You are thinking about pleading guilty to a crime but you don’t want anyone to know, especially your boss (or wife/husband). So what can you do about it?
Without legal representation, unfortunately, very little. While this is not the answer that you likely want to hear, it is unfortunately the truth. In our criminal justice system, the fact that the crimes you have committed are a matter of public record and anyone can find out exactly what you have done and where (to borrow a colloquial term) “the skeletons are buried” is part of the punishment.
Legally, there are very few situations that will cause a Court to order that your name be supressed, and if you do not fall within one of those categories your best option is to get a local criminal defence solicitor involved who knows the ins and outs of the Court house and can keep you flying under the radar.
The most common situation where a name will be suppressed
I can practically hear you screaming but “what about the people convicted of committing child sex offences?”. How can these people have their names suppressed but me and my little drink drive offence can’t do anything about it?
Well, one of the key exceptions to the general rule is where, by publicising your name, the victim could be readily identified.
This is particularly relevant in cases where sexual offences have been committed against other members of the same family. Imagine a situation where a father has committed a sexual offence against his daughter. If the father was to be named and the story said that he has committed the offence against his daughter, it would be very easy to identify exactly who his victim had been.
The Parliament and the Courts have said that situation mentioned above is, for very obvious reasons, entirely unacceptable. Here the Courts have drawn a line in the sand and said that we will not risk further harm to victims.
So just be aware that suppression orders in those circumstances are certainly not for the benefit of the people committing these offences.
As for what you can do to avoid having your name splashed across the local media, we recommend that you see one of our expert Criminal Law Team who will be able to advise you on the best ways to manage the media in your local court house. Our lawyers appear regularly in the courts of Brisbane, Beenleigh, Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Gold Coast. Each different court house has its own “ins and outs” and different ways of avoiding the media. Our expert team will be able to assist you with all of those.