Don’t waste police time.

Public Mischief and the boys who cried wolf

By National Criminal Lawyers

Most of us like a good prank but when does a prank become criminal conduct? Well one 27-year-old man may soon find out after he ordered an Uber to a unit complex on Oxley Road, Sherwood in Brisbane’s south at 9.30pm yesterday and “attempted to put what the driver believed was a body in the boot of the car”. To read the full article click here. 

The uber driver was scared,  decamped from the scene and contacted police.

When police arrived on the scene they found what appeared to be blood and began an investigation into a possible abduction or murder.

After throwing considerable resources at the investigation, the crime was revealed to be a prank around midday. 

In relation to the incident Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said:

“We will be alleging that clothing was stuffed in a way to create the illusion that there was in fact a body,”

 “We will be exploring whether there’s a breach of the law in terms of false representation being made to police to cause a police investigation.”


The law

Public Mischief is an offence pursuant to section 547B of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The charge includes anyone who makes false statements to police about an act that has already occurred or will occur in the future.

One may also be charged if a statement was made to a third-party who as a result passes this information on the police. Lying to the police resulting in an investigation is also a criminal offence and referred to as public mischief.



Upon conviction in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500.


The chasers prank


 Another prank which resulted in charges (which were later withdrawn) is the Chaser APEC pranks.

These were a series of comic stunts that targeted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit (2–9 September 2007) coordinated and performed by the Australian satire group The Chaser for the television series The Chaser’s War on Everything.

If you agree that you have committed a public mischief offence and the police are able to prove so than sometimes it is best to plead guilty at an early opportunity to receive the maximum discount. The early guilty plea shows the Court that you have remorse and contrition for your actions.

If you decide to plead not guilty you will need to prepare to go to a Defended Hearing. National Criminal Lawyers are experts at these hearings and can advise you on what the police must prove beyond reasonable doubt.


Possible defences

 You may also have one or more of the following defences which are available-at-law:  

  • Alibi
  • Defences
  • Duress; and
  • Necessity



 For public Mischief offences 47% of persons who were sentenced received a s9 good behaviour bond whereas 28% received a fine.

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 the charges withdrawn AND/OR obtaining the least restrictive penalty available. This is because no matter which option you choose Options at Law you will be dealing with experienced staff 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.

  1. We give a Senior Defence Lawyer guarantee

No matter which option 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.

  1. 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 public mischief offence our Team and National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favorable outcomes.

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

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