Use Carriage Services To Menace


Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence refers to emails, text messages and calls and social media communications. This list however is not exhaustive and as this offence such is given quite a broad definition which covers most electronic communications.

Some examples of using carriage service to offend, harass or menace include:

  • Continual or constant phone calls, texts or Facebook messages; or
  • Threats to cause harm to that person or another person or their property, offensive language or offensive topic of discussion.



An offence of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence is a Commonwealth offence which means it can be dealt with both in the Local Court or on election on indictment by the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the higher courts (District or Supreme). 

“Harass” typically means to trouble or annoy by a repeated course of conduct. However, a single telephone call may be harassment depending on the contents of the words uttered, or the time and circumstances in which the call was made even if words were not uttered.

“Menace” means to cause a normally courageous person to feel apprehensive for their safety because of the call or calls. It isn’t necessary for a call to threaten actual harm for it to be menacing. Nor is it necessary for the communication to be made directly to the person menaced. As long as the caller intends the communication to be communicated to the ultimate recipient, it is enough.

Plead guilty


The offence of "using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence," is a Commonwealth offence and is contained in section 474.17 the Criminal Code Act 1995 (CTH) which states: "a person is guilty of an offence if:

  • The person uses a carriage service; and
  • The person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive."



The maximum penalty for using a carriage services of offend, harass or menace is 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).

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.

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



Since Use Carriage Service to Menace is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Using a Carriage Service to Offend, Harass or Menace

The prosecution must prove that:

  • It was you that used the carriage service; and
  • Used it in a way that would cause a reasonable person to feel menaced, harassed or offended.



Some of the defences available for using a carriage services of offend, harass or menace are:

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another your case may come under the argument of duress
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring to you or someone else, you may come under the argument of necessity or
  • It was not you that sent or wrote the message



For using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, Rep-Revive Criminal 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 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 not record a criminal conviction against you.

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 charged with an offence, 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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