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What is Terrorism ?

A person commits an offence punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment, if the person engages in a terrorist act (Section 101.1 Criminal Code 1995 (CTH). For more information please see visit this page

What is a terrorist act?

A terrorist act is defined as “an act or a threat to act that intends to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause AND that causes any of the following:

  • Death, serious harm or danger to a person;
  • Serious damage to property;
  • A serious risk to the health or safety of the public; and/pr
  • Serious interference with, disruption to, or destruction of critical infrastructure such as a telecommunications or electricity network.”

The Criminal Code also now includes an array of terrorism offences consisting of:

  • Acts preparatory to a terrorist act, including directing the activities of a terrorist organisation (Section 102.2),
  • Being a member of a terrorist organisation (Section 102.3), and
  • Providing support for a terrorist organisation (Section 102.7).

The 2002 amendments also gave the government the power to list an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it advocates terrorism by counselling or urging the commission of terrorist acts, providing training on conducting terrorist acts, or praising the commission of terrorist acts in a context where the praise could lead a person to engage in a terrorist act.

Some terrorism offences impose a legal burden on the defendant. For the offence of membership of a terrorist organisation, it is a defence to prove that the defendant took reasonable steps to cease to be a member of a terrorist organisation as soon as practicable after the person knew that the organisation was a terrorist organisation.

Section 102.6 creates the offence of getting funds to, from, or for a terrorist organisation. A person will not commit an offence if he or she proves that the funds were received solely for the purpose of the provision of legal representation for a person in proceedings relating to terrorist organisation offences or assisting the organisation to comply with Australian law.

Introduction of Control Orders and Preventative Detention

In 2005, the Criminal Code was again amended to introduce Control Orders and Preventative Detention Orders. Control Orders are orders to restrict the liberty of an individual for the purpose of protecting the public from a risk of terrorism. Restrictions imposed by courts as part of a control order can include electronic tagging, curfews, house arrest, restrictions on associating with certain people and reporting requirements. In 2016, the legislation governing control orders was extended to children aged 14 and older.

Also introduced in 2005, Preventative Detention Orders (PDOs) allow for a person to be detained for up to 48 hours in order to prevent a terrorist act from occurring or to preserve evidence relating to a recent terrorist act (Section 105.1). PDOS can be made in relation to persons over the age of 16.

High Risk Terrorism Offenders

In 2016, the Criminal Code was further amended to establish a scheme for the continued detention of high risk terrorist offenders who are assessed by a judge as posing an unacceptable risk of committing further terrorism offences at the end of their prison sentence. Amendments were also made to the Surveillance Devices Act and the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act to facilitate this scheme.

If You are Charged With The Offence Of Terrorism What Are Your Options?

National Criminal Lawyers are the best Criminal Defence Lawyers Sydney and greatest Sydney has to offer.

We have been recognised as one of the top 6 Criminal Law firms in Australia for our High Profile Criminal Lawyers.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Terrorism;

  1. We will negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;
  2. NCL will Plead Not Guilty and go to hearing/trial and persuade the Court that prosecution has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt;
  3. Plead guilty to the elements of the charge and then dispute the facts (at a special “disputed facts” hearing) with the view of having you sentenced less harshly; and/or
  4. Plead guilty with full acceptance of the facts as set out by the police and make strong submissions on your behalf requesting that the Court not record a criminal conviction.

Pleading Guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence and the police are able to prove all the elements of the offence, it is best to plead guilty at an early opportunity to receive the maximum discount. Currently the maximum discount available for an early plea of guilty is 25% of the sentence.

Furthermore, the early guilty plea shows the Court that you have remorse and contrition for your actions.

Our Lawyers at National Criminal Lawyers work closely with you to ensure that we obtain all necessary paper work to get you the best result.

Maximum Penalties

Terrorism offences can be punished up to life imprisonment.

Please note this penalty is reserved for the worst kind of offending and may be unlikely to be what you would receive.

Pleading Not Guilty

If you decide to plead not guilty you will need to prepare to go to a Defended Hearing.
A defended hearing is where all the witnesses of that case are called to give evidence. The witnesses are both examined by the prosecution and tested by your Criminal defence lawyers.
National Criminal Lawyers have defended people charged with Terrorism and are experts at these hearings.
Don’t bother wasting your time searching for “Criminal Lawyers Near Me” and stick with the firm that provide the best Australian Criminal Lawyers and Best Results Lawyers.


Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Terrorism can include;

  • Automatism;
  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”.
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of Self-Defence. Many people misunderstand what the limits of Self-defence can be. Most think it is simply outlined in section 418 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), however, there is lawful authority to argue self-defence even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there “No duties or need to retreat”.

For more information about defences at law, please visit our dedicated defences page.

Possible Penalty's

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Terrorism charge.

  • Prison sentence;
  • Home Detention;
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention);
  • Suspended sentence;

However, from the 24 September 2018 new penalty’s will be replacing the above. They are as follows:

  • Full time Imprisonment;
  • New ICO (ICO) with a home detention condition available;
  • New Community Correction Order (CCO);

For more information about Penalties a NSW Court can impose, please visit our dedicated penalties page.

Why National Criminal Lawyers?

There are three reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

1. We get the results

We are the experts in either beating or having criminal charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available. This is because no matter which option you choose within our tailored Options at Law you will be dealing with experienced criminal lawyers who can make sure the evidence is not only obtained properly but also that your case is prepared and presented to the highest best practice standards possible. This is also done without breaking your pocket.

2. We give a Senior Defence Lawyer guarantee

No matter which option at law you choose, National Criminal Lawyers can guarantee that a Senior Defence Lawyer will represent you. This means that with our over 25 years of Combined criminal law experience you will get the best result possible.

3. National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights

At National Criminal Lawyers we know that Criminal Law is a matter of Human Rights. For this reason, we take pride and passion in representing our clients. This pride and passion to assist those charged with an alleged or actual breach of the criminal law is to us a matter of righteous necessity and in that sense, you can always rest assured that National Criminal Lawyers are the best defenders of your rights. This true not only when the police have just simply got it wrong OR if they have got it right then we can speak with you and make sure you get you the best result available.

If you have been charged with any Terrorism offence our Team at National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes.

Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.au for more information about your options.

Book your first free appointment with National Criminal lawyers now.
CONTACT US! 02 9893 1889

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