Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials

by Doogue O'Brien George Criminal Defence Lawyers


Penalty for “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials” in Melbourne – How Serious?


There is a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of a charge of “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials”. This is a serious offence that typically carries a prison term on a finding of guilt. Relevant cases are heard summarily in the Magistrates’ Court.

 

The legislation on “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials”

The relevant legislative provision for “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials” is section 149.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) which is as follows:

                            

Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials

 

(1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

 

(a)  the person knows that another person is a public official; and

(b)  the first-mentioned person obstructs, hinders, intimidates or resists the official in the performance of the official's functions; and

(c)  the official is a Commonwealth public official; and

(d)  the functions are functions as a Commonwealth public official.

 

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

 

(2)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew:

 

(a)  that the official was a Commonwealth public official; or

(b)  that the functions were functions as a Commonwealth public official.

 

(3)  For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether the defendant was aware that the public official was performing the official's functions.

 

(4)  Section 15.3 (extended geographical jurisdiction--category C) applies to an offence against subsection (1).

 

(5)  The definition of duty in section 130.1 does not apply to this section.

 

(6)  In this section:

 

"function" :

 

(a)  in relation to a person who is a public official--means any authority, duty, function or power that is conferred on the person as a public official; or

(b)  in relation to a person who is a Commonwealth public official--means any authority, duty, function or power that is conferred on the person as a Commonwealth public official.

 

Pleading guilty or not guilty to “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials” in a Melbourne Court

Deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty to “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials” has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal defence solicitor. If you are found guilty, there can be severe consequences.

 

Elements of the charge of “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials” in a Melbourne Court

The prosecution must show that the defendant obstructed, hindered, intimidated, or resisted an official from performing the official's functions. This official must be a Commonwealth public official and the defendant must have been aware of this. It is also an element that the functions involved were the functions of a Commonwealth public official.

 

Defending the charge of “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials” in a Melbourne Court

Defences that are often run in relation to this charge are factual dispute, and honest and reasonable mistake of belief. Lack of intent is also used by lawyers as well as the defence of impossibility. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offence, the use of other defences is at the discretion of the criminal lawyer.

 

For more information on “Obstruction of Commonwealth Public Officials”, you may visit the Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).

 

Doogue O’Brien George Melbourne can provide you more details about this

Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne         

Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)

 

This article was written on Sep. 18, 2013 and relates to the law that stands at this time.



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