Interfering with Police officers in the execution of their duties is viewed seriously by the Courts. This is because the Police often place themselves in dangerous situations in their effort to protect the community. As a result, Courts consider their options very carefully when sentencing these offences. If you believe you have been wrongly charged with an offence against the Police, you should have your case assessed by an experienced criminal lawyer to see where you stand.
What are examples of resisting/hindering?
- Lying to Police officers;
- Struggling against a Police officer trying to handcuff you following an arrest;
- Encourage someone to throw something at a Police officer;
- Encouraging someone else to struggle against an officer or run away from them;
- Spitting at Police officers;
- Blocking Police from accessing a particular area they seek to access.
What must be proven?
The Prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to establish a finding of guilt against you:
- That you resisted/hindered (or encouraged someone else to do the same) a Police officer;
- That the person was, in fact, a Police officer of the NSW Police, and;
- The person was carrying out their duties as a Police officer at the time of the alleged offence.
What does ‘hinder’ mean?
Hinder has been taken to mean something less than “preventing”. It involves making the Police officer’s job more difficult, though not impossible.
What does ‘resist’ mean?
Resist is the idea of opposing by force some course of action which the Police officer is attempting to pursue.
What are the applicable penalties?
The maximum term of imprisonment is 12 months and/or a fine of $1,100.
Assault, Stalk or Intimidate Police
Assaulting a Police officer can occur in various forms ranging from punching, using threatening words, or throwing an object at a Police officer, as with a charge of hindering/resisting a Police officer in the execution of their duty, these offences are viewed with high severity by the Court, where general and specific deterrence is a key factor in sentencing.
What must be proven?
The Prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to make a finding of guilt against you:
- That you assaulted, or stalked, or harassed, or intimidated;
- A Police officer;
- In the execution of their duty.
What amounts to an ‘assault’?
An assault is an act that causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful personal violence. The element of “fear” is the key when considering whether threatening words alone amount to an assault.
The assault must have been carried out intentionally or recklessly without the Police officer’s consent and any lawful excuse.
What does ‘stalking’ mean?
Stalking means the following of a person about or the watching or frequenting of the vicinity of or an approach to a person’s place of residence, business, work or any place that a person frequents for any social or leisure activity.
What does ‘harass’ mean?
Harass means words, conduct or action (usually repeated or persistent) that, being directed at a specific person, annoys, alarms, or causes substantial emotional distress in that person and serves no useful purpose.
What does ‘intimidate’ mean?
Intimidate means to render timid, inspire with fear, overawe, cow, or force to or deter from some action by threats or violence by inducing fear’. The act of intimidation must have the actual effect of intimidation on the other person.
What does a ‘missile’ mean?
A missile is any object that can be thrown or propelled at someone or something and has the capacity to injure, endanger or damage.
What are the applicable penalties?
|Assaulting a Police officer in execution of their duty||5 years imprisonment|
|Assaulting, throwing a missile at, stalking, harassing or intimidating a Police officer in execution of their duty||5 years imprisonment (7 years if committed during a public disorder)|
|Assault occasioning actual bodily harm against a Police officer in execution of their duty||7 years imprisonment (9 years if committed during a public disorder)|
|Wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm on a Police officer in execution of their duty||12 years imprisonment (14 years if committed during a public disorder)|
What are my available defences?
The following are potential defences you may raise:
- That the Police officer was not acting in the course of their duty;
- That the person was not a NSW Police officer;
- That you did not ‘hinder’ or ‘resist’ or ‘assault’ in the meaning of those words;
- That you resisted or hindered out of necessity (e.g. to prevent serious injury or danger);
- That you were under duress (e.g. you were threatened or coerced to act);
- That you acted in self-defence (e.g. because the Police officer was using excessive force)
In assessing Assault Police, Resist Police and Hinder Police charges, the question often arises about whether police were acting in the lawful execution of their duties at the time of the incident. Police are not acting lawfully, for example, if they were assaulting the person without a lawful excuse.
The prevalence of CCTV cameras and the use of mobile phones to record videos has made the public more aware of the many examples of unlawful police arrests, which may involve pushing the chest, tripping, tackling or forcing suspects to the ground when it appears unnecessary to do so and the use of capsicum or OC spray, batons, tasers or drawing firearms when there is no threat of resistance or lethal force. It is not surprising that some people attempt to defend themselves when they encounter police being unnecessarily aggressive.
RESIST/HINDER POLICE OFFICER IN THE EXECUTION OF DUTY - (LPC:1188)
Crimes Act 1900, Section 546C
› Local Court: 12 months imprisonment and or a fine of $1,100.
ASSAULT POLICE OFFICER IN EXECUTION OF DUTY without causing actual bodily harm - (T2) - (LPC: 21705)
Crimes Act 1900, Section 60(1)
› Local Court: 2 years imprisonment and or a fine of $5,500.
