Who We Are2023-02-09T12:44:57+10:00
Law 6

Building a reputation for better results

We have been building our reputation as a law firm that delivers better results for our clients. It is vital to your case that you select the right lawyer with the right experience to represent you. Our Principal, Ryan Roche has been admitted as a solicitor in the High Court of Australia and is a member of the Queensland Law Society founded on integrity and commitment to quality and professional standards. He has experience with the relevant courts, judges, magistrates, prosecutions and police throughout Brisbane, Caboolture, Gold and Sunshine Coasts. For matters in the District and Supreme Courts we connect you with the best barristers in Queensland.



Before spending any money you can talk to a lawyer for free! We offer free initial consultations. You will be advised up front on what your options are and the costs involved without having to spend a $. That way you can weigh up whether or not you need legal representation and we can provide an affordable price.

Call one of our offices on (07) 3188 1767 or Call or SMS our 24 hour line on 0402 843 177.

You can also send an online enquiry and a lawyer will get back to you with free initial advice.


Fixed fee billing is available for most matters. We are honest and up front about your legal fees and there are no hidden costs. You will be advised from day one what your options are and the costs involved so you can weigh up what you can afford.


We understand that your legal problems are urgent so we make ourselves available to answer your questions 24 hours, 7 days a week.


1. Outstanding results2022-07-08T01:51:43+10:00

Watling Roche Lawyers has a proven track record of achieving outstanding results for our clients.

We work day and night to find the best legal path forward for each individual case. We will come up with a strategy that works for you and work tirelessly to have your charges dropped or downgraded. If there is a loop-hole we will find it!

Our firm is closely aligned with the best barristers in Queensland who have outstanding track record of winning cases in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts.

If any of our clients choose to plead guilty we regularly achieve results of no conviction recorded and not further punished.

2. Fixed fees2022-07-08T01:59:22+10:00

We are not in the business of racking up expensive legal fees and surprising our clients at the end of their case.  Too often law firms do not disclose the full costs involved of their representation and their clients get a rude awakening when it comes to the end of their case and a legal bill that is well beyond what they expected or could afford.

We understand that legal representation is expensive so it is our priority to be up front about the costs involved and fix a fee that you can afford.  At Watling Roche Lawyers there will be no hidden fees and no nasty surprises when it comes to paying your legal fees.

3. Free consultation2022-07-08T02:04:17+10:00

A lot of law firms will not answer any of your questions until you have put money in their bank account. They will charge you just to find out whether you need legal representation.

For all matters we offer a free first consultation with a lawyer before you commit to anything. You do not need to spend a thing before deciding whether to engage a lawyer to represent you.


4. Most QLD courts2022-07-08T02:10:06+10:00

From Gympie down to the Gold Coast, a lawyer will attend most courts in Queensland.

5. Client satisfaction2022-07-08T02:16:33+10:00

We work around the clock to ensure our clients are happy with our services. For our firm, making money is all well and good but if it comes at the expense of client satisfaction we do not want a bar of it.

Watling Roche Lawyers is dedicated to our clients first and foremost. If you are not happy we are not happy. We genuinely care about you as our client and will bend over backwards until you are satisfied with our representation.


6. Available 24/72022-07-08T02:18:53+10:00

Not many firms are willing to go the extra distance and commit to their clients 24 hours, 7 days a week. We understand that your legal questions need urgent answers and that is why you can contact our firm at any time day or night.

7. Local knowledge2022-07-08T02:25:59+10:00

Our principal lawyer, Ryan Roche has developed and established relationships with all of the right people when it comes to handling court matters. No matter what the case is, at the end of the day it is people we are dealing with, whether it be the police, prosecutors, barristers, magistrates or judges. It is vital that you engage a lawyer that is familiar with the people involved in your type of matter i.e. has established relationships with the best barristers to defend you, the prosecutors who will be against you and the magistrates or judges that will decide your fate.

8. No work licence – No fee2022-07-08T02:29:14+10:00

We have 100% success rate with work licence and special hardship order applications. If we apply for a work licence or special hardship order on your behalf and you are not successful we will refund you in full!

