Criminal Law

Affray and Assault Police - Charges Withdrawn

Charges: Affray; pursuant to section 93C(1) of the Crimes Act 1900. Assault police; pursuant to section 58 of the Crimes Act 1900. Assault police and occasion actual bodily harm; pursuant to section 60(2) of the Crimes Act 1900. Intimidate police; pursuant to section 60(1) of the Crimes Act 1900. Several additional charges.

Penalties: The maximum penalty for Affray is a term of imprisonment for 10 years. The maximum penalty for Assault police is a term of imprisonment for 5 years.

The maximum penalty for Assault police occasioning ABH is a term of imprisonment for 7 years. The maximum penalty for Intimidate police is a term of imprisonment for 5 years.

Case Summary: Our client was originally charged with 16 separate charges including: Affray; 5 x intimidate police; 4 x assault police; and assault police officer occasioning actual bodily harm. The Affray charge included allegations of a street brawl. The Intimidate police charges included allegations of threats to a police officer’s life and the lives of his family members.

In addition to police witnesses, there were a number of civilian witnesses who were able to provide video recording of some of the incidents taken on their mobile phones. CCTV footage was also available.

Alcohol was a significant factor in our client’s alleged offending conduct. Alcohol fuelled violence is treated very seriously by the Courts and accordingly, we advised our client that a gaol sentence was a likely outcome if he was to be found guilty and sentenced on the facts and charges as they were initially alleged by police.

Our client accepted our advice to defend the charges and entered pleas of "not guilty" to all charges.

After receiving the brief of evidence, our expert criminal lawyer analysed the evidence and, applying a detailed knowledge of the law and criminal practice, set about to persuade the police to withdraw the most serious charges. If successful, this would mean that our client would save thousands of dollars and also, eliminate the inherent risk of defending the charges in Court.

Prime Lawyers therefore made details, written submissions to the police and provided a strong argument for why the police would have difficulty relying on certain evidence and pointing out the weaknesses in the police case. After a number of weeks of negotiation, our criminal lawyer was able to persuade the police to withdraw 14 of the charges in exchange for a plea of guilty to the two remaining charges and one additional charge of resist police. 

Therefore, our client entered pleas of guilty to the following charges: use offensive language in a public place; resist police; and a single charge of intimidate police, and all other charges were withdrawn and dismissed.

Prior to our client being sentenced, Prime Lawyers then made an Application under s32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990. This was an application requesting that the Court find that our client was suffering from a mental condition and as a result, argued that it was preferable to dismiss the charges on the condition that he undertake treatment from his treating psychologist.

Result: After preparing evidence carefully in support of our section 32 Application and making lengthy submissions to the Magistrate on the subject, our criminal lawyer was able to convince the presiding Magistrate to agree to dismiss the remaining three charges under s32 in accordance with our request.

Our client was not convicted of any charges and did not receive a criminal record for these matters. Considering that he started out facing 16 charges, with a likelihood of a gaol sentence if being found "guilty" of the more serious charges, it goes without saying that our client was very pleased.

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