Will a defence lawyer help me if I’m guilty?

April 3, 2023

If you are guilty of a crime a defence lawyer can still provide considerable help. They can help you: 

  • Determine your defence options and whether a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ is appropriate for your case.
  • By defending you in court to ensure the facts of what happened are accurately represented before the judge and jury (if applicable).
  • By helping the judge to determine a just and fair sentence if you are found guilty.
  • Appeal your sentence when it is excessive and not fitting to the crime committed.

Should I plead “Not guilty”?

There are situations where someone may be convinced they have committed a crime, but in reality, what they are being charged for does not match what has actually occurred. Situations like this may cause me to advise my client to plead ‘not guilty’ to that offence but negotiate with the prosecution to change the charges to reflect what actually occurred.

If my client has told me they are guilty but wish to maintain a “not guilty” plea in court, then I must represent them whilst also not deceiving or knowingly and recklessly misleading the court. In these cases, all defence lawyers are extremely limited in how they can run the case as they are bound by their legal obligations first to the court.

However, it is the defendant’s human right to take the matter to trial, so all solicitors must put aside their personal feelings and comply with the client’s lawful instructions. Legally I cannot deny help to a client if I dislike the information I discover in the process of working with them or disagree with the plea they choose to make in court.

If you believe that you should plead “not guilty”, then click here to read “Does ‘innocent until proven guilty’ apply in Queensland?”

What happens in court if I’m guilty?

When a client is guilty, either due to a plea or finding of guilt, the matter proceeds to sentence.

Defence lawyers are still important in this space. When sentencing offenders, the legislation sets out a number of matters the court must balance when imposing a penalty for the crime.  Two relevant sentencing considerations we will often point to are the “mitigating features” and the “personal history” of the defendant.

The other function of a defence lawyer in this space is to assist the Magistrate or Judge by providing submissions about the law to help the judge impose a just sentence. This may involve tendering legislation and pointing to binding or persuasive case law that sets a “range” of sentences available.

There are cases where the magistrates or judges impose a sentence that is “excessive” for the crime. In these instances, we may file an Appeal to review the decision by a superior judge.

Just because someone did something wrong does not mean the punishment should be disproportionate to the crime. Recently we won an appeal where a woman was fined almost $80,000 for her ex-husband’s failure to lodge his tax return. The ATO could not find him, so they prosecuted her. It was going to take 4,000 weeks (almost 78 years) for her to pay off the fine she “technically” committed, though actually committed by her ex-husband.

In cases like this, you may be found guilty, but we can fight to get you a fair sentence.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

Three cases where innocent clients were wrongfully accused

March 14, 2023

In our line of work, we help people in many different circumstances. Sometimes they are guilty, and sometimes they are innocent. Our job is to represent them the best we can either way. Some of our most interesting cases have been when someone is wrongfully charged with a crime and it is our job to prove their innocence. Here are three recent cases where we have won on behalf of our client who was innocent and at risk of a wrongful conviction. 

Case 1: Compelling but not true 

In a recent case our client, a father, was accused of sexual abuse. This was a compelling, but false, accusation. 

The mother alleged the father had sexually abused their child. This allegation was made at a time when the mother was losing the family law custody battle. The child had no injury consistent with the allegations, made no disclosures when spoken to by police, and the mother ultimately admitted she made it up. If he had been convicted, he would have been an innocent person, who was “proven guilty according to law”, and would then be a convicted child sex offender.

In Queensland, the default position is a lengthy term of imprisonment, as well as being registered as a sex offender. Thankfully, we were able to expose the wrongful accusation and save our client from being punished for a crime they did not commit.

Case 2: Crime not committed

Recently we were involved in a case where the police misunderstood the law and wrongfully thought a crime had been committed. The situation involved a woman who they caught “red-handed” in possession of syringes. The police charged her when they located the syringes during a search.  Whilst it “looked like a crime”, the law says you may possess a syringe provided it is in an approved container and are at no risk to the safety of others.

It was clear that these syringes were in an approved container and capped. In this circumstance the officer simply misunderstood the law around possession of syringes.

Case 3: A crime committed, but there was a legal defence 

Sometimes a crime is committed, but there is a reasonable defence recognised by the law. 

One such case involved a matter where a man had been punched by the defendant causing pain and discomfort. 

When police arrived the “victim” was on the ground holding his face. All the witnesses said that the victim aggressively approached the defendant in a fighting stance and the defendant took one step back and in a “swatting” like motion, struck the “victim” in the face.  The jury accepted that the defendant was acting in self-defence as:

  • it was only one punch
  • the “victim” closed the gap between himself and the offender
  • the defendant was “retreating” at the time he threw the strike
  • the “victim” was observed to be belligerent and aggressive for minutes leading up to the alleged “assault”.

Thankfully, the criminal law does not only punish; it protects as well. It does not expect Queensland citizens to be unnaturally passive, especially when their safety is threatened by someone else. Sometimes an attacker may come off second best, but it does not follow that the one who wins the struggle has committed a crime. The law does not punish someone for reasonably defending himself or herself.  In this case, a single punch did not equal a guilty crime.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

Do the police always get it right?

