Case Study: Judge grants young woman second chance after assault

Case Study Second chance after assault
When a young woman is convicted of an out-of-character common assault on a relative, Ryan & Seton Lawyers worked hard to have her conviction set aside on appeal.

Client Story

Criminal Law Matter. A young woman, before seeking legal advice from Ryan & Seton Lawyers, was convicted of committing common assault on a relative.

Her full admission to the crime was made at the time of arrest. 

The woman – who was studying teaching at the time – was convicted.

The client received a community corrections order for a period 12 months. She was also subject to a supervision order.

A conviction for assault would appear on a national criminal record check and, accordingly, could potentially be an obstacle to her becoming a teacher.


We needed to appeal the conviction to the District Court of NSW and have the conviction set aside.

To do so, we needed to satisfy the judge – notwithstanding the assault was committed, it was a matter of serious criminality, the victim was elderly and that general deterrence for the wider community was a relevant consideration – that, due to the client’s character, aspirations of becoming a teacher and other subjective features, the appeal should be allowed and the conviction should be set aside.

What We Did

We submitted the strongest possible subjective evidence to satisfy the judge that a second chance was appropriate.

We provided evidence relating to the client’s academic achievements, somewhat precarious mental health situation at the time of the offence, the treatment she had received for same in the intervening period, evidence about her general character including volunteer work and contributions to the community and evidence about her attitude towards the offence and steps she has taken to properly address these issues. 

The Outcome

The appeal in the District Court was successful and the conviction was set aside. 

The client received a conditional release order without conviction and was no longer subject to any supervision order.
At Ryan & Seton Lawyers, we’re a progressive law firm who can help you with all criminal matters. Please contact us today if you need professional advice.



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