6 top and best criminal lawyers in Melbourne

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 top 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.

Melbourne’s top rated criminal lawyers:

5Dribbin and Brownwww.criminalsolicitorsmelbourne.com.au

No.: Law Firm: Website:
1 Papa Hughes www.papahughes.com.au
2 O’Sullivan Legal www.osullivanlegal.com.au
3 Slades & Parsons www.sladesparsons.com.au
4 Patrick W. Dwyer www.patrickwdwyer.com.au
5 Dribbin and Brown www.criminalsolicitorsmelbourne.com.au
6 Furstenberg Law www.furstenberglaw.com.au


#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.

#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.

#3: Slades & Parsons

Slades Parsons best criminal law firm in Melbourne
Photo: Screenshot from sladesparsons.com.au

Slades & Parsons, accredited criminal law specialists are one of the best law firms in Melbourne. Being charged with a criminal offence is a confronting experience that can have serious consequences for your future employment, career and relationships. With over 35 years’ experience defending criminal charges, Slades & Parsons have consistently been recognised as one of Melbourne’s Leading Criminal Defence firms.

Slades & Parsons practices exclusively in Criminal Law representing those charged with offences against both the Commonwealth and the State. Their solicitors appear in all courts across all jurisdictions, including the Children’s Court of Victoria.

Slades & Parsons have acted in many high profile and complex cases involving charges of terrorism, homicide, drug trafficking and cultivation, fraud, firearm, assault and sex offences. Their lawyers appear in court daily across all jurisdictions, including the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts. Slades & Parsons has also acted in matters that have successfully proceeded in the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia.

Slades & Parsons works with the LIV legal referral service and offers an initial inquiry interview of up to thirty minutes free of charge.

In addition to this, they offer a 24-hour emergency advice line which is offered free of charge. You can feel reassured that their solicitors are working around the clock to ensure their clients are looked after.

Legal Expertise

Slades & Parsons lawyers have a strong record of success in the running of contested hearings and trials in all courts. Their solicitor advocates appear in court daily across all court jurisdictions.

In addition, the firm’s Directors and Senior Associate are Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Criminal Law Specialists. LIV Accredited Specialists must have a minimum of five years full time practice experience and must maintain a high degree of professional development in their area of specialisation.

Their lawyers strongly believe in providing the highest standard of legal representation to their clients both inside and outside of the courtroom and are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes are achieved.

Client Care

Slades & Parsons pride themselves on maintaining frequent client contact, whether they are in custody or on bail, to ensure their clients are kept fully informed about the case against them.

Once you engage a Slades & Parsons lawyer, you can expect to explore all possible defences available to you and receive a realistic, timely and affordable resolution of your matter. They will discuss a realistic fee structure with you that optimises the best possible outcome of any matter.

Their staff work closely with other professionals, including: psychiatrists, medical practitioners, family and violence counsellors, psychologists and drug treatment specialists and often make referrals to treatment services on behalf of their clients to ensure that all issues that may contribute to the criminal charges have been explored and addressed.

Confidentiality and Professionalism

Client confidentiality is important and we understand some clients might want as little media exposure as possible. At Slades & Parsons our specialist criminal lawyers and solicitors offer clients confidential and professional advice, ensuring a high degree of professionalism. We work closely with members of the Bar and will always look for the most experienced and appropriate barrister to represent you, if a trial is required. Ensuring we are acting on the client’s instructions, we provide an accurate ongoing assessment of the strength of a prosecution case and available defences.

Slades & Parsons lawyers take on both private and legal aid cases and can help support you in applying for legal aid if you are eligible. Contact them for your best defence on 03 9602 3000.

#4: Patrick W. Dwyer

Criminal Lawyers in Melbourne
Patrick W. Dwyer, Criminal Lawyers in Melbourne. Photo: Screenshot from patrickwdwyer.com.au

Patrick Dwyer has been providing great legal services for a period of more than 40 years. Dwyer has been specialising in criminal law for most of that time. He established the law firm Patrick W. Dwyer in 1978, which operates across all jurisdictions in Victoria. Dwyer regularly appears in Victorian Courts and has developed an approachable nature, reinforcing his passion for his clients and their lives.

Dwyer is well versed in a wide array of criminal law areas. These include: bail applications, homicide offences, terrorism, sex offences (rape, sexual assault, indecent assault), assault with a weapon, drug offences (cultivation, possession and trafficking), breach offences and traffic offences. Hence, it is clear that Dwyer has an extensive knowledge of the criminal law framework and extensive experience across a wide range of areas.

Dwyer has been involved in a wide array of successful matters in the Higher Courts. Due to confidentiality arrangements, the names of those involved in such cases cannot be released. However, Dwyer was able to downgrade a murder charge to manslaughter and fought for an acquittal for another individual, who was also charged with murder. Furthermore, he was also involved in having a case withdrawn regarding the cultivation of a commercial quantity of a narcotic substance.

#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.

#6: Furstenberg Law

Furstenberg Law

Furstenberg Law is one of the top law firms in Melbourne for all criminal and traffic cases. Founded by Avi Furstenberg, he leads a team of highly skilled lawyers who are passionate about getting each and every one of their clients the best possible outcome for their case. They conduct thorough research and utilise their extensive knowledge of criminal law to guide you through every step of the legal process. With this team, you do not need to get overwhelmed as you can trust them to act in your best interest at all times.

Some of the key services that Furstenberg Law offer include:

  • Assault
  • Bail applications and appeals
  • Domestic violence
  • Drink driving
  • Drug offences
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Sexual offences
  • Theft
  • White-collar crime

All of this and much more can be swiftly dealt with by these expert lawyers.

At Furstenberg Law, they understand that legal processes can be confusing. They aim to communicate as clearly as possible with their clients and take the stress off them. Operating in all Victorian courts and offering 24/7 emergency defence services, it is no surprise that this firm is one of the most trusted in Melbourne. You can even explore the many glowing reviews to find out about the high success rate that this team achieves.

Convenience is also of value to Furstenberg Law. They offer either in-person or video consultations. They believe that everyone has the right to safely access legal assistance. They will professionally handle even them most sensitive of cases and will work hard to accommodate you no matter your situation. Criminal law can involve complex scenarios and individuals. The Furstenberg Law team are equipped to deal with a range of unique cases and continue to optimise their skills when it comes to both the law and dealing with individuals.

The team at Furstenberg Law value authenticity and transparency and will always be upfront with you regarding price, results, and any other details about your case. Their dedication to keeping the Melbourne community safe is what makes them one of the top criminal law firms in Melbourne. If you are experiencing legal trouble in areas of criminal law or traffic law, they are one of the best teams to contact.

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.


Grace Woods
Grace Woods
Grace is an entrepreneur with a unique passion for all things blogging. She has worked with a number of different businesses assisting their profitability and success rate.
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