Throwing rocks & other objects on vehicles or vessels

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What is Throwing rocks & other objects on vehicles or vessels ?

If a person intentionally throws an object at, or drops an object on or towards, a vehicle or vessel that is on any road, railway or navigable waters, and there is a person in the vehicle or vessel, and the conduct risks the safety of any person that person will be guilty of an offence.

Case law/Jurisdiction

The offence of Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels is what is known as a Table 2 offence under the relevant legislation, which means it 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).

The Law

Per s 49(a) of the Crimes Act-1900 (NSW) a person is guilty of an offence if:

(a) the person intentionally throws an object at, or drops an object on or towards, a vehicle or vessel that is on any road, railway or navigable waters, and

(b) there is a person in the vehicle or vessel, and

(c) the conduct risks the safety of any person.

What must the prosecution prove?

Since Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels 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 Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels

To establish Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You intentionally throw an object at, or drop an object on or towards, a vehicle or vessel that is on any road, railway or navigable waters; and
  • There is a person in the vehicle or vessel; and
  • The conduct risks the safety of any person.

If you are charged with the offence of Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels what are your options?

National Criminal Lawyers have been successful in defending a number of Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels charges where the prosecution could not establish each of the elements of Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels. We have also achieved a number of non-convictions for Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels charges.

NCL offer the following options for those who have been charged with Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels:

  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

Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years (if heard in the Local Court) or up to 5 years (If heard in the District Court).

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 Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels and are experts at these hearings.

Defences

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels 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”.
  • 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 Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels 11% of offenders received a full-time prison sentence whereas 45% received a good behaviour bond.

Possible Penalty's

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Throwing Rocks & Other Objects on Vehicles or Vessels 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 involved in an argument with his flatmate. The flatmate started punching him and then got in his car. Our client stood on the road and his flatmate tried to run him over, so our client threw a large rock at the vehicle in self-defence. The Magistrate determined that our client had indeed acted in self-defence against the flatmate and therefore was not guilty of the offence as charged. The charge was dismissed against him.

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 Throwing Rocks 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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