Threatening Witnesses

THE LAW

Section 315A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states:

‘A person who threatens to do or cause, or who does or causes, any injury or detriment to any other person intending to influence any person not to bring material information about an indictable offence to the attention of a police officer or other appropriate authority has committed an offence.

"Material information" means information that a person has that might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of a person who has committed an indictable offence, or the prosecution or conviction of any such person’.

Indictable Offences is an offence capable of imprisonment for five (5) years or more.

The nature and elements of the offence of Threating Witnesses were considered in (Re B(JA) (an infant) [1965] 2 All ER 168). Wherein it was held it need not be established that the witness was deterred or influenced.

Furthermore, witnesses must not be intimidated in any way, either before the trial, pending trial or after trial see-Moore v Clerk of Assize, Bristol [1971] 1 WLR 1669; Farahbakht v Midas Australia Pty Ltd [2006] NSWSC 1322, [14].

 

Maximum/Possible Penalties

This offence can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years (if heard in the Local Court) or up to 7 years (If heard in the District Court).

Please note these penalties are reserved for the worst kind of offending and are unlikely to be what you would receive.

In NSW, a Court can impose any of the following penalties for Threatening a Witness.

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

 

THE FACTS THAT MUST BE PROVEN

Since Threating Witnesses offence is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove each of the elements in the charge beyond reasonable doubt being:

  • That you: Did or caused; or Threatened to do or cause an injury or detriment to any other person; and
  • For the purpose of intending to influence any person not to bring material information about an indictable offence to the attention of a police officer of any other appropriate authority

 

Defences

Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Threating Witnesses can include;

  • That you did not carry out the act alleged;
  • That your threats or intimidation was not intended to influence;
  • That the information not disclosed by virtue of your threats/intimidation was not material to the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of a person;
  • 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"; or
  • 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.

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