9. Honesty2022-07-23T03:26:14+10:00

There are lawyers who will take on your case even though they know your chances of winning are extremely low. For them, you are just a number with a $ sign in front of it.

We pride ourselves on our honesty and we will do our very best to keep your costs down. If your chances of winning are low we will tell you so that you do not waste money with false hope. We are here to change the stigma on lawyers who we know have a reputation for being money-hungry vultures. That is not how we operate and it is about time people can find a lawyer they can trust.

10. Available at short notice2022-07-08T02:48:22+10:00

It is never too late to contact our firm. We are prepared to drop everything to make sure you are well advised before finalising your court matter. Even if it is the day before or the day of court do not hesitate to contact us as we are here for you whenever you need us.

See what our clients say

Watling Roche Lawyers have gone above and beyond in my son’s criminal law matter. They have been very supportive, empathetic, professional and we are extremely pleased at the outcome they achieved. The entire time, we felt like they had everything under control. We highly recommend the entire team (especially Ryan Roche) to anyone in need of legal Assistance.

L. & S. Gough

I was treated with dignity and respect, there was always an update on my situation and Ryan Roche worked tirelessly to achieve an outcome which was beyond my expectations.

S. Leishman

We would like to share our thanks to Ryan – our Solicitor for a criminal matter which he dealt with on our behalf. We are very pleased with the outcome and the cost of the overall procedure. We would recommend the team from Watling Roche Lawyers to anyone who may need legal help for any reason.

W. Kennedy

I highly commend Ryan Roche for his professionalism and diligence. I had considered other solicitors before choosing Watling Roche Lawyers and glad I made the right decision for Ryan to handle my case from start to finish. As cliché as it may sound; Ryan has an excellent attention to detail. Further, Ryan answered all my calls/texts/emails promptly and was courteous throughout the process. Ryan settled my mind at ease for what was the most stressful time I have experienced. Ryan is a true advocate and I cannot thank him enough for his time, patience, respect and diligence throughout, what would have been an immensely intense/stressful time had I not sought/enlisted his services. Thank you Ryan.

J. Wong

I can’t thank Ryan enough, for his work with my partner’s case, I rang with little notice and he pulled it all together, even with last minute submissions from the prosecutor, he pulled off the best possible outcome for him. It wasn’t about the money for him because his fees were incredibly low considering others. He genuinely showed compassion and commitment above and beyond what he needed, I felt a lot less stressed knowing my partner had Ryan in his corner today. And I hope when I finish my law degree I can be even half the lawyer he is. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

L. Kachinski

Ryan provided great representation during the whole ordeal. I was never in the dark as to what was happening and he worked around my schedule, which was a huge help!

J. Sadler

Ryan Roche recently represented me for a traffic offence. From first contact to the final sentencing, I never felt once that I was in the dark or uninformed. I was always updated and appreciated all of the support and guidance Ryan provided. I would highly recommend Ryan!

M. Zipperer

Watling Roche Lawyers – Frequently Asked Questions

Will I lose my driver licence?2022-07-30T04:54:00+10:00

There are certain traffic offences where the court must cancel your licence for example:

  • Drink driving
  • Drug driving
  • Unlicensed driving (except simpliciter)
  • Disqualified driving
  • Dangerous driving

For other offences such as unlicensed driving (simplicitor – no suspension/disqualification at time of the offence) the Magistrate will decide in court whether or not to disqualify you from holding or obtaining a licence and prohibit you from driving.

Can police breathalyse me on private property?2022-07-30T04:46:50+10:00

Yes, police can breathalyse you anywhere under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.

Police can also breathalyse you at home after you have been driving if they reasonably suspect that during the previous 3 hours you were driving / attempting to drive / or in charge of a vehicle, if it was involved in an accident resulting in injury, death or damage to property.

Do police need a warrant to search my car?2022-07-30T04:44:35+10:00

No. A police officer can stop and search your car and anyone in it, if they reasonably suspect that there is something in the vehicle such as:

  • a weapon
  • a dangerous drug
  • stolen property
  • tools to break into houses or cars
  • something that you plan to use to hurt yourself or somebody else
  • evidence that someone has committed an indictable offence (and this evidence may be hidden or destroyed).