March 8, 2023

Most people would agree that police have a difficult and often dangerous job. They are under a lot of pressure when responding to crimes. Often the police, and the other executive branches who lay charges, will get it right. But there are times that the police get it wrong.

In most cases, errors are unintentional rather than a “conspiracy” against a person charged. While this doesn’t cover all circumstances, normally an incorrect conclusion from police could mean:

  • the information provided to the police by witnesses appeared compelling but was not true
  • the police think a crime has been committed, but it has not
  • someone may have done something that appeared illegal, but they had a defence at law.

It is for these types of cases that defence lawyers exist. These are also the cases where we get the most job satisfaction (when successful) or lose sleep (when unsuccessful).

Lack of proof according to the law

One situation where police can lose a case, even if a crime is committed, is when they incorrectly charge, or the accused has a reasonable defence at law. 

In a former role as a prosecutor representing the Government, Rowan King was involved in a case where the defendant was able to argue that they were not guilty of the specific offence charged, though they had committed a crime. 

A wife was assaulted by the husband, despite a DV Order being in place. Though the wife did not want to press charges, the police chose to proceed with a charge of ‘Contravention of the DVO’.

As a prosecutor representing the position of the police, Rowan King could easily prove the defendant had assaulted his ex-wife as there were photos and footage. However, due to lack of evidence of the DVO and the testimony given by the defendant, Mr King could not prove the essential element of the crime – that the husband had been served with the DVO. Even though it was clear the defendant had committed A crime, Rowan could not prove he committed THE crime as charged by the police. As Rowan could not prove the husband had knowledge of the order prohibiting the violence, he was acquitted of the charge. 

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

Legal Aid Provider on the Sunshine Coast

February 10, 2023

RK Law is a preferred supplier for Legal Aid Queensland on the Sunshine Coast. We are passionate about defending clients from every walk of life and Legal Aid gives us the opportunity to do that for those that can’t afford legal help.

The support of Legal Aid Queensland means that RK Law can help you from the initial Legal Aid Application right through until the conclusion of your matter.*

What does Legal Aid cover? 

Legal Aid QLD provides government financial assistance. You can access this financial help for legal matters relating to:

  • criminal law
  • domestic violence (DV)
  • coronial inquests.

If you are eligible, our team can help you to complete the necessary forms and lodge the application for assistance on your behalf. You can make an appointment or simply drop in and see the team.

What forms and documentation do I need to access Legal Aid?

RK Law can help you through your application for Legal Aid. To smooth out this process you should bring with you:

  • proof of Income (1 month of payslips) or Centrelink statements (such as an income statement)
  • your bank statements from the last 3 months
  • copies of any relevant material
    • for Criminal Matters – your QP9 & Criminal History
    • for DV Matters – the application for a protection order

We can print any necessary documents on your behalf. Simply email these to us before your appointment or use a computer at our office to access what you need. 

What if I’m not eligible for Legal Aid?

Having a defence lawyer to represent you is the best way to ensure a just outcome. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, we will still provide you with an up-front estimate of fees under our no-surprises policy. 

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help you. You can see a list of our services at and can contact us via our website.

For more information about Legal Aid, head to their website at

*Please note – matters which are funded by legal aid are subject to strict financial and merit eligibility requirements. Assistance provided by RK Law may cease if funding is withdrawn by Legal Aid.


Does “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” Apply in Queensland?

February 5, 2023

“Innocent until proven guilty” is a statement you may have heard in movies and wondered if this principle applies in real legal situations. The answer is emphatically ‘yes’. However, there are layered questions in this concept, such as the rights you are entitled to, whether your defence lawyer has to believe you’re innocent, and what happens if you are actually guilty. 

Your rights in QLD

As Queenslanders, we have a number of legislated human rights. One of the rights we enjoy is the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, according to law. This means that a person charged with a criminal offence is entitled to receive, without discrimination:

  • the particulars of the charges against them
  • the nature and reason for the charges
  • time to prepare a defence.

Another basic human right in Queensland is that a defendant cannot be compelled to testify against themselves or to confess their guilt.  This means if a defendant chooses to plead “not guilty”, the police must prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, by pointing to relevant and admissible evidence.

Does my defence lawyer need to believe I’m innocent? 

Despite what the police brief says, there are many times where a client will “maintain their innocence” by instructing me that:

  • it “wasn’t them
  • they “didn’t do it
  • they “were provoked” (when the defence is available)
  • they were “acting in self-defence
  • The police cannot actually prove the elements that make up a charge.

No matter my feelings about a case, if a client instructs that they are not guilty of an offence, I must put aside any assumptions, and advance their interests.

As a defence lawyer, I feel how high the stakes are. I know that one mistake could result in our client spending time in prison. So I take every case very seriously and will always fight for our clients. If the person is considered innocent until proven guilty by law, then I apply the same standard in my relationship with them

What if I tell you I’m guilty?

If my client has told me they are guilty, but wish to maintain a “not guilty” plea in court, then I must represent them whilst also not deceiving or knowingly and recklessly misleading the court. As a solicitor I must follow my client’s lawful, proper and competent instructions. However my primary duty is to the court and the administration of justice. 

