Any person who assaults, stalks, harasses or intimidates a Police Officer is guilty of a criminal offence as stated in section 60 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). This act clearly defines many activities which may constitute an assault charge against a Police Officer.
Typically, an assault Police charge will occur in circumstances where a degree of force was used against a Police Officer on duty, which may or may not cause injury. However, the Crimes Act also states that individuals are liable to assault charges even if the Police Officer is not on duty at the time of the attack in certain circumstance. These circumstances include situations where the assault occurred as a consequence of or in retaliation to action taken by a Police Officer during the execution of their duty, or if the assault occurred merely because the individual is a Police Officer.
Assaulting a Police Officer is considered a very serious charge with little leniency from the Court. As there are many activities outlined in the Crimes Act 1900, many penalties may be enforced with the maximum penalty being 12 months imprisonment.
As there are many activities against Police officers that could result in an assault charge, there are many penalties that may be enforced. If the matter is dealt with in a Local Court, the maximum penalty is imprisonment of up to 2 years, and/or a fine of up to $5,500.00. However, if the matter is more serious in nature and is elected to be heard by either yourself or the CDPP (Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions), the matter will go before a District Court.
If this is the case, you may be liable to harsher penalties as set out in the Crimes Act 1990. This act states that:
- Any person who assaults, stalks, harasses or intimidates a police officer while in the execution of the officer’s duty, although no actual bodily harm is occasioned to the officer, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
- Any person who assaults a police offer while in the execution of the officer’s duty, and by the assault occasions actual bodily harm, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
- Any person who maliciously by any means:
- Wounds a police officer, or
- Inflicts grievous bodily harm on a police officer, while in the execution of the officer’s duty is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.
Due to the serious nature of such a crime, it is important to understand that the Court will rarely show leniency in terms of sentencing if you plead guilty or are found guilty of the assault charge. You should also be aware that statistics show 14% of people who plead guilty or are found guilty of assaulting a police officer receive full-time gaol sentences.
If you choose to agree and plead guilty to assault Police charges made against you, and the prosecution team is able to prove that you did commit the offence as set out in section 60 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) it is likely that you will face the penalties listed above. Assault charges against Police Officers are taken very seriously in the judiciary system, with 14% of offenders receiving full-time imprisonment.
However, as there are many actions which may warrant an assault charge against a Police officer, it is best to schedule a consultation with our expert criminal lawyers based in Parramatta and Sydney CBD.
If you decide to plead not guilty to assault charges against a Police Officer, the prosecution will need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the assault as set out by section 60 of the Crimes Act 1900. If this allegation is successfully proven it is likely that you will be convicted. However, adequate representation from our Sydney based assault lawyers may achieve more favourable outcomes if we are successfully able to negate the claims based on the below defences.
Alternatively, if prosecutors are unable to successfully the allegations against you, no convictions will be recorded.
At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we are Sydney based assault lawyers with years of experience in assisting clients with assault-related charges. Some of the criminal defences that may be used to dismiss the allegations include:
Self-Defence: If accepted by the Court, a person isn’t responsible for the offence because they were defending themselves, or another person. When self-defence is raised, it is for the prosecution to prove that the person who was accused wasn’t acting in self-defence.
Duress: Involves the use of harmful threats that depict death or grievous bodily harm which may coerce the accused to partake in illegal activities that they would not have if the threats had not been made.
Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the allegation, matters will be heard at various Courts in NSW. For example, offences listed under section 60, subsection 1 and 2 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) are classified as table 1 and 2 offences and are therefore typically dealt with at Local Courts. In some circumstances, the prosecution may elect that the matter is to be heard at a District Court where harsher penalties are generally granted.
However, offences listed under subsection 3 of the same section are classified as indictable offences in which the matter will be heard by a District or Supreme Court.
As leading criminal defence lawyers, Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders has extensive experience in representing clients at various Court locations throughout NSW. We will be able to advise you on the relevant Court that you will need to attend during your case.