A police officer can also stop and search a vehicle:

  • to arrest someone in the vehicle
  • if they reasonably suspect the vehicle is being used unlawfully
  • if they reasonably suspect that the vehicle is being used by or is in the possession of a participant in a criminal organisation.
Do police need a warrant to search my home?2022-07-30T04:42:37+10:00

No. The police can enter and search your home without a warrant to:

  • prevent domestic violence
  • investigate traffic offences
  • catch someone who has escaped from prison or from being arrested
  • search for evidence if they reasonably suspect there is evidence that may otherwise be hidden or destroyed
  • arrest someone
  • reach a crime scene.
Can a police officer search me?2022-07-30T04:42:01+10:00

Yes. A police officer can search you but only if they reasonably suspect you may have:

  • a weapon
  • a dangerous drug
  • stolen property
  • tools to break into houses or cars
  • something that you plan to use to hurt yourself or somebody else
  • evidence that someone has committed an indictable offence (and this evidence may be hidden or destroyed).

A police officer can also stop and search you if they reasonably suspect you are in a criminal organisation.

Police have asked to interview me – will I be charged or arrested?2022-07-30T04:40:58+10:00

If you have been asked by police to give an interview you should seek legal advice immediately. Anything that you do say to a police officer can be used in evidence against you. You may feel like you must talk to the police to cooperate but keep in mind “you have the right to remain silent” which means it is your legal right not to answer any questions. If you give an interview and say the wrong thing it could lead to you being arrested or charged.

What are my rights?2022-07-06T07:51:46+10:00

Everyone has the right to live without fear of violence or abuse. The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 was created to give people legal protection from violent relationships. If you are experiencing violence in a relationship you can:

  • apply for a domestic violence order to help stop the violence
  • apply for an urgent temporary protection order
  • ask the police to press charges against the person being violent.
Can I change a domestic violence order?2022-07-06T07:43:27+10:00

The aggrieved (the person who the order is supposed to protect), the respondent (the person who has the order against them) or any other person named in the order can apply to vary (change) the domestic violence protection order. If the police have taken out the order they can oppose this. The aggrieved or the respondent can apply to change:

  • the order’s conditions
  • the people named in the order
  • the order’s length (to have it end sooner or make it longer).

The magistrate must consider:

  • the wishes of the aggrieved or any other person named on the order
  • whether the aggrieved or any other person named in the order may have been pressured
  • the safety, protection or wellbeing of the aggrieved or any other person named in the order.

The magistrate will only change the order if satisfied the aggrieved, or any other person named on the order, would not be adversely affected by the change.

Someone has taken out a domestic violence protection order against me, what do I do?2022-07-06T06:45:01+10:00

Follow the order or the notice, even if you do not agree with it. Read it carefully, and do not break (contravene) it. For example, you may be able to stay in the home, but must stop harassing, hurting or threatening the other person.

Get legal help. The conditions of an order or notice are serious and breaching a domestic violence order (including any temporary orders) is a criminal offence. If you are found guilty of breaching the protection order, you could face a fine, a term of imprisonment or both.

Go to court — an order can be made even if you don’t go.

Get support from family, friends or a support service.

Can I get a special hardship order?2022-07-06T06:14:01+10:00

If your licence is suspended but you need to keep driving, such as for work, you may be eligible to apply for a special hardship order.

To be eligible for a special hardship order, you must hold a Queensland provisional or open driver licence that has been suspended because you either:

  • gained 2 or more demerit points while driving under a period of good driving behaviour for 1 year
  • committed a high speed driving offence (more than 40km/h over the speed limit).

You must be able to prove:

  • extreme hardship to you or your family by depriving you of your means of earning a living
  • severe and unusual hardship to you or your family, other than by depriving you of your means of earning a living.

You are not eligible to apply for a special hardship order if, within the 5 years before your driver licence was suspended:

  • your Queensland driver licence was cancelled or suspended, including if you were granted a special hardship order
  • you were disqualified from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence
  • your authority to drive in Queensland on a non-Queensland driver licence was suspended
  • you were made ineligible to apply for a Queensland driver licence because you either
    • incurred excessive demerit points
    • were convicted of driving more than 40km/h over the speed limit while unlicensed
  • you were convicted of operating a vehicle dangerously.

