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Criminal Defence Lawyer

Rupert Ward, Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer

Rupert’s first criminal trial was over 30 years ago. He has handled countless criminal matters and aims to get his clients the best and the fairest result. Rupert handles mostly all criminal matters except Jury trials. Criminal law is a complex and demanding area and needs commitment, hard work and an insightful approach. If you need legal representation, Rupert will fight tirelessly to get you the best result.


  • I will go the extra mile to present your best possible defence
  • Focus on getting the result you need
  • Available for urgent and private consultations

Get in touch now

Find out how Rupert Wards’ legal services can help your situation

Simply fill in your details in the form below and we will contact you to discuss how Rupert can defend your case.

Enquiry Form

    For immigration enquiries, please fill in our immigration enquiry form.

    For enquiries related to deportation, please fill in our deportation enquiry form.

    For enquiries related to business & investment immigration, please fill in our business & investment enquiry form.

    Information about New Zealand Criminal Law

    In New Zealand Criminal Law, there are four categories of criminal offences ranging from Category 1, the least serious to Category 4, the most serious offence. The court that will deal with your case and the legal process is determined by the category of the offence. The cases for categories 1 to 3 are usually heard in the District Court but Category 4 cases are heard in the High Court. If you plead not guilty there will be a trial either by jury or by a judge alone. The option for a a jury trial is only available in Category 3 or Category 4 cases.

    Legal Aid

    If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you can get free or partly free advice and representation from a lawyer. If you are being held by the police, you can get free advice from a lawyer under the Police Detention Legal Assistance scheme (PDLA). If you apply for Legal Aid to pay for a lawyer to represent you, you’ll probably be assigned the lawyer who spoke to you under the PDLA service.

    Diversion and Restorative Justice

    Diversion and Restorative Justice are ways to stay out of court and avoid getting a criminal record. Diversion is a scheme operated by the police that allows first-time offenders to take responsibility for their offending outside the court system. It may include reparation for the victim and rehabilitation conditions such as going to an alcohol and drug programme or a violence-prevention course. A Restorative Justice conference may be available in cases where a defendant pleads guilty to an offence that has affected a victim and the victim consents to the process.

    Discharge without conviction

    Discharge without conviction is the equivalent of an acquittal. A discharge without conviction is only applicable where the offence doesn’t have a minimum sentence and where the consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to the seriousness of the offence.  A judge may also order restitution or compensation as part of a discharge without conviction.


    Various rights of appeal to the High Court and the Court of Appeal are available to the defendant depending on the court and the stage that the case is in. A defendant may appeal against a conviction, sentencing, refusal to grant bail or a refusal to grant name suppression. A criminal lawyer such as Rupert Ward can advise you about your appeal options and the time frames for making an appeal.

    Areas of Practice

    Immigration Services

    Rupert Ward Barrister






    phone: 03 310 8103
    mobile: 021 877 441