBD. They had all consumed about two drinks and the client then attended at the bar to buy another round of drinks.

A man who was in the same bar walked up to our client’s girlfriend and started to speak to her rudely and in a sexual manner. He grabbed at her. She threw the contents of her drink at him and he then grabbed a candle and threw the candle at her.

Our client saw the end of the altercation and saw the man’s attempt to follow the girlfriend towards the door. Our client jumped over a balustrade and punched the man once in the face with a closed fist. Security then came and grabbed the man and walked him out of the venue. Our client and his girlfriend waited, were spoken to by the police, interviewed, and then were both charged with injury offences.

As a result of being charged, our client received a negative notice in relation to his Working With Children’s Check. He worked as a tradesman but was required to attend school premises to do repair work. He would have lost his employment if he could not maintain his Working with Children’s Check pending outcome of the criminal charges against him.

What happened at court?
Dee Giannopoulos acted on the client’s behalf at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The exact charges were:

The client instructed us to prepare a submission on his behalf to the department to try to maintain his Working with Children’s Check (WWCC) for him pending the outcome of the criminal charges. Although in some cases the department is asked to hold off on making a decision about a person’s WWCC until the criminal case has been finalised, in this case our client needed the check to be able to keep working to support his family and to fund his defence.

We advised our client to obtain character references and prepared a guide for him of what types of matters should be included in each reference. We sought instructions from him about his personal and professional life to ascertain who would best be able to speak to his good character and address the specific issues that the WWCC Department would be concerned about when assessing whether to let him maintain his check.

The client followed our advice and provided us with references. We then conferenced with him at length about his employment history and what the check is relevant to in his day-to-day dealings as a tradesman. This resulted in a 4-page submission being prepared by his solicitor and submitted to the department. The department was urged to allow him to maintain his check whilst the charges proceeded before the court.

What was the result?
The Department carefully considered all matters that we raised on our client’s behalf and ultimately withdrew the negative notice. The client succeeded in maintaining his Working With Children’s Check pending outcome of the criminal charges against him and, as a result, he was able to keep his employment. This is a fantastic outcome for our client who needed to maintain his employment to support his young family. Yet another matter that we as criminal defence lawyers can assist you with if the same issue presented itself in your case.

Note: The criminal charges proceeded to contested hearing and we successfully defended all charges. He was found not guilty by the magistrate and the prosecution was ordered to pay full legal costs.

Elements of Recklessly Cause Injury:
  • The complainant suffered an “injury”.
  • The accused caused the complainant’s injury.
  • The accused was reckless about causing the injury.
  • The accused acted without lawful justification or excuse.
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Dee Giannopoulosdee-giannopoulos-profile

Dee is based in our Melbourne office and appears at all Courts in Victoria. Dee’s commitment to her clients and her passion for justice drives her to achieve great results.

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DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 28/03/2019