There are further considerations and exceptions to the above information. You only get one chance at applying for a special hardship order and if you make any mistakes or leave out important information your application will fail. If in doubt, make sure you contact a lawyer before going to court.

Can I get a work licence?2022-07-06T06:14:32+10:00

You may be eligible for a work licence if:

  • you have been charged with drink driving, fail to provide a sample of breath at the roadside, or driving with a relevant drug in the blood or saliva (but not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or fail to provide a specimen of breath at the police station) and
  • you are going to plead guilty and are going to lose your driver licence and
  • you need your driver licence for work.

You must be going to plead guilty to one of the following offences:

  • drink driving
  • being in charge of a vehicle while over the limit
  • driving with cannabis, ecstasy or ice (these are referred to as a “relevant drug” in the legislation) in your saliva or blood
  • being in charge of a vehicle with a relevant drug in your saliva or blood
  • failing to supply a breath or saliva sample at the roadside (not at the police station).

To apply for a work licence you must also be able to tick all the boxes below:

  • You held a current Queensland open driver licence for the vehicle you were driving when you were caught for one of the above offences.
  • You had a blood alcohol concentration level of less than 0.15 percent when you were caught for one of the offences listed above.
  • You weren’t driving for your job or already under a work licence when you were caught for one of the offences listed listed above.
  • You weren’t driving under a licence that required your blood alcohol concentration to be zero when you were caught for one of the offences listed above, eg a learner licence or provisional licence.
  • You hold a current Queensland open driver licence when you apply for the work licence.
  • You haven’t been convicted anywhere of drink driving or a similar offence in the last five years.
  • You haven’t been convicted in Queensland of dangerous driving in the last five years.
  • You haven’t had your licence disqualified, suspended or cancelled in the last five years. (There are some exceptions to this, eg if the State Penalties Enforcement Registry suspended your licence because you didn’t pay your fine, or your licence was suspended for 24 hours after you were charged).
Will I go to jail?2022-07-06T06:16:57+10:00

Whether you will go to jail or not depends on a number of considerations i.e. the evidence against you, previous criminal/traffic history and seriousness of the offending etc.

A recent research report has found that the amount of jail sentences has increased in Queensland over a 14 year period from 2005-2019. In some courts, an actual jail sentence has been the most common type of penalty with up to 36.2 % of cases resulting in the defendant going to jail.

Further research has found that the rate of imprisonment in Queensland—the number of prisoners per head of population—has increased by 44 per cent between 2012 and 2018.

No matter what the charge is it is important that you seek legal advice before pleading guilty or not guilty in court as a potential jail sentence is not something to take lightly.

What happens at court?2022-07-06T06:17:32+10:00

The first court date is called the first mention and you will usually need to appear in the local Magistrates Court.

  1. The depositions clerk calls you and then calls ‘all rise’ as the magistrate enters and sits at the bench.
  2. The magistrate stands and reads out the charges against you.
  3. The magistrates asks you how you plead—guilty or not guilty.
  4. Either you or your defence lawyer stands and responds.
  5. For simple offences:
    1. You or your lawyer may ask for an adjournment for more time to consider a plea and set a date.
    2. You may plead guilty and the magistrate listens to submissions or information presented, then decides on a penalty.
    3. You may plead not guilty to a simple offence and the magistrate sets a summary hearing. (The magistrate may set other ‘mentions’ before the summary hearing to confirm each party is prepared.)
  6. For indictable offences:
    1. You may plead guilty to a minor indictable offence and the magistrate either decides the penalty then or sets a date for a sentence hearing.
    2. For other indictable offences, the magistrate sets a committal hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to send the defendant to trial in the Supreme or District Court.
Do I need a lawyer?2022-07-05T02:39:24+10:00

Being charged with an offence is extremely stressful and immediately raises the question of whether you need a lawyer. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no as everyone’s situation is different but legal representation is definitely an important consideration. Most law firms will charge you just to receive some basic legal advice regardless of whether you go ahead with legal representation. At Watling Roche Lawyers we will give you free initial advice so you can decide whether you want a lawyer to represent you before spending any money.

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