What is Perverting the course of justice ?

Perverting the course of justice is an offence committed when a person prevents justice from being served on him/herself or on another party. Allegations involving perjury or perverting the course of justice are extremely serious and need immediate and robust defence.

Some example of perverting the course of justice include

  • Giving a false account of a crime to the police resulting in police wasting time in their investigations;
  • Encouraging or bribing someone to plead guilty to an offence they did not commit;
  • Asking someone to provide a false alibi and/or

A doctor giving a false medical certificate for an adjournment to be obtained in court.

Case law/Jurisdiction
The nature and elements of the offence of perverting the course of justice were considered in R v Manley [1933] 1 KB 529. In this case the appellant had falsely alleged that she had been robbed by a man whose description she gave to the police. It was the description of an imaginary man. She was convicted of unlawfully effecting a public mischief.

What must the prosecution prove?

Since perverting the course of justice is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of perverting the course of justice.

To establish perverting the course of justice the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you did any act or made any omission;

With intent in any way to pervert the course of justice.

The Law

The offence of Perverting the Course of Justice is contained in section 319 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which states:

A person who does any act, or makes any omission, intending in any way to pervert the course of justice, is liable to imprisonment for 14 years

If you are charged with the offence of perverting the course of justice what are your options?

National Criminal Lawyers have been successful in defending a number of perverting the course of justice charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements of perverting the course of justice. We have also achieved a number of non-convictions for perverting the course of justice charges.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with perverting the course of justice:

  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.

Fequently Asked Questions

Why National Criminal Lawyers?

There are three reasons to choose National Criminal Lawyers:

1. Your best chance to get the result you’re after

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. How a Senior Defence Lawyer Can Help You Deal With Criminal Charges

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 perverting the course of justice 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.

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