› District Court: 5 years imprisonment.
ASSAULT POLICE OFFICER IN EXECUTION OF DUTY causing actual bodily harm - (T1) - (LPC: 21709)
Crimes Act 1900, Section 60(2)
› Local Court: 2 years imprisonment and or a fine of $11,000.
› District Court: 7 years imprisonment, with a standard non-parole period of 3 years.
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience defending clients facing Police offences in Court. It is an area of law where receiving a Conditional Release Order with no conviction is possible depending on the circumstances. Your version of events may differ from those of the Police Officer who charged you. We will listen closely to your account to ensure that the Police facts are accurate.
Your lawyer can explain and guide you through the entire Court process and work with you to minimise the legal ramifications of your offence.
If a Section 10 or a no-conviction Conditional Release Order is not appropriate, our lawyers can help reduce any penalties, minimise any fines you may face and help you avoid or minimise a gaol term.
Contact our Central Coast Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building your legal defence, the better your chance of getting the best possible outcome.
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Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...
“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today
I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.
No conviction CRO – Resist Officer in Execution of Duty & Behave in an Offensive Manner – Downing Centre Local Court
Our client is a 41-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast with his wife and 3 children. He is self-employed, running a business as a shopfitter/cabinetmaker.
Our client had been to the football in Sydney for an outing and became embroiled in an incident with another spectator. Our client was charged with behaving in an offensive manner in/near/a public place and Resisting an officer in execution of duty. The resist officer offence carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and a $5,500 fine.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy made submissions to the Magistrate as to our client’s remorse, his previous good character, unblemished record and contribution to the community.
The Magistrate found our client guilty of the offence; however, without proceeding to conviction, ordered him to enter into a Conditional Release Order with an 18-month good behaviour bond. This is similar to a Section 10(1)(b) under the new sentencing reforms.
Our client was extremely relieved to maintain their clean criminal record and finally put this unfortunate incident behind them.
No conviction CRO | Resist or hinder police officer in execution of duty | Gosford Local Court
Our client is a 19-year-old female who lives on the Central Coast with her mother. She has just graduated from Year 12 and plans to study in Europe in 2019.
Our client was out with her boyfriend when she spotted someone who she believed damaged her car. Her suspicion was confirmed and an argument ensued. Police patrolling the area stepped in to break the parties up and attempted to place our client under arrest. Our client’s boyfriend began tugging at the Police officer’s arm and they used Capsicum spray on our client’s boyfriend because he was not letting go. Police then directed our client to stay put; however, she ran away. The following day she turned herself in to the Police.
Our client was charged with resisting or hindering a police officer in execution of their duty, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment and/or a $1,100 fine.
Solicitor Erin Nulty made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. Erin focused on our client’s clean criminal record, distinguished academic achievements, and plans to study overseas. The Magistrate saw fit to deal with our client by a 6-month Conditional Release Order (CRO) without proceeding to conviction.
The result was excellent as a conviction would have jeopardised our client’s ability to obtain a student visa. Our client was very pleased.
Our client is a 21-year-old male who lives with his grandparents north of Newcastle. He works full-time as an early childhood educator and is on medication for his depression.
Our client was visiting friends on the Central Coast. He attended a Hotel and consumed about 12 schooners between 09:00pm and 01:00am, then made the foolish decision to drive to his father’s place, some 6-minute drive away. On the route, he collided with a gutter and a no stopping sign and immediately called the Police who arrived at the scene and subjected our client to a breath analysis which returned a positive reading of 0.181 grams of alcohol in 210 litres of breath.
Our client was conveyed to Gosford Police Station, where he was uncooperative with the officers, kicking one and making their task generally difficult. Our client was charged with High Range PCA and assault officer in execution of their duty.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. The Magistrate convicted our client and sentenced him to a 6-month licence disqualification, a 24-month interlock licence thereafter, a $900 fine (High Range PCA), and a 12-month CCO with 75 hours of community service for the assault charge.
Considering the maximum penalty for a High Range PCA is $3,300 and/or a fine or imprisonment for 3 years, and a $5,500 fine and 2 years imprisonment for assault Police, the outcome was excellent.
Defended Hearing | Not Guilty | Maitland Local Court
Our client is a 28-year-old male that resides in the Newcastle Area. He has a large number of matters before the court.
In June, our client and his partner had a relationship breakdown. It was alleged that our client had attended his ex-partner's home and an argument broke out. As a result of the argument, it was alleged that our client lost his temper and started punching the walls and pushed her onto the bed. When the police arrived, he was found hiding in the wardrobe. The police attempted to remove him from the wardrobe, and he resisted.
