Use Carriage Service To Threaten – s 474.15, 474.16 and 474.17 Criminal Code Act 1995
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Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You will be found guilty to the charge of using a carriage service to threaten, harass or hoax threat, only if the police can prove each of the elements under any one of the following 3 different charges to this kind of offence.
If charged with using carriage service to make threat to kill or cause serious harm
- You used a carriage service such as mobile phone, email or computer using social media to make a threat to kill a person or cause serious harm, and
- You intended to cause fear, or you were aware that, in the ordinary course of events from your threat, the person will fear that your threat will be carried out
It is not necessary to prove that the person actually feared the threat will be carried out
If charged with using carriage service to harass, menace or offend
- You used a carriage service, i.e. mobile phone, email, social media via computer, and
- You did it in a way that reasonable people would consider harassing, menacing or offensive in the circumstances. An experienced lawyer will need to carefully look into the evidence to determine this.
If charged with using carriage service to make hoax threat
- You used a carriage service i.e. Mobile phone, email, social media, computer, to send a message; and
- You did so, with intention to cause a false belief that a dangerous, explosive or harmful thing or substance has been or will be left in any place
You will be found Not Guilty if any one of the above elements of your charge are not proven by police beyond reasonable doubt.
Defences to this charge
You will be found not guilty and your charge dismissed if any one of the following defences apply to your case.
- Involuntary conduct: Your conduct in sending the message or communication was not voluntary: for example, your actions were done during your sleep or while unconscious or impaired consciousness where you were unable to control your actions.
- Intoxication: Where you were intoxicated from alcohol or drugs at the time, in circumstances you did not voluntarily consume the alcohol or drug, causing your involuntary conduct.
- Mental impairment: you were suffering from a mental condition at the time that caused you to not know the wrongness of your actions, or it prevented you from knowing the nature and quality of your actions.
- You are a child under 10 years of age.
- You are more than 10 years but less than 14 years of age, and you did not know that your conduct was wrong at the time.
- Duress or force.
- Self defence: where you did what you did because you believed it was necessary to protect yourself, someone else or your property from harm, provided your response was reasonable in the circumstances perceived by you at the time.
Speak to one of our senior defence lawyers for realistic and practical advice on whether you have a real defence available, how strong your defence is, and how to begin preparing to strengthen your best defence to prove your innocence.
Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation.
If pleading guilty, speak to an experienced specialist criminal lawyer before you plead guilty. It’s critical to get expert advice and guidance on how to best prepare your case to maximise your chances at avoiding a criminal record, and powerfully presenting your case to the Judge.
25% discount on punishment
Pleading guilty early in your case for a using carriage service to threaten, harass or menace charge can allow the Judge to give you a discount of up to 25% from your punishment resulting in a more lenient outcome in court.
Pleading guilty can also be seen as a reflection of your remorse and contrition, allowing a further reduction in your punishment. It’s important to get early experienced advice from a senior specialist criminal lawyer to ensure you don’t miss out on this discount to maximise your chances of avoiding a criminal record.
Good character references
A good character reference can be a letter from a family member, friend, charity, employer, colleague, and even an apology letter from you expressing your good character, remorse, contrition, and insight into your actions. Expressing these things can allow the Judge to reduce your punishment, resulting in a much better court outcome, including a non conviction.
A character reference letter from your employer can express the effect of a conviction on your job and travel, allowing the Judge to consider not recording a conviction against you. Whatever your situation, our senior lawyers will guide you through the process.
Negotiate to drop charges
The charge of using carriage service to threaten, menace or harass can, and surprisingly does get dropped at the early stages of the case, resulting in an exceptional outcome. Our senior lawyers have successfully achieved this countless times for over 20 years by strategically approaching the police, pointing out all the holes in their evidence, and finally convicting them to drop the charges.
Its important to try this avenue first by getting a highly experienced specialist criminal defence lawyer to carefully read through the police evidence, and give you realistic, practical advice before you formally plea guilty.
The police facts is a document the Judge reads, expressing what you did, how you did it. It’s drafted by police and is often one sided, putting you in the worst possible light for the Judge to read. This often results in a heavier punishment than what you should get, but you can object to this.
By analysing the police evidence carefully, picking out all the holes in it, and then tactfully approaching police to negotiate the police facts, you can change the police facts to reflect what really happened, and how it happened. This is likely to paint you in a much better light to the Judge, who will likely give you a much more lenient punishment with greater chances of avoiding a conviction.
A powerful court report from an experienced and respected psychologist or psychiatrist can significantly improve your chances of avoiding a criminal record with a much better outcome in court. To maximise your chances of achieving this, it’s important to get a report from the right psychologist, expressing any mental condition you were suffering at the time, your remorse and insight.
Our team of senior lawyers have a hand selected number of one of the best psychologists and psychiatrists in Australia. The best one will be chosen for your case, reflecting you in the best possible light to the Judge reading it.
While the legislation expresses the maximum punishments for these offences, the Judges rarely ever give the maximum, as it’s reserved only for the most serious cases often for offenders with lengthy criminal records.
The maximum punishment for a charge of using carriage service for a hoax threat is up to 10 years imprisonment
The maximum punishment for a charge of using carriage service to make a threat to kill is up to 10 years imprisonment
The maximum punishment for a charge of using carriage service to make a threat to cause serious harm is up to 7 years imprisonment.
Types of penalties
After considering all the above mentioned factors in preparation to your case, the Judge will decide on giving you any one of the following types of different punishments.
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Conditional Release Order
- Community Correction Order
- Intensive Correction Order
- Full Time Imprisonment
It’s critical to speak to a highly experienced specialist criminal defence lawyer for guidance on the best way to maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome, including a non conviction. For a first free consultation, speak to our Sydney team of senior lawyers now by calling (02) 8606 2218.