In these cases, all defence lawyers are extremely limited in how they can run the case as they are bound by their commitment to both the client and the court. However, it is the defendant’s human right to take the matter to trial, so all solicitors must put aside their personal feelings and comply with the client’s lawful instructions. Also, there are rules that say I cannot simply stop helping a client if I dislike the information I discover.

Defence limitations when you are guilty

When a defendant has told the lawyer they are guilty but wish to put the prosecution to proof, the defence lawyer cannot:

  • allow the defendant to give evidence that he did not do it
  • falsely suggest that another person committed the offence charged
  • set up an affirmative case inconsistent with the confession the defendant made to the lawyer.

Defence with RK Law

At RK Law we are able to represent you for almost any criminal charge, including: 

  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Drugs (Possession/Supply/Trafficking/Utensils)
  • Assaults and violent offences
  • Robbery
  • Sexual offences
  • Public nuisance
  • Theft or shoplifting
  • Fraud
  • Property Damage
  • Firearms and weapons

In line with our ‘no surprises’ policy we’ll always provide a clear estimate of fees after our first meeting so that you can move forward with confidence. For criminal law clients, we provide fixed-fee representation.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

How Do Defence Lawyers Sleep at Night?

January 20, 2023

My name is Rowan King, and I am a defence lawyer. I am often called upon to help people who are involved in criminal law matters. Many people question how I can morally or ethically do my job and I think this is important to address. As this article will show, thinking a defence lawyer can’t have a conscience is a misunderstanding of the Law and the part we play in upholding it. In my work I do not mind who the client is or what it is alleged they have done, I put those things aside and focus specifically on the burden of proof and the evidence in each and every case.  As such, I have been involved in some of the highest profile cases in Queensland

Can you have a conscience as a defence lawyer?

When I tell people what I do for a living, I am often asked, “how do you sleep at night knowing you help bad people?”

In response, I often ask questions such as:

  • what if they are not “bad” but they just made a horrible mistake?
  • how can the government prosecute someone I know to be innocent?
  • how can I sleep at night if my client is wrongly convicted?

The next logical question I am often asked is, “how do you represent someone you know is guilty?

The issue with this question is that it assumes the lawyer ‘knows’ the defendant is guilty, and also that a guilty person deserves any sentence they receive. Sometimes a lawyer may suspect a client is guilty, but the law says that lawyers must:

  • avoid personal bias
  • follow all lawful, proper and competent instructions
  • act in the best interests of a client.

Further, if the client admits guilt, they still require a Defence Lawyer to ensure the sentence received is just for the crime committed. It is a human right to a fair trial and due process, even when the evidence may appear to be ‘overwhelming’. 

John Grisham has some great quotes on justice.  He said this in one of his legal thrillers:

Do we really want fair trials? No … We want justice and quickly.  And Justice is whatever we deem it to be on a case-by-case basis”.

This presumption of “innocence” is easy to stomach when we speak of victimless crimes, such as possession of a small amount of cannabis or failing to vote in an election. However, it is something that is more difficult to stomach when a person has sustained a significant injury, acquired long-term deformity from the alleged offending, or, even worse if someone has died.

I passionately defend my clients in any court or tribunal in Queensland. At times, I have been required to fearlessly take on “unpopular” cases. I am tasked to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and to ensure justice for those who feel crushed, helpless and hopeless in our legal system. I love my job and my role in the administration of justice.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

Top 3 Criminal Lawyers on the Sunshine Coast

December 22, 2022

Experts have recommended RK Law as one of the top three criminal lawyers on the Sunshine Coast. Being named one of the ‘top three’ involves a rigorous 50-point inspection, including reviews, ratings, reputation, history, complaints, satisfaction, costs and trust. 

Who is RK Law?

RK Law is a full-service law firm in Caloundra, Sunshine Coast. Our firm focuses on criminal law, domestic violence and family law matters. RK Law has been involved in some of the highest-profile criminal cases in Queensland. RK Law provides advice and representation to anyone with criminal charges in any court. Our highly knowledgeable team represents clients all over Queensland and will assist you in getting the best possible outcome. 

Our team at RK Law have local, regional and capital city experience, a deep understanding of the court system including the Magistrates Court and District Court, and a solid relationship with the legal sector. We focus on providing accurate, honest and ethical legal representation with fixed and affordable fees. RK Law will always offer a precise estimate of costs after our first meeting. We also provide fixed-fee consultations and can provide legal advice via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

What legal matters can RK Law help with?

RK Law can assist with a full range of legal matters. Some, but not all, of the legal areas we work with include: 

  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Robbery
  • Public nuisance
  • Drug related offences
  • Assault and violence 
  • Theft or shoplifting
  • Fraud
  • Property damage
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Work licence applications
  • Drinking related offences
  • Unlicensed and disqualified driving offences
  • Failing to stop or evading police
  • Dangerous operation of a vehicle
  • Contesting speeding
  • General road rule breaches

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

You can check out RK Law on Three Best Rated here.

