5 top and best criminal lawyers in Melbourne

best criminal lawyers in Melbourne
Finding the best criminal lawyer doesn't have to be difficult. Photo: 3839153, Pixabay

If you have been charged with a criminal offence. It is vital that you find a lawyer to help defend you.

Have you recently been charged with a criminal offense by the police? You should not have to face this alone; you are within your rights to hire a lawyer. There are many law firms in Melbourne available, but it is difficult to know who to choose and which firms have the best track record.

Criminal offenses can be an extremely difficult time for not only the defendant, but for the close family and friends invested in the case. With your freedom and prospects of future employment at stake, you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your legal representation.

The stress involved with the complicated legal system can be a breaking point for many people; the element of unknown is a daunting thought when charged with a criminal offense. It is extremely important to hire capable, experienced and dedicated lawyers who will be sure to go the distance with you.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the best criminal lawyers available in Melbourne. This will give you a robust choice in selecting a lawyer who will deliver you the best possible outcome in court.

Who are the best criminal lawyers in Melbourne?

No.: Law Firm: Website:
1 Papa Hughes www.papahughes.com.au
2 O’Sullivan Legal www.osullivanlegal.com.au
3 Galbally Rolfe www.galballyrolfe.com.au
4 Doogue + George www.criminal-lawyers.com.au
5 Dribbin and Brown www.criminalsolicitorsmelbourne.com.au


Best Criminal Lawyer #1: Papa Hughes

papa hughes criminal lawyer
Papa Hughes has a dedicated team to assist with a number of criminal issues. Photo: screenshot from www.papahughes.com.au taken on 27/11/2017.

Papa Hughes provides defence for all criminal charges in Melbourne. The principal lawyer Andrew Papadimitropoulos has been practising law for 20 years and is an accredited criminal law specialist.

The team is highly experienced and skilled in running complex trials in the supreme court of Victoria and the county court of Victoria. Papa Hughes is a client focused firm that is well reviewed for their unparalleled legal expertise and compassionate handling of sensitive cases.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common criminal law charges out there. Papa Hughes’ solicitors are experts in dealing with these sorts of cases.

  • Drink driving – drink driving in Victoria is taken very seriously and the penalties in fines and loss of license are only increasing. If you are charged with a drink driving offence it is important to contact one of the experienced Melbourne drink driving solicitors as soon as possible.
  • Drug driving – it is an offence to be driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs (including prescription drugs). People caught behind the wheel while impaired by drugs can face serious penalties. If you are caught driving with drugs in your system, contact one of Papa Hughes team members immediately so that they can start preparing for the matter.
  • Assault offenses – assault charges can vary significantly in terms of the severity of the different sentences. The law takes into account a number of factors in an assault charge including age, prior convictions and your role in the charge. It is now customary for courts to hand sentences that involve jail time, even for the minor offenses. It is crucial to contact a professional defendant immediately following being charged. The extensive experiences and expertise in these types of charges will ensure you have the best of the best representing you in the court of law.
  • Sex charges – if you have been interviewed or charged with a sexual assault charge it is imperative you seek legal counsel at the earliest opportunity. Seeking advice with a Papa Hughes representative prior to an interview can potentially prevent criminal charges being laid. Obviously being charged with this sort of offense can be extremely personal and sensitive; the highly experienced team will always represent each case with the same respect and dignity. The overall outcome is to get the very best result for you.

Engaging with Papa Hughes means being represented by some highly regarded experts in the criminal law fields. Andrew for example is accredited in criminal law and has gone through the extensive process to receive the accreditation. The team are characterised by extreme professionalism and excellence, who are more than capable of dealing with sensitive criminal law cases such as sexual assault charges.

Due to the very complex nature of criminal law, it is essential you are represented by a lawyer who is willing to go the extra mile and has the relevant expertise and experience to get the best possible outcome following the charge.

Papa Hughes has numerous cases where the defendant has received the best possible outcome following a charge. The reputation is based on results and not on marketing.

Best Criminal Lawyer #2: O’Sullivan Legal

criminal lawyer melbourne
O’Sullivan Legal is well known in both Melbourne and Sydney. Photo: screenshot from www.osullivanlegal.com.au taken on 27/11/2017.

O’Sullivan Legal is a large practise of professional lawyers who have some of the best defence cases surrounding criminal law. It is operated by Ben O’Sullivan who has spent years practising criminal law before starting the law firm.

