What is the Offence of Stalking and Intimidation? The offence of stalking, as defined in section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW) is a serious matter carrying a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500. In cases where the matter remains within the Local Court, the maximum penalty is reduced to 2 years imprisonment instead of being heard at the District Court. For the purpose of this section:
In NSW, the penalties for the offence of stalking or intimidation causing fear of physical or mental harm are significant. The maximum punishment for stalking or intimidation causing fear of physical or mental harm is imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or a fine of 50 penalty units, which currently amounts to $5,500. In cases where the matter remains within the Local Court, the maximum penalty is reduced to 2 years imprisonment instead of being heard at the District Court.
It is crucial to understand that the court exercises its discretion in determining the appropriate penalties for this offence, which may include:
1. Section 10 Dismissal: The court may dismiss the charge without imposing any further penalties.
2. Conditional Release Order: You are to be placed on a good behaviour bond and adhere to specified conditions imposed by the court.
3. Fine: A monetary penalty may be imposed.
4. Community Correction Order: You are to be placed on a good behaviour bond for a period of time with specified conditions and this may include community service and/or supervision.
5. Intensive Corrections Order: A term of imprisonment be served in the community.
6. Full-time imprisonment
Various defences can be used in cases of stalking or intimidation. Some common defences include:
1. Lack of intention: It can be argued that the accused did not have the specific intention to cause the victim to fear physical or mental harm. By demonstrating that the alleged conduct was not carried out with the deliberate purpose of instilling fear may serve as a viable defence.
2. Consent: If the victim consented to or encouraged the behaviour in question, the defence may contend that the accused’s actions were not unlawful since they were carried out with the victim’s consent.
3. Self Defence: In some cases, you may seek to argue that your actions were in response to perceived threats, or acts of aggression from the alleged victim. This defence asserts that you acted in self-defence to protect yourself from harm.
4. Duress: If you were subjected to real or implied threats that compelled you to commit the offence.
5. Necessity: The circumstances forced you to commit the offence in order to prevent even more severe consequences.
It is essential to understand that the availability and success of these defences can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.
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