Best Domestic Violence Lawyers in QLD

November 20, 2022

In 2022, QLD Law Society (QLS) named the top Domestic Violence Advocates of the year in Queensland. In a state of 1400 lawyers, RK Law’s principal Lawyer Rowan King was named amongst the top eight eligible for the Dame Quentin Bryce Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate Award

QLS is a peak professional body for solicitors and represents 9000 members. The QLS website describes the award and its purpose as: 

“Recognising and rewarding outstanding activities in the prevention of domestic violence in Queensland…This award encourages those who have a demonstrated commitment to addressing domestic violence and advocated for change within workplaces, through academia, the legal and/or social systems.”

The Dame Quentin Bryce Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate Award is a prestigious title and Rowan’s place in the top eight reflects his passion for defending those that have experienced Domestic Violence (DV).  


The Award detailed Rowan’s work and commitment to advocating for DV. 

Rowan King

Rowan King
Principal Lawyer, RK Law

Rowan is passionate about helping members of the Central Queensland community dealing with domestic violence matters and he has held several positions that interface with domestic violence victims including as a DV Prosecutor and as Supervising Solicitor at Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS)

Rowan is a JP and member of the Queensland Justices Association Committee in Rockhampton. Over the last 5 years, Rowan King has organised CPD education about DV and Court Process for JPs including a mock court in the Old Rockhampton Supreme Court to help other JPs in the community better understand the Court Process for victims of Domestic Violence.

Since opening his own firm he has been active in the community working with CLCs and even taking on Pro-Bono DV matters as he is passionate about providing people with hope, no matter what has occurred. Rowan enjoy fighting for people who have never had someone on their team or fighting for them.”


RK Law congratulates the other eight finalists who are making a positive impact on DV in QLD:

Angela Lynch AM

Secretariat, QSAN
Angela is a lawyer and advocate against domestic, family and sexual violence. She is the Secretariat for the peak body for specialist sexual violence prevention services in Queensland, the Queensland Sexual Assault Network (QSAN), which represents 21 specialist sexual violence services in Queensland. The role involves increasing the visibility of issues concerning sexual violence at both a state and national level and it also providing a leadership role in the sector for funders, media and the community.

Angela is a member of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Review and Advisory Board and the Queensland Sexual Violence Prevention Roundtable.

Previously, Angela worked for 27 years with the Women’s Legal Service Queensland, including a 5-year term as CEO. In 2019 Angela was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her contribution to domestic violence prevention and the law.

Katherine Manby

Principal Lawyer, VM Family Law
Katherine established VM Family Law in 2016, with no existing clients, to deliver much-needed services in Ipswich and the Greater Springfield area. The firm has a focus on domestic and family violence and she works collaboratively with other domestic and family violence organisations to ensure the best outcomes and futures for her clients.

Katherine leads a team of nine and is an accredited specialist in family law, a mediator, a family dispute resolution practitioner, and an arbitrator. Previously, she was a Senior Lawyer in the Violence Prevention and Women’s Advocacy Team at Legal Aid Queensland.

Kelli Martin

Managing Partner, KLM Solicitors
Kelli Martin is a solicitor, business leader and social justice advocate. She has worked predominantly in family and criminal law after being admitted as a legal practitioner in 2008. Kelli founded KLM Solicitors in 2015 with a vision for a contemporary, client-focused law firm. She is a former Board Director for the not-for-profit Red Rose Foundation and actively works to end domestic and family violence.

In 2021 Kelli was the recipient of the QLS Access to Justice Award. Kelli and her team regularly undertake community legal work, including volunteer hours for community legal centres. Outside of her enormously rewarding and busy work life, Kelli raises her two young daughters.

Shani Mitchell

Partner, Geldard Sherrington Lawyers
Shani began working in a law firm at 18 and was inspired to study law and started her degree three years later. She was admitted as a solicitor in 2016 and became a partner at Geldard Sherrington Lawyers in 2021. She also volunteers at the Taylor Street Community Legal Service, the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre and Fraser Coast District Law Association.

Outside of work and her volunteer roles, she appreciates time with her family. Shani enjoys her work as a lawyer and the ability to volunteer so much of her time in her career to helping other families, whether that is through her work in domestic violence or in various capacities as a volunteer.

Carolyn Reid

Family and Domestic Violence Solicitor, My Community Legal
In her role at My Community Legal, Carolyn leads the improvement and scaling of the range and quality of services delivered to vulnerable women at risk of or experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.

Prior to beginning a career in the law, Carolyn had a 25 year career in television computer graphics, animation and special effects having freelanced all over Australia, New Zealand, London and South East Asia, later establishing her own production company with major clients including Burkes Backyard.

A qualified Private Investigator with a double degree in Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice (LLB/BCCJ) and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, she is a member of the Queensland Law Society Innovation Committee and the Gold Coast Family Law Pathways Steering Committee. She has an avid interest in legal technology and its application in the future delivery of legal services and is a proud member of the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA).

Thelma Schwartz

Principal Legal Officer, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service
Thelma is the Principal Legal Officer of the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS), an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisation providing legal and non-legal support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of family violence and/or sexual assault.

