Consorting

THE LAW

Section 93X of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) provides that a  person who:

(a) habitually consorts with convicted offenders; and

(b) consorts with those convicted offenders after having been given an official warning in relation to each of those convicted offenders, is guilty of an offence. 

A person does NOT habitually consort with convicted offenders unless--

(a) the person consorts with at least 2 convicted offenders (whether on the same or separate occasions), and

(b) the person consorts with each convicted offender on at least 2 occasions.

The nature and elements of consorting were considered in Johanson v Dixon(1979) 143 CLR 376 which held that the word “consort” means to “associate “or “keeps company” and denotes some acceptance of the association. There is no need for the prosecution to prove any particular purpose of the consorting.   

Therefore, consorting is when you on a regular basis (at lease 2 occassions), associate with someone who the Police think is involved in organised crime or who has been convicted of an organised crime offence.

Police must give you one warning before they can charge you with consorting.

Consorting can include:

  • You often speak to a couple of friends who were convicted; or
  • You often meet up with a couple of friends whom police think are involved in a drug gang; or
  • The police think that your friends are involved in an outlaw Motorcycle gang and you often meet up with at least two of them.

 

Maximum/Possible Penalties

Consorting can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2  years (if heard in the Local Court) or up to 3 years (If heard in the District Court) or a fine of 16,500, or both.

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a Consorting charge:

  •  Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond)
  • Fine

 

THE FACTS THAT MUST BE PROVEN

Since consorting is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You habitually consorted with at least two (2) convicted offender; and
  • You did so after being given a “Official Warning” in relation to those convicted offenders;
  • You have no family or relationship ties with the people the police allege your are consorting with.

 

Defences

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with consorting can include:

  • Lawful purpose;

 

If the defendant satisfies the court that the consorting was reasonable in the circumstances, then they will be found not guilty: 

For example:

  • consorting with family members,
  • consorting that occurs in the course of lawful employment or the lawful operation of a business,
  • consorting that occurs in the course of training or education,
  • consorting that occurs in the course of the provision of a health service,
  • consorting that occurs in the course of the provision of legal advice,
  • consorting that occurs in lawful custody or in the course of complying with a court order.
  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue- Duress.
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of-Necessity.

 

CHOICES AT LAW OPTIONS

For using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)

 

WHY REP-REVIVE CRIMINAL & EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS®

There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email info@rpr5.sydney for more information. The first consultation is free.

 

Guilt By Association Offences

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