Find a lawyer in Erina

At Spencer Lawyers we take pride in our commitment to help those in need of assistance facing the often scary and complex aspects of any criminal law offence. Whether you are going to court for charges relating to assault, drug possession, supply or importation, fraud, sexual harassment or crimes such as murder, we at Spencer Lawyers are committed to helping you and we will fight the good fight to have your charges let go or reduced.

Assault

What is assault?
Committing assault is a serious offence and if you’re convicted, can result in imprisonment. If you’ve experienced assault or have been accused, we’ll work hard to represent your case. We work with clients who have been involved in assault charges including common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault/resist police. At Spencer Lawyers, we take aggravated assault charges very seriously. We represent cases that involve indecent assault and sexual assault.
What does the law say?
  1. COMMON ASSAULT
    Common Assault- