Criminal Offences

Act of Indecency

According to section 61N of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) acts of indecency is a criminal offence and guilty individuals will be liable to punishment before the Court. In fact, the Act states that:

  1. Any person who commits an act of indecent with or towards a person under the age of 16 years, or incites a person under the age to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.
  2. Any person who commits an act of indecency with or towards a person of the age of 16 or above, or incites of the age of 16 years or above to an act of indecency with or towards that or another person, is liable to imprisonment for 18 months.

To best understand the offence, it is vital to understand what the Court deems as indecent acts. Acts of indecency are defined as any act that right-minded individuals would find socially unacceptable and irresponsible. Acts of indecency are also different to the more serious charge of indecent assault, whereby acts of indecency are characters as any offensive actions. These actions do not necessarily need to performed on a victim, simply witnessing an event constitutes the charge relating to act of indecency. Meanwhile indecent assault is characterised as offensive actions that causes fear or harm to another individual. This harm is not exclusive to physical harm, rather threats and intimidation are sufficient enough to constitute an indecent assault.

If you or someone you know has been charged with acts of indecency, it is advised to seek legal representation immediately. At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we are home to some of Sydney’s best criminal defence lawyers. Contact our team now for a FREE first consultation.

PENALTIES

As seen in section 61N of the Crimes Act 1900, there are a variety of penalties that could be imposed for charges of indecent acts, which are dependant on the circumstances surrounding the offence.

First and foremost, offenders who have been found guilty relating an act of indecency with or towards a person under the age of 16, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment. Meanwhile, if acts of indecency have been committed towards or with a person above the age of 16, the maximum penalty that the Court can impose is imprisonment of 18 months. It is important to also know that if the matter is dealt with in the Local Court, the maximum penalty that the Court can enforce is a sentence of 12 months imprisonment and/or 20 penalty units which equates to a fine of $2,200.

However, it is also important to remember that the Court has the ability to impose other penalties, should they be more appropriate. Upon considering the nature of the offence, past criminal history and personal circumstances, a Court may find that penalties such as home detention, intensive correction orders, suspended sentences, community service orders, good behaviour bonds or fines may be more appropriate. The Court also has the ability to deal with matters may the means of a section 10, whereby no conviction is recorded, however, this is typically rewarded for petty offences and first time offenders.

If you have been charged with acts of indecency, do not hesitate to schedule a FREE first consultation with our expert criminal defence lawyers where we will be able to provide more specific advice in relation to the penalties that could be incurred.

GUILTY

In order to be found guilty of committing an indecent act the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  • That you did an act that a right minded person would consider indecent to another person, or
  • You encouraged another person to commit the indecent act
  • The indecent act was done towards another person
  • The victim did not consent

The prosecution must also establish the age of the individual, as this could impact sentencing if found guilty.

If you tend agree with these claims, you may enter a guilt plea in which you will be convicted and are likely to receive any of the above penalties could be incurred. While a guilty plea means that you could be facing the maximum penalty, it often shows remorse and regret for your actions, in which the Court may discount the sentence by reducing the length of imprisonment or enforcing an alternative penalty. This is not always the case and heavily depends on the nature of the crime, past criminal convictions and personal circumstances.

If you or somebody you know has been charged with acts of indecency, it is advised to contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer immediately.

As some of Sydney’s best criminal lawyers with success in defending similar cases, call us for a FREE first consultation for the most accurate and appropriate advice.

NOT GUILTY

Should you plead not guilty to the charges relating to an act of indecency, the prosecution will have to establish and prove that you did in fact commit the crime as per section 61N of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). If the prosecution is unable to prove that you were involved in the offence, beyond a reasonable doubt, you will not be penalised with act of indecency charges.

However, if the prosecution is able to prove these facts, a conviction is likely to follow unless the following defences can be clearly argued by either yourself or a well prepared and experienced criminal defence lawyer.

THE DEFENCE

There are numerous defence strategies that our criminal defence lawyers may use in order achieve the best results for our clients. Some of the below defences provide a complete defence against manslaughter, in which the charges will be dropped entirely. Other defences are referred to as a partial defence, in which less severe penalties will be imposed or the charge will be reduced to one that has less severe consequences. For the charge relating to acts of indecency, the defence strategies our criminal lawyers may use include:

Duress: Includes situations where the accused has received threats that pressured them to committing the criminal activity. It must be stipulated that the accused would have not usually acted in such a manner if the threats were not present, however the threat was so great that they believe if the criminal act was not committed, the threat would have taken place. Examples of harmful threats that may coerce and individual include death or grievous bodily harm.

Actual Innocence: A claim innocence is not sufficient enough to negate the claims of sexual assault. If evidence can be provided that proves that you were not involved in the offence, such as CCTV footage of you being at an alternative location when the offence took place, reasonable doubt will be cast on the allegations, in which you will be found not guilty.

WHICH COURT?

Acts of indecency are referred to as a table 2 offence in which the matter is typically dealt with in the Local Court Local Court. In some instance, either yourself of the prosecution have the ability to elect that the matter should be heard at the District Court, however the maximum penalties are more serious.

At Benjamin Leonardo – The Defenders, we have extensive experience in representing clients at Local, District and Supreme Courts. Regardless of where you matter is dealt with, you can be confident that our criminal defence lawyers are highly committed, dedicated and proficient to handle your case.

If you or someone you know is facing charges relating to acts of indecency, call our expert team now for your FREE first consultation.