QIFVLS services more than 80 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland including the Outer Islands of the Torres Straits. She identifies as Torres Strait Islander heritage, alongside her German Samoan and Papua New Guinea heritage and has worked has a legal practitioner for 23 years.

Thelma has worked extensively with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult and youth defendants in both the criminal justice system as well as advocating for victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault. In 2021, Thelma was appointed as a member of the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.

Kathleen Simpson

Principal of DV LAWYER
Kathleen Simpson is the founder and Principal of DV LAWYER, a specialist domestic and family violence law firm. She is passionate about keeping vulnerable people safe, helping them leave their relationship safely and holding perpetrators accountable.

Ms Simpson is a strong Solicitor Advocate for her clients in Court, a champion of legislative change, particularly in the field of DFV and coercive control, focused on preventing the escalation of violent behaviours. She is passionate about DFV prevention and raising DFV awareness, and support that is available to assist victims. Her innovative approach improves the outcomes of the vulnerable while enhancing the community’s perception of the legal community, recognised on the Queensland Government’s Honour Roll in prevention of DFV.

What is Domestic Violence?

October 4, 2022

At times victims can be unaware that they are experiencing domestic violence (DV) because it comes in a variety of forms. However, there are other situations where someone may think they are experiencing DV but may not legally fall into this category. To help yourself, your loved ones and your community it is important to understand what domestic violence is and is not, including more subversive types of DV like emotional, psychological and financial abuse. It’s also important to give yourself the best chance at winning in court.  

The legal definition of domestic violence

Legislation states the definition of Domestic Violence as:

behaviour by a person (the first person) towards another person (the second person) with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship that:

  • is physically or sexually abusive
  • is emotionally or psychologically abusive
  • is economically abusive
  • is threatening
  • is coercive
  • in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for the second person’s safety or wellbeing or that of someone else.

The RK Law team has worked on hundreds of DV cases, and most situations do fit within these parameters. However, in a small percentage of cases the application of this definition is misguided, or used as an attempt to circumvent the Family Law Courts. At times, it can also be a misunderstanding about what DV really is. 

To help guide those who are unsure if a situation is considered DV, a number of examples are provided in legislation. Please note, these are not the only situations that would be considered DV, but can be a helpful start to recognising if you or someone you love is experiencing DV. 

Examples of DV in Legislation include: 

  • causing personal injury to a person or threatening to do so
  • coercing a person to engage in sexual activity or attempting to do so
  • damaging a person’s property or threatening to do so
  • depriving a person of the person’s liberty or threatening to do so
  • threatening a person with the death or injury of the person, a child of the person, or someone else
  • threatening to commit suicide or self-harm so as to torment, intimidate or frighten the person to whom the behaviour is directed
  • causing or threatening to cause the death of, or injury to, an animal, whether or not the animal belongs to the person to whom the behaviour is directed, so as to control, dominate or coerce the person
  • unauthorised surveillance of a person
    • unauthorised surveillance, of a person, means the unreasonable monitoring or tracking of the person’s movements, activities or interpersonal associations without the person’s consent, including, for example, by using technology
    • Examples of surveillance by using technology
      • reading a person’s SMS messages
      • monitoring a person’s email account or internet browser history
      • monitoring a person’s account with a social networking internet site
      • using a GPS device to track a person’s movements
      • checking the recorded history in a person’s GPS device
  • unlawfully stalking a person.

What is emotional, psychological and financial abuse? 

The water often gets muddied when it comes to things such as “emotional abuse” or “psychological abuse” and “financial abuse”.

The legislation explains emotional, psychological and financial abuse as follows:

Emotional and psychological abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse means behaviour by a person towards another person that torments, intimidates, harasses or is offensive to the other person.

Examples of emotional and psychological abuse include:

  • following a person when the person is out in public, including by vehicle or on foot
  • remaining outside a person’s residence or place of work
  • repeatedly contacting a person by telephone, SMS message, email or social networking site without the person’s consent
  • repeated derogatory taunts, including racial taunts
  • threatening to disclose a person’s sexual orientation to the person’s friends or family without the person’s consent
  • threatening to withhold a person’s medication
  • preventing a person from making or keeping connections with the person’s family, friends or culture, including cultural or spiritual ceremonies or practices, or preventing the person from expressing the person’s cultural identity

Financial abuse 

Economic abuse means behaviour by a person that is coercive, deceptive or unreasonably controls another person, without the second person’s consent. It includes behaviour that:

  • denies the second person the economic or financial autonomy the second person would have had but for that behaviour
  • withholds or threatens to withhold the financial support necessary for meeting the reasonable living expenses of the second person or a child, if the second person or the child is entirely or predominantly dependent on the first person for financial support to meet those living expenses.

Examples of financial abuse include:

  • coercing a person to relinquish control over assets and income
  • removing or keeping a person’s property without the person’s consent, or threatening to do so
  • disposing of property owned by a person, or owned jointly with a person, against the person’s wishes and without lawful excuse
  • without lawful excuse, preventing a person from having access to joint financial assets for the purposes of meeting normal household expenses
  • preventing a person from seeking or keeping employment
  • coercing a person to claim social security payments
  • coercing a person to sign a power of attorney that would enable the person’s finances to be managed by another person
  • coercing a person to sign a contract for the purchase of goods or services
  • coercing a person to sign a contract for the provision of finance, a loan or credit
  • coercing a person to sign a contract of guarantee
  • coercing a person to sign any legal document for the establishment or operation of a business.

What is not domestic violence?

While it’s impossible to cover all situations, here are two examples. 

Recently we had a case where the applicant said that our client prevented them from making or keeping connections with their family and friends. The accusation was that he would sit on the lounge and snore after coming home from work. This apparently became a barrier to family and friends visiting. This case was dismissed because our client got legal advice and challenged the matter in Court.

Another example may be that sometimes a spouse may not give the other person money to purchase wine or cigarettes because there is no money to purchase food for the kids. That is not DV – but reasonable financial control.  

How to win a DV Case in Court

Domestic violence cases are really won or lost on the quality of the paperwork. It’s important to ensure you have the right evidence before embarking on what can be a difficult legal and personal experience. Do not do it alone. 

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s domestic violence legal services or contact the team today.


RK Law opens in Caloundra

January 4, 2022

RK Law was excited to announce the opening of our brand new office in Caloundra, Sunshine Coast in December 2021. While retaining a strong connection to Rockhampton, now a satellite office, RK Law anticipates the new southern location will provide a broadened scope to help throughout QLD and Australia. However, our continued willingness to work with clients over Zoom and Teams means we can defend our clients no matter where they are. 

The exciting opening of our Caloundra office was recently included in the news. You can read the full Courier Mail story here. 

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

DV Case Dismissed – Holland Park

December 8, 2021

Domestic Violence (DV) is a serious issue in our community and something that we are passionate about at RK Law.

Unfortunately, there are rare occasions where people make applications for Domestic Violence Protection Orders for the wrong reasons.

The good news is RK Law has extensive experience in defending these vexatious applications. Recently we appeared in the Holland Park Magistrates Court for a client in this exact situation.

When the father attempted to reconnect with his children after a separation, almost immediately a vexatious DV Application was filed.

After hearing submissions from Principal Lawyer Rowan King, the case was dismissed.

If you know someone who has a domestic violence application or breach proceedings anywhere in Queensland, then RK Law can be your corner to help. Find out more about RK Law’s domestic violence legal services or contact the team today.


RK Law – defending your future anywhere in Queensland

December 3, 2021

At RK Law, we are fortunate enough to represent clients all over Queensland and Australia. We are more than willing to travel where you need us to ensure you are properly represented. In the last 18 months, we have appeared in various interstate locations on behalf of our clients such as Perth, Hobart, Paramatta, and Mildura. In Queensland, we have appeared in a number of courts from Southport to Cooktown and out West as far as Longreach Magistrates Court.

At RK Law, our head office is located in Caloundra right near the Caloundra Magistrates Court. This makes it easy to deal with our client’s cases, no matter who they are or what it is alleged they have done.

Brisbane Supreme Court and Court of Appeal – 3 December 2021

Rowan King represented a client recently at the Brisbane Supreme Court. He took a moment to capture this photo of the impressive Brisbane Court House.

[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Brisbane Court House - RK Law Brisbane Court House – RK Law[/caption]

RK Law zipping around Queensland

Always on the move, principal lawyer Rowan King made appearances in four locations and multiple courts this week. 

Some highlights from Rowen’s diverse week included: 

  • seeing clients in Caloundra on Monday
  • appearing on Tuesday for an arraignment in the District Court in Rockhampton at 8:30am followed by a plea of guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court at 11:00am
  • appearing on Wednesday for a plea of guilty in the Magistrates Court at Caloundra
  • seeing clients in Caloundra on Thursday
  • representing on Friday in Brisbane, both at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, followed by more client meetings in Caloundra that afternoon.

Next week the variety continues as the team will appear in the Nambour Magistrates Court, Holland Park Magistrates Court, Brisbane Magistrates Court, Rockhampton Supreme Court and Brisbane Supreme Court. 

No matter your location, if you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

RK Law Brisbane Court

Truck driver receives bail with RK Law

November 11, 2021

In a recent court case, principal lawyer Rowan King defended a truck driver after a fatal accident. The incident occurred while our client was driving a truck near Stanwell, west of Rockhampton. The truck crashed into the rear of an ambulance that was stationary at a temporary traffic light set-up for roadworks.  

Defence lawyer Rowan King told the court that the evidence was still unclear on whether the signs were visible in the lead-up to the accident and that the charges could possibly be amended in the future.

While reading from court documents, Mr King said his client had told police, “I didn’t see the signs. There were no signs”.

“[There is] nothing in the material about his manner of driving. It is not alleged he was under the influence or speeding,” Mr King said. “It could just be the case of a momentary lapse of inattention and not the dangerous operation of a vehicle, which is alleged.”

Mr King also told the court his client had sustained significant injuries in the incident, including a “hole in his skull from when he hit the pavement when the truck rolled”.

Magistrate Cameron Press told the court he was not satisfied that the accused presented an “unacceptable risk of failing to appear”, and that he would grant bail under strict conditions.

