Stalk-Intimidate

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What is Stalk-Intimidate ?

Stalk/intimidate occurs when a person stalks or intimidates another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm is guilty of an offence.

Examples of stalk intimidate include

  • Constantly calling, texting or Facebook messaging someone
  • Making a threat to a person or their family
  • Repeatedly attending a person’s home or work

Case law/Jurisdiction

An offence of Stalk/intimidate is to be dealt with in the Local Court unless an election is made for trial on indictment by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Intimidation is defined as being one of the following:

  • Harassment or molestation
  • Contact with a person that causes the recipient to fear for his or her safety
  • Conduct that causes the recipient to fear for their safety or the safety of their family or partner

Whereas Stalking is defined to include

following a person or approaching or attending a person’s home or place of work, or any other place they attend regularly

The Law

The offence of intimidation or stalking is contained in section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW). It reads as follows:

A person who stalks or intimidates another person with the intention of causing the other person to fear physical or mental harm is guilty of an offence.

What must the prosecution prove?

Since Stalk-Intimidate 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 Stalk-Intimidate

To establish Stalk-Intimidate, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

Intimidation

  • You intimidated someone
  • You did so intending that person to fear physical or mental harm

Stalking

  • You stalked someone
  • You did so intending that person to fear physical or mental harm

If you are charged with the offence of Stalk-Intimidate what are your options?

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

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Stalk-Intimidate:

  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 at increasing the chances of obtaining a non-conviction or section 10.

Maximum Penalties

Stalk-Intimidate can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $ 5500. Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you 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 defence lawyers.

National Criminal Lawyers have defended thousands of people charged with Stalk-Intimidate and are experts at these hearings.

Defences

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Stalk-Intimidate can include:

  • Duress-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”
  • Necessity – If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of-Necessity; or
  • Self-defence – If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence” even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there “No duties or need to retreat”.

Statistics

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 [2011] 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 Stalk-Intimidate offenders 15% of offenders received a full-time prison sentence whereas 51% received a good behaviour bond.

Possible Penalty's

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Stalk-Intimidate charge.

  • Prison sentence
  • Home Detention
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention)
  • Suspended sentence
  • Community service order (CSO)
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Fine
  • Section 10

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)
  • Fine
  • New Conditional release Order (CRO)

Case Studies

Our client was charged with stalk/intimidate against a neighbour. In Court we argued that the neighbour had provoked the incident and had been the threatening party during the course of the interaction. Our client’s case was heard before the Local Court over 1 day. The court was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the alleged events had in fact occurred given the large number of inconsistencies between the witnesses during cross-examination. Our client was therefore acquitted of all charges.

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 Stalk/Intimidate 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.
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