O’Sullivan is well acknowledged in criminal law in both Sydney and Melbourne. The offices are based in Sydney, however deal with lots of cases and clients in Melbourne on a day to day basis and regularly travel down for face to face dealings.

One of the strongest divisions at O’Sullivan Legal is the criminal law one. The hardworking team dedicate themselves to criminal law cases like they are their own. We all know the importance of having a strong dedicated legal representative; it can be the difference with getting charged and getting your case reduced in terms of penalties and compensation.

No matter what case or charge you are facing, O’Sullivan Legal will provide protection for your legal rights and file the best possible case in your behalf. Whether the authorities have convicted you harshly or you think have been convicted wrongly, the team of experienced defence barristers have the expertise to navigate around legal barriers and provide appropriate solutions to make the best possible decision for you.

The O’Sullivan Legal website provides you with examples of different criminal law cases similar to the one you may be potentially facing. It is important to understand what type of process the professionals generally take in terms of what contacts they have and do they like to settle etc.

Out of 15 reviews on Facebook O’Sullivan Legal has a 4.9/5 review, so if you’re looking for other client feedback, be sure to look at the Facebook site to check out the helpful reviews.

There is no criminal law case that O’Sullivan Legal won’t represent. They have successfully navigated serious cases, for instance they represented individuals in corporate fraud, kidnapping, murder, drug importation and sexual assault.

Apart from the serious cases, they also offer services for the minor cases such as drink driving and drug infringements which can be difficult to defend due to the government laws cracking down heavily on these.

Drink driving (the most common reason for needing a criminal lawyer) is becoming an increasingly complicated issue due to the continued crackdown in terms of penalties and jail sentences. Magistrates are given more power to slap huge fines and loss of license charges, which can be a difficult issue to contend with.

O’Sullivan understands how important your license is to your lifestyle and ability to work. This is a firm that has the expertise and experience in place to produce the best overall outcome for you.

There are a number of client testimonials demonstrating O’Sullivan and his team’s fine work with dealing with criminal law charges. Most of the testimonials go on to say the case was communicated well while providing ongoing feedback and options. Untangling the mess and clearly identifying the best options are core objectives at O’Sullivan Legal.

Due to the complex nature of criminal law, it is crucial to have a lawyer on your side that can communicate the case effectively to you in simple language. There are firms out there who have excellent professionals who know the law inside and out, however lack the people skills such as communicating the case and the potential outcomes efficiently.

The ability for clients to comprehend the full width and breadth of their case is only helped by a barrister who can break down legal concepts and explain their impact. When a lawyer and their client have a good working relationship that has a mutual understanding of the facts the likelihood of success is dramatically increased.

O’Sullivan legal has this ability and has demonstrated it in numerous cases in criminal law. This makes their firm a clever choice for anyone seeking high quality legal representation.

Best Criminal Lawyer #3: Galbally Rolfe

melbourne criminal lawyer
They are Melbourne’s oldest private criminal law firm. Photo: screenshot from www.galballyrolfe.com.au taken on 27/11/2017.

Galbally Rolfe is the oldest private criminal law firm in Melbourne and is regarded as one of the most highly respected law firms in Victoria. One of the interesting things about Galbally Rolfe is that it only practises in criminal law and has been doing it since 1976.

They conduct defence cases that are serious and complex in matters such as murder and sexual assault charges. In its 40 year history, this criminal defence team has acted in a few of the most prominent trials to date and continues to defend individuals who are criminally charged. The firm strongly holds the belief that every person is entitled to the right of legal representation no matter what degree of charge is laid.

Galbally Rolfe has a 24/7 service for urgent matters only, for example if you have been arrested and taken into custody you can ring this line. However, if the matter is not urgent then contact the office in normal business day hours and make an appointment to see one of the highly professional solicitors.

Galbally Rolfe invites anyone who is in need of legal advice in the criminal law area to discuss their pending matters. It is important to note that it is a legal obligation for the professionals to not discuss legal matters on the phone, only if someone close to you is currently under arrest and in custody with the police.

We all know how daunting it can be if facing charges of criminal law, it would feel like the world is crashing in around you.

Galbally Rolfe will ensure you are represented in the best way possible and get the best overall outcome. Their respectable history in representing clients for a range of criminal cases only broadens their appeal to someone facing a criminal charge. Negotiation is a strong point of this firm and can come as a very important asset in criminal law charges.