Click here to read the story in full covered by ABC News.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.


RK Law in the news, September 2020

September 20, 2020

At times RK Law takes on some of the most controversial and high profile cases in Queensland. Our work regularly gets featured in the news as we fight for just and fair outcomes for our clients. Here are two of the RK Law cases that featured in the Morning Bulletin in September 2020. 

‘I don’t want to live (in prison) for the rest of my life’

Defence lawyer Rowan King said Weeding found it difficult to survive upon release from custody, having spent so much time in prison over the years.

Read the full story, “I don’t want to live (in prison) for the rest of my life”

Drugs downward spiral: From disability support work to crime

Defence lawyer Rowan King said the offences last year occurred while Delaware was mentally unwell but had no official diagnosis. The only explanation was that a relationship breakdown occurred, and Delaware turned to any drug he could get his hands on, leading to his life spiralling downward.

Read full story “Drugs downward spiral: From disability support work to crime”


If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s Criminal Defence services or contact the team today.

Exciting growth for RK Law

September 1, 2020

RK Law has recently expanded our team, so we have outgrown our current office space. Our exciting news is this: we are moving up in the world and moving our head office even closer to the Rockhampton Magistrates’ Court.

From Monday 7 September 2020, the new-look RK Law will be located at Level 3, 36 East Street, Rockhampton – directly across Fitzroy Street, facing the Court.

Accessing our new offices

Street parking is available on East Street. The door to enter the Fitzroy & East Building is on Fitzroy Street. Take the elevator to Level 3 and follow the signs for RK Law. We’re located on the right, just past the elevator.

The new-look RK Law

Along with our move, we are also rolling out a rebrand that has been in the works for quite some time. Our new logo reflects our vision to be a law firm that delivers outstanding results across all of Queensland – but our commitment to fight for our clients hasn’t changed at all.

No matter who you are or what you have done, RK Law is here to defend your future.

With staff now in Rockhampton, Brisbane and Cairns, we have a vision to build a permanent presence throughout the major cities in Queensland.

Thank you for being part of the RK Law journey so far.

Rowan King and the RK Law team

AHPRA Charges Dropped

June 22, 2020

Last week RK Law was proud to defend a claim made by AHPRA against an experienced nurse. 

When the complaint was received, the outlook appeared grim for our client. Several statutory declarations from key management staff in the organisation supported the allegations. AHPRA’s accusation looked to revoke our client’s nursing registration. A number of times the nurse asked our team whether the case was worth pursuing. They also questioned if it was worth re-applying for registration for the 2020-2021 registration year.

With the help of RK Law, the wrongful accusation of misconduct was dismissed, and we achieved a great outcome for our client.

Background details of the client and case

Before coming to RK Law, our client was involved in a successful Fair Work proceeding and received a significant pay-out as a result. The day of the pay-out, the other party lodged a complaint with AHPRA which placed the nurse’s registration in jeopardy. 

After leaving the original facility, which the Fair Work claim had been made against, the nurse was re-employed in a very high-paying job in another location. The complaint to the Regulation Agency was used against the nurse to terminate this high-paying job. It was also a further barrier to obtaining other employment in the industry as the nurse had to declare the pending case to prospective employers.

Unable to obtain work locally, the nurse had to live and work in another State from their partner. It was impossible to convince employers to overlook the stigma of “medication thief”, though the nurse was not convicted. At the same time, the nurse’s partner had a deterioration in health, causing them to retire from work. This seriously impacted the couple’s cash-flow and their ability to pay for legal services.

RK Law’s involvement

It was clear in our meetings that the nurse was shocked and unfamiliar with the activities listed in the allegations. 

We organised the nurse to provide independent records such as telephone records and bank transactions. From this, we were able to defend the nurse in the lengthy proceedings.

Our team felt so passionately about the injustice of this case that we chose to represent our client despite their poor financial position and inability to fund the matter. Principal Lawyer Rowan King took the case on Pro Bono, putting in most of the man-hours outside of work. 

The nurse retained RK Law, who successfully defended the allegations and received not only a dismissal of the allegations but justice after a two year battle with a disgruntled former employer. The nursing industry is better having this practitioner, with over 35 years experience, back in the field.