Subsequently, he was charged with Common Assault, Destroy or damage property, stalk/intimidate and resist a Police officer. All charges carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or fines varying from $2,200 – $5,500.
Our solicitor Luke Del Monte attended court on behalf of our client. The resist Police officer charge was withdrawn before the hearing as the police officer was not at Court to give evidence. During the victim's cross-examination, Mr Del Monte was able to draw attention to the inconsistency in the evidence she gave in Court and what she had told the Police. As a result, her evidence was seen to be not reliable.
The Court found in favour of our client and was found not guilty on all charges.
Assault Police Officer| CRO without conviction | Raymond Terrace Local Court
Our client is a 49-year-old woman with 2 young boys. She resides in the Port Stephens area and works in a bakery.
During the Christmas break, our client was at home alone, having some drinks. Her family had gone out for dinner with her father-in-law. This was the first Christmas without her mother, who passed away earlier that year. She was feeling very emotional the night of the incident and was playing music very loud. The police were called to ask her to turn the volume down.
The officers noticed she was intoxicated. They attempted to help her inside. As a result of childhood trauma, when the officer grabbed her to take her inside, she attempted to push herself free and elbowed the officer in the chest.
She was charged with assault police officer in the execution of duty w/o actual bodily harm. This carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine in the Local Court.
Our solicitor, Luke Del Monte, made submissions, inter alia, on behalf of our client that she has no criminal record and was in an emotional state due to the loss of her mother.
The Court saw fit to deal with by way of a Conditional Release Order without conviction for 2 years.
Our client was over the moon about the result and extremely relieved to avoid a criminal conviction.
Resist officer in execution of duty + Assault Occasioning ABH | 12-month Good Behaviour Bond | Wyong Local Court
Our client is a 43-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast and came to the Police's attention via a neighbourhood dispute.
Police arrived at our client’s house in response to a call by the victim. Our client had attacked the victim with a screwdriver in the temple earlier in the day, causing blood to trickle down their face. On arriving at our client’s house, Police introduced themselves, arrested him and cautioned him about his rights. Our client cursed about the victim, while Police directed our client to put his hands behind his back. Our client became aggressive, refusing to comply, and then refused to get in the Police vehicle. Police resorted to using force to achieve compliance.
The maximum penalty for Resist Arrest is 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,100. The maximum penalty to Assault Occ. Actual Bodily Harm is 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500
Principal Solicitor Kevin Vierboom attended Wyong Court and made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. The Magistrate sentenced our client to a 12-month good behaviour bond with supervision, with no applicable fine.
Considering the aggravating features, including the seriousness of the offending and our client’s criminal history, this was an excellent result.
Resist Officer X 2 | $600 Fine X 2 | Toronto Local Court
Our client is a 23-year old female that resides in the Newcastle Area. After a night of drinking, our client and her partner were observed jumping the ticket barrier at a local Train Station. The pair were approached by the Police and separated to ask questions.
At this time, our client had noticed that her partner was being placed under arrest. As she was being detained, she became violent and tried to run from the Police. She ran over and tried to help her partner break free. This led to her being arrested. She was charged with Resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty and resist officer in execution of duty.
Resist officer in execution of duty has a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500. Resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty has a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,100.
Our Solicitor, Denise McCarthy, attended Court on behalf of our client and His Honour saw fit to impose a $600 fine for both offences. Our client was relieved that the whole ordeal was over and dealt with by way of two lower-end fines.
Obstruct or hinder ambulance officer providing or attempting to provide service to another | Conditional Release Order without conviction six months | Wyong Local Court
Our client is a 68-year-old male who resides in Wyong and suffers from severe mental illness. At the time of the offence, our client’s daughter phoned an ambulance for help for her father’s mental health.
Upon arrival, consent for treatment was implied after our client opened the front door and gestured for the paramedics to come inside. Our client became aggressive and abusive, yelling and eventually striking one of the paramedics. Our client was sedated and taken to Wyong hospital where he was arrested and cautioned. The maximum penalty this offence carries is 50 penalty units and/or two years imprisonment.
The magistrate was satisfied with character references solicitor Luke Del Monte put before the court which stated that our client was experiencing a mental health episode at the time of the offence. The magistrate also placed the severity of our client’s act on the lower side, noting his age, lack of criminal history and continued rehab.
Our client was sentenced to a Conditional Release Order for six months without conviction. Our client was pleased with this result.
From the first phone conversation Fourtrees gave us the confidence and reassurance that that our matter would be handled with professionalism and an outcome we were hoping for. The submissions given outlined how we felt and defended our matter perfectly. We couldn’t be happier with the care and comfort we received. We would recommend Fourtrees to anyone needing legal advice & will use Fourtrees for all and any of our future legal matters.