Best Criminal Lawyer #4: Doogue + George

criminal lawyer melbourne
Doogue + George have the knowledge and experience needed by those charged with a criminal offence. Photo: screenshot from www.criminal-lawyers.com.au taken on 27/11/2017.

Doogue + George specialise in criminal law cases which covers all areas from traffic offenses, drink driving, assault charges, possession of drugs and other criminal charges. It is important to note that out of the 15 criminal defence lawyers, 6 are accredited specialist criminal lawyers which are of huge significance.

These professionals have at least 5 years’ experience in criminal law (some have up to 10) and have undergone specialist exams which you must complete to have the accreditation. The benefit of this is that if you choose Doogue + George, you will be sure to have a specialist defendant working closely with your case.

The high reputation for stopping charges being filed has allowed Dooge + George to expertly position itself as one of the leading Victorian law firms. Maintaining the proven reputation to take on cases that are historically difficult to win is one of the core objectives of the firm. In some cases the allegations might not quite add up, following up with lead witnesses and investigators are one of the strategies the expert team strives in.

Perhaps their greatest strong point for clients is bail applications, for example if someone is in custody, one of their professionals can arrange a bail application. The video link facility in almost every major prison allows the client to talk face to face to the representatives when they are needed. This is much more efficient then discussing important legal matters via the telephone.

No matter what the criminal charge, Doogue + George have the available resources to expertly defend the relevant matters. Extensive experience and expertise in this area translates into a number of contacts and more importantly a formula to successfully defend clients. Being charged can be one of the most difficult times in someone’s life, the importance of hiring someone with years of experience and a good track record goes a long way.

Best Criminal Lawyer #5: Dribbin and Brown

criminal solicitors melbourne
Dribbin and Brown is committed to providing the best results possible. Photo: screenshot from www.criminalsolicitorsmelbourne.com.au taken on 27/11/2017.

Dribbin and Brown is a small law firm situated in Melbourne Victoria. The commitment in giving clients the absolute best representation is the key to the success of the firm. David Dribbin and Michael Brown started the company with this simple commitment and have continued to provide clients with this motto.

Much of the work that comes through the door is through word of mouth referrals from previous clients, reflecting the success of giving the client 100% commitment. If it was you that needed a professional solicitor for a recent charge, you want to invest in someone who will deliver on a promise and guide you successfully through the processes.

Often it takes time for a decision in court; therefore the stress and the element of not knowing can significantly affect the client. The team of professionals ensure this will not happen as they are experts in finding a resolution and best overall outcome.

Dubbin and Brown will guarantee the following:

  • Achieve the very best outcome for your case
  • Provide fast and efficient communication
  • Provides and accurate cost assessment up front, avoiding hidden costs and fees
  • Extensive experience at all levels – magistrate court, Supreme Court and court of appeal.

Traffic offences is said to be Dubbin and Browns bread and butter. Charges like drink driving and drug use whilst driving can have serious ramifications. You can lose your license on the spot, lose your clean record, lose your car and sometimes lose your job due to all the things above.

The magistrate has certainly come down harder with these offenses that are why it is very important to contact a specialist who has extensive experience in these matters.

A potential downside to Dubblin and Brown is that because they are experts in drink driving and drug charges, severe cases such as sexual assault and murder charges is not their strong point.

If you’re looking for a firm that dedicates itself with commitment to your case at an individual level, Dubblin and Brown will be the perfect match.

criminal lawyer
Take your time when finalising your chose of one of the best criminal lawyers in Melbourne. Photo: Zinkevych, Bigstock.

So there are the 5 best criminal law firms in Melbourne, all are very unique, have their strengths and weaknesses and areas of expertise. It is important to note that when deciding on which firm suits you better, it really depends on the situation and charges laid against you.

The above 5 firms definitely have the expertise and relevant experience to provide you with the best overall outcome. It is never an easy circumstance when you need expert legal advice to defend yourself from possible monetary or jail time sentences. What is important is the commitment and overall dedication to a case that a barrister will provide.

Each of the above law firms understands the severity of criminal law at all its levels. They know that no matter how serious the charge a criminal conviction is something that no client wants and can cause a great deal of stress for them. This is why each firm not only provides legal expertise but a caring and compassionate approach to their relationships with clients.

A good lawyer should give you certainty about the costs involved and explain everything thoroughly. Depending on the seriousness of the charges against you and the type of service you want you will need to evaluate which of the above law firms is most suitable for your needs.


The views expressed on this page by the author it’s their own, not those of Best in Australia, and it shouldn’t be considered as advice.