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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
A doctor giving a false medical certificate for an adjournment to be obtained in court.
The nature and elements of the offence of perverting the course of justice were considered in R v Manley  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.
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
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:
With intent in any way to pervert the course of justice.
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:
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 at increasing the chances of obtaining a non-conviction or section 10.
Perverting the course of justice can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.
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 defence lawyers.
National Criminal Lawyers have defended numerous people charged with Participating in a criminal group and are experts at these hearings.
Some of the possible defences available for those charged with perverting the course of justice can include:
The Courts are not bound by statistics however there must be reasonable consistency in sentences. A Magistrate or Judge should have regard to what has been done in other cases. In Green  HCA 45, the plurity judgement of French CJ, Kiefel and Creennan JJ stated:
“Equal Justice” embodies the norm expressed in the terms “equality before the law”. It is an aspect of the rule of law.
For Perverting the course of justice 75% of offenders received a full-time prison sentence whereas 25% received a suspended prison sentence.
In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Participating in a criminal group charge.
However, from the 24 September 2018 new penalty’s will be replacing the above. They are as follows:
Our client was in possession of a fishing spear-gun and accidentally shot himself. Police and ambulance were called to the scene, where the client told them that he had been shot with a spear-gun by an unknown person. He then signed a sworn statement to this effect, which triggered a police investigation. Eventually it was revealed that there was no shooter and the client had fabricated the story. He was charged with perverting the course of justice. After lengthy negotiations with the Prosecution, a plea deal was struck whereby the client would plead guilty to making a false report to police and the prosecution withdrew the more serious perverting course of justice charge.
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.
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.
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.