Peter Schmidt practices principally in family and criminal law at Stacks Law Firm in Tamworth. He enjoys the dynamic, spirited nature of criminal law and values the opportunity to help people navigate the legal process in criminal and family law matters.
Peter appears regularly in the Local Court and District Court on behalf of clients in criminal and traffic matters and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in family law matters.
In the Local, District and Children’s Court, Peter represents clients who are facing drug charges, including drug possession and drug supply, and charges involving all forms of physical and sexual assault.
Peter has appeared in the NSW Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal, where he has instructed Queen’s Counsel regarding the severity appeal against a sentence imposed for offences involving grievous bodily harm.
He has represented many clients who are charged with drink driving, drug driving and speeding. His recent experience includes instructing Counsel in a jury trial, defending a client who was charged with reckless driving occasioning death.
Peter has instructed Counsel in the defence of a client charged with murder. This case did not proceed to trial, as elements of the offence were unable to be substantiated by the prosecution in relation to causation. Hence the charges were dismissed against the defendant, who was subsequently released from custody after spending 12 months on remand.
Peter has represented clients who have mental health problems which correlate to their offending. He has successfully had these matters diverted from the criminal justice system, to be dealt with under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990. (This NSW legislation has now been replaced by the Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020.)
The vast majority of Peter’s legal work involves representing clients from New England and the north and northwest regions of New South Wales. This representation sees Peter appear in the courts located in these areas, as well as in courts in Newcastle and Sydney.
Peter was himself a self-employed rural operator for 40 years. Consequently, he is keenly interested in agriculture and is very knowledgeable in this area.
He has represented clients from New England in the Land and Environment Court in matters related to land clearing.
His legal experience includes appearing as instructing solicitor to Counsel in the District Court of NSW, the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal and ultimately in the High Court of Australia, representing a rural producer who was prosecuted by the RSPCA in an animal cruelty matter.