Threats made against government officials

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What are Threats made against government officials ?

Threatening to do harm is covered in the law by several offences including common assault and intimidation laws however if that threat relates to threats harm to a Commonwealth public official this is a specific offence.

The Law

Where an offence against justice is committed by a public official, the Court of Criminal Appeal has consistently held that the offender’s position is generally a significant matter in aggravation.

In Retsos v R [2006] NSWCCA 85 at [31], Sully J (with Howie and Simpson JJ agreeing) stated:

Any offence of, or ancillary to, corrupt conduct on the part of any public official should be denounced plainly and punished condignly.

What must the prosecution prove?

Since Threats made against Government Officials offence is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove each of the elements in the charge beyond reasonable doubt.

That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Threats made against Government Officials.

To establish Threats made against Government Officials, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt;

  • The prosecution needs to show that you threatened to cause serious harm to the public official or a third person.

They will also need to be able to prove that you intended the person who was being threatened to genuinely believe that the threat would be carried out, or you were reckless as to whether or not they would have reason to believe the threat would be carried out.

If you are charged with the offence of Threats made against Government Officials what are your options?

National Criminal Lawyers have been successful in defending a number of Threats made against Government Officials charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements of Threats made against Government Officials.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Threats made against Government Officials;

  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negotiate with prosecutors (police or DPP) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) to request that the charge is withdrawn, downgraded or fact sheets amended;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

Threatening harm to a Commonwealth public official can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years (if heard in the Local Court) or up to 9 years (If heard in the District Court).

Please note these penalties are reserved for the worst kind of offending and are 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 defence lawyers.

National Criminal Lawyers have defended numerous people charged with Threats made against Government Officials and are experts at these hearings.

Defences

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Threats made against Government Officials can include;

  • 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”; Or
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”.

Possible Penalty's

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Threats made against Government Officials charge.

  • Prison sentence;
  • Home Detention;
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention);
  • Suspended sentence;
  • Community service order (CSO);
  • Good behaviour bond;
  • Fine; and/or
  • 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 and/or
  • New Conditional release Order (CRO)

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 Threats made against Government Officials 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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