Criminal Defence Lawyers

When it comes to criminal matters, you need the best criminal lawyers in Melbourne to represent you.

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Criminal Lawyers

At Pentana Stanton Lawyers, we have a team of expert criminal lawyers who specialise in criminal law and can offer the best legal advice and representation in any major or minor offence.

We represent our clients with the utmost attention to discretion and confidentiality. Whether it is a minor traffic offence or you have been charged with a serious offence, you can trust our criminal lawyers to give you the best legal advice in Melbourne and all the surrounding suburbs.

Our expert team of Dandenong lawyers, legal practitioners and support staff are well-equipped to handle any kind of criminal matter that you may find yourself in. We offer the best legal assistance, right from the time the detectives or police start the interview process to investigate an offence at which time you are entitled to seek legal representation.

Criminal Lawyers

Summary Proceedings

Minor offences that are heard in the Melbourne Magistrates Court are known as summary offences. These are less serious crimes and often carry minor penalties.

Driving under the influence of alcohol, disorderly behaviour or minor property damage come under Summary offences.

Summary offences can be defined as:

  • Offences that do not incur imprisonment and have a fine of $120,000, or below
  • Offences that carry imprisonment of a maximum of two years
  • Dishonesty-related offences that involve less than or equal to $2,500

Arson, causing a bushfire, robbery and violent crimes are not included in summary offences.

These offences do not involve preliminary hearings, unlike the major offences that fall under indictment proceedings. Although Summary proceedings are less complicated and shorter in duration than indictments, it is important to obtain the right criminal law representation to protect your interests and rights and avoid any unnecessary convictions being placed on your record. It is also important to know the time limits for laying a complaint or responding to a charge.

Our lawyers appear in the Magistrates’ court in all locations in Victoria, including:

  • Dandenong Magistrates’ Court
  • Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court
  • Frankston Magistrates’ Court
  • Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court
  • Moorabbin Justice Centre
  • Neighbourhood Justice Centre
  • Ringwood Magistrates’ Court
  • Sunshine Magistrates’ Court
  • Werribee Magistrates’ Court

With sufficient notice, we can also appear in some of the country court locations, and often appear at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court.

Criminal Law

Indictable Offences

Crimes of more serious natures fall into the category of indictable offences. Trials for serious criminal offences can be held before both a judge and jury.

Minor indictable crimes can still be heard in the Magistrates Court, while major crimes are heard in either the County or Supreme Court and are often before both a Judge and Jury.

If you have a criminal matter, our lawyers can guide and represent you to protect your best interests and legal rights. We deal with summary and indictable offences, including:

  • Family Violence
  • Intervention Orders (IVOs) including breaches and contraventions
  • Drug Cultivation & Possession Offences
  • ATO Related Summons
  • Bail Applications
  • Traffic & Driving Offences
  • Committal Hearings
  • Commonwealth Crimes
  • Fraud
  • White Collar Crime
  • Minor Crime
  • Appeals

Our Dandenong based criminal lawyer services are available throughout Victoria, including Melbourne and all suburbs. Our firm frequently represents clients in courts located a considerable distance from the CBD, including Latrobe Valley, Bendigo and Geelong Magistrates Courts.

Victims of Crime Compensation

Pentana Stanton Lawyers assists victims or those affected by crimes, to obtain compensation for acts of violence that occurred in Victoria.

Compensation for Victims of Crime

  • Have you been a victim of a crime?
  • Were you affected by helping a victim of a crime?
  • Did you witness a crime?

If you are the victim of a crime or have been affected by a crime (physically or psychologically) you may be entitled to compensation.


If you are a victim of crime your options are: –

  • Apply to the Victim of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)
    1. For financial assistance to cover expenses incurred as a result of the crime
    2. Compensation for your injuries and the impact (physical and psychological)
    3. Your legal fees are paid by VOCAT and you are not left out of pocket
  • Claim under a Civil Action – You can sue the offender in a civil action and seek the following:
    1. For financial recompense for your loss as a result of the crime
    2. Compensation for the impact of your injuries (physical and psychological)
    3. An order for payment of your legal costs
  • Apply for compensation under the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic).

Entitlement to claim compensation from VOCAT is based on establishing:

  1. That you are a victim that has suffered an injury (or death for a related victim application);
  2. Your injury was suffered as a direct result of an act of violence;
  3. The act or series of acts that constitute the act of violence occurred in Victoria;

Who is a Primary Victim / Secondary Victim?

  • A primary victim is one that suffers an injury as a direct result of an act of violence committed against them e.g. helping a victim of a violent act, trying to prevent a crime.
  • A secondary victim is one whose suffers an injury witnessing or simply being at the scene of the act of violence.

primary victim can receive special financial assistance up to $10,000. This is conditional on the category of violence and the extent of the injury or significant adverse effects.

Who can apply for Special Financial Assistance?

Entitlement for an application if:

  • A violent crime was committed against you in Victoria.
  • You suffer an injury (physical or psychological) as a result of the violent crime.

The tribunal can award: 

  • Medical, counselling, safety and funeral expenses.
  • Up to $10,000 for primary victims and up to $20,000 for loss of earnings.
  • SFA up to $10,000 for crimes after the 1.7.2017.
  • Up to $50,000 for secondary victims and related victims.


The crime must be reported to the police within reasonable time.

An application for compensation must be lodged within 2 years of the act of violence.

Applications are made to the Victim of Crime Assistance Tribunal.

Please call us on 9002 2800 for a free claim evaluation.