One of the most serious criminal charges in our Crimes Act in NSW is the act of murder or in the alternative manslaughter. It is a strictly indictable offence and must be finalised in the District or Supreme Court.



Section 18 of the Crimes Act (NSW) states:

(1) Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years;

Every other punishable homicide shall be taken to be manslaughter:

(2) No act or omission which was not malicious, or for which the accused had lawful cause or excuse, shall be within this section;

No punishment or forfeiture shall be incurred by any person who kills another by misfortune only.



Contains three (3) definitions which are as follows:   

1.       Voluntary manslaughter which is the killing with the intent for murder but where a partial defence applies –namely loss of control, diminished responsibility or provocation;

2.       Gross negligence manslaughter that is conduct that was “grossly negligent” given the risk of death, and did kill;

3.       Unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter which is the conduct taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm, that resulted in death.

The first definition above is known as “voluntary manslaughter” – and the second and third definitions are known as “involuntary manslaughter”.



Suffice to say murder as a crime is committed where someone:

  • is of sound mind and discretion (i.e. sane);
  • unlawfully kills (i.e. not self-defence or other justified killing);
  • any human being;
  • born alive and breathing through its own lungs
  • in peace time (ie: not wartime)
  • with intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH).

Prosecution of a murder charge may rely on the time of death following injuries inflicted on an individual – for example, if injuries were inflicted and the victim died more than three years following the injury it may still constitute murder/manslaughter.

Murder and manslaughter cases can be extremely complex – and it is vital to seek expert legal advice if there is a possibility of being charged with murder or manslaughter, including manslaughter charges brought as a result of causing death by dangerous driving.

The case of Penza v R [2013] NSWCCA 21 at [167] considered the elements of murder and stated:

‘the act causing death should be identified by the Crown and the judge should direct the jury accordingly. The Crown must also prove that it was a voluntary or willed act of the accused or his or her accomplice: This may, in an appropriate case, require the jury to determine whether there was a voluntary act of the accused, for example where the accused asserts that the discharge of the weapon was an accident. In this regard there is a distinction between a voluntary act and an intentional one’.



For Murder/Manslaughter, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (DPP) (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 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 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 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 get you the best possible outcome in your case.

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



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

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal 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 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 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 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 Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

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

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