05 December 2023
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Facing a criminal investigation or potential charges can be stressful and confusing. There is a potential for life changing consequences for you and your family members. It is important that you understand your options at your earliest opportunity. This will increase your chances of a successful outcome. Our team of lawyers can advise and represent you during a criminal investigation and before the Court.
Criminal investigations can arise in a number of different situations. The most common is a police investigation; however, other government agencies have powers of investigation and prosecution.
A police interview must follow certain rules such as a police caution (under New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990) before commencing the interview. This is crucial and alerts you to your rights to refrain from making any statement, the right to consult a lawyer and notification that anything you do say will be recorded and may be given in evidence in Court against you at a later stage.
In terms of a health and safety investigation, the Courts have interpreted a WorkSafe inspector’s powers as imposing an obligation on an employer or other person to answer a question. This is subject to a person’s right to not self-incriminate.
In terms of IRD investigations, they have even wider powers than the police to investigate matters. They are entitled to full and free access to business premises without a warrant but do require a judicial warrant to access private homes. There is no privilege against self-incrimination in tax investigations.
Our team of lawyers can represent your interests before the Court. We work with you to determine the strategy which will achieve the best outcome. Defending a charge is just one of many options which could be available to you.
If you have already been convicted and are unhappy with the outcome or the conviction has triggered unforeseen consequences (for example deportation), we can advise you on your appeal rights. A successful appeal may result in a reduction in your sentence or quashing the conviction.
It is now well known that businesses must take all practicable steps to protect the health and safety of their workers and other connected people. Employers must have clear policies and procedures in place.
If they do not and an incident occurs, WorkSafe is likely to investigate and prosecute the businesses and individuals involved. The resulting financial sanctions and reputational damage can be significant and devastating.
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