Participation in a Criminal Group

THE LAW

The offence of Participating in a criminal group is found at section 93T of the Crimes Act 1900 which states:

Section 93T(1) – A person must not participate in a criminal group. A person participates in a criminal group if that person knows or ought reasonably to know that a group is a criminal group, and knows, or ought reasonably to know, that his or her participation in that group contributes to the occurrence of any criminal activity. Maximum penalty – 5 years imprisonment.

Section 93T(1A) – A person must not participate in a criminal group by directing any of the group’s activities. The person must know the group is a criminal group and know or be reckless as to whether his/her participation contributes to the occurrence of any criminal activity. Maximum penalty – 10 years imprisonment.

Section 93T(4A) – A person must not participate in a criminal group whose activities are organised and on-going by directing any of the group’s activities if that person knows a group is a criminal group, and knows, or is reckless as to whether that participation contributes to the occurrence of any criminal activity. Maximum penalty – 15 years imprisonment.

S. 93TA(1) – A person must not receive from a criminal group a material benefit derived from the group’s criminal activities. The person must know the group is a criminal group, and know, or be reckless as to whether, the material benefit is derived from the group’s criminal activities. Maximum penalty – 5 years imprisonment.

Section 93TA(2) “Derived” means “derived or realised, or substantially derived or realised, directly or indirectly” from the criminal activities of a group.

In NSW, criminal groups are defined as groups of three or more people who have as one of their objectives to obtain material benefits from serious indictable offences (section 93IJ( I )(a) and (b)) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) or to commit serious violence offences (section 93IJ(l)(c) and (d)) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

 

MAXIMUM/POSSIBLE PENALTIES

Participating in a criminal group can lead to being punished with imprisonment. Sentences of imprisonment can range from 5 years to 15 years depending on the section used to charge.

In the Local Court the maximum prison sentence is 2 years.

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 Participating in a criminal charge of:

  • Full-time Imprisonment;
  • An Intensive Correction Order (ICO);
  • A Community Correction Order (CCO);
  • A Conditional Release Order (CRO).

 

THE FACTS THAT MUST BE PROVEN

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

  • You provide inputs or lead the activities of the group; and

You were aware or had all the means to be aware that you are participating in a criminal group; and

You were aware or had all the means to be aware that your inputs and participation in the group will lead to the occurrence of any criminal activity.

Or

  • You participate in a criminal group by directing any of the activities of the group; and:

You know that it is a criminal group; and

You know or are reckless as to whether that participation contributes to the occurrence of any criminal activity.

     Or

  • You assault another person, or destroy or damage property, or threatens to destroy or damage property; and intend by that action to participate in any criminal activity of a criminal group.

Or

  • You participate in a criminal group whose activities are organised and on-going by directing any of the activities of the group; and

You know that it is a criminal group; and

You know or are reckless as to whether that participation contributes to the occurrence of any criminal activity.

Criminal group means a group of 3 or more people who have as their objective:

  • Obtaining material benefits from conduct that constitutes a serious indictable offence (offence carrying a maximum penalty of more than 5 years); or
  • Obtaining material benefits from conduct engaged in outside NSW (including outside Australia) that, if it occurred in NSW, would constitute a serious indictable offence; or
  • Committing serious violence offences; or
  • Engaging in conduct outside NSW (including outside Australia) that, if it occurred in NSW, would constitute a serious violent offence.

 

DEFENCES

The law also has provisioned defences to protect the innocent. While building up a case against Participating in a criminal group charges, the following defences can be put up in your favor:

  • If you act was propagated by some threats or some pressure you succumbed to, you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If it was inevitable to act in the way you did, in order to prevent a bigger mishap/harm, you may have the defence of “Necessity”; or
  • Your act was done as a measure of defending yourself or saving someone else, or for saving yours or someone else’s property, you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence”.

 

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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