Summary of the case details

The Allegations:
  • Failing to provide pain relief to an acutely ill patient.
  • Stealing medication from a deceased patient.
  • The nurse was employed with an organisation in Queensland in a management capacity.
  • The nurse was terminated by their employer.
  • Fair Work proceedings successfully resulted in a pay-out to the nurse for unfair and unlawful dismissal.
  • On the day that the “pay-out” was transferred to the bank account of the nurse, in accordance with the Fair Work proceedings, a complaint was made to the Regulation Agency about the above allegations.
Evidence for the Complainant:
  • The complainant produced Statutory Declarations from several staff that stated the Nurse had failed to provide treatment to a patient, causing discomfort and the requirement for hospitalisation.
  • Statutory declarations from two staff members that said the Nurse had made multiple phone calls directing a staff member via telephone to steal a deceased patient’s medication and drop it to the Nurses house.
  • Mention was made in the Stat. Decs. to documentary evidence. When requested, these did not actually exist.
Independent Evidence:
  • File Notes and Patient Records.
  • Policies and Procedure Manuals.
  • No evidence of a complaint to police despite theft of medication.
  • Over 9-month delay to report the matters to the Agency.
  • The alleged stolen medication was not a “dependency medication” and it was one which the nurse could not use without causing death or serious injury unless they had the relevant condition the deceased person suffered from.
Evidence for the Nurse:
  • RK Law organised to secure Bank Statements and Phone Records that showed the nurse was at all relevant times in Central NSW on Annual Leave, and the nurse’s partner was in North Queensland having medical treatment.
  • The Board noted that the telephone records demonstrated there was only one phone call from the nurse’s mobile phone to the facility during the relevant period.  That phone call lasted 16 seconds and was made two weekends following the patient’s death. The phone call was made from Central NSW.
  • The evidence gathered by RK Law supported the argument that this was a malicious complaint.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s legal services or contact the team today.

Betty Murison – Two years at RK Law

June 9, 2020

Today we are thankful for the hard work and dedication of our super-star Paralegal and my P.A. – Betty Murison.

The best of Betty

In my experience in the workforce, it is rare to come across a truly indispensable member of staff. The recruitment of Betty to RK Law, in my view, will be something we look back on in years to come as a pivotal moment in the life of our business. Betty displays an unmatched passion for excellence in all aspects of her job.

Betty has the perfect combination of professionalism, kindness, work ethic and loyalty. She also has the ability to put the fear of God into anyone who snitches on her, forgets to lodge a Legal Aid claim or fails to correctly name a document in our database.

The Betty and RK Law Story

Just over 2 years ago, I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Betty. At the time, she was working for one of our competitors. With a name like ‘Betty’, I naturally assumed she was 100 years old. She expressed an interest to join our team, but we were unfortunately not in a position to make that happen. Then one day in May-June 2018, the stars aligned and we were able to offer Betty a job.

Around 6 months into her employment, Betty spoke to me, and it was clear she was upset.  She said her husband had been transferred with work, and she was leaving Rockhampton.

We decided to keep her on the team working remotely due to her commitment to the firm, her solid work ethic, and her “Donna” skills – which makes sense to anyone who has watched the TV show Suits.

Betty does her job to such a high standard that most clients do not realise she is 1064km away. 

It is important to honour when honour is due and I know that I am a better lawyer thanks to Betty’s support and assistance over the last 2 years. RK Law is also a better place thanks to her input into our business. 

Thank you Betty for your hard work and commitment to RK Law over these last 2 years.

I look forward to many more years with you on the team!

Rowan King


RK Law in the news, May 2020

May 23, 2020

In a recent case, an RK Law client received bail when defended by principal lawyer Rowan King. 

Defence lawyer Rowan said his client served five years of the prison term after being found guilty by a jury.

Mr King also said Donoghue had been in a relationship with the victim of this latest incident, but it had since ended. Mr King said Donoghue was the sole carer of his two children and lived outside of Rockhampton.

Click here to read the full story as reported by the Morning Bulletin.

If you need a defence lawyer to stand by you and fight for justice in your situation, then we’d love to help. Find out more about RK Law’s Criminal Defence services or contact the team today.

Community Involvement: COVID-19 Coffee

May 20, 2020

During the global COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020, RK Law supported frontline medical workers in their local area of Rockhampton. What started as a donation of 100 coffees for hospital staff turned into countless hours of volunteering to keep the caffeine flowing. RK Law’s principal lawyer Rowan King, alongside the Calvary Church team, volunteered to man the free coffee station on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 8pm-11pm.

Reflections from Rowan

We are so lucky to have such amazing frontline staff in Central Queensland and I have enjoyed connecting with them. You can easily take for granted the significance of the stress our nurses and doctors deal with day-to-day on a shift, external to COVID-19.

For example, I spoke to one medical staff member who looked exhausted on one of the nights. They told me that during the shift the night before, they attempted to resuscitate a person. They tried for a number of hours but could not save the patient.  That happened right at the end of the shift. The medical staff member got home and due to the adrenaline, they could not sleep. They eventually got a few hours before getting the scrubs back on and getting onto the next patient. They had shared thoughts such as “could I have done something better to save the patient?”. A double shot was in order. It was clear that burden that staff member was carrying was huge!

If a lawyer makes a mistake, and the magistrate makes a bad call due to the lawyer’s error, it will go on appeal and get fixed. There may be some inconvenience, but at the end of the day, no one died!

This volunteering has reminded me to be thankful for our front-line medical staff (including the cleaners, wardies, and security) not just during COVID, but at all times.  It has also reminded me not to sook when I have a bad day at work!

Also, a special thanks to Calvary Rockhampton who organise the coffee cart and provide the coffees.

RK Law celebrates International Womens Day

March 8, 2020

Today we acknowledge and celebrate International Womens Day. We are incredibly grateful for the amazing women who work at RK Law. We are blessed with the best!

To all the women in our local community and beyond, we celebrate you today and all the unique and wonderful qualities you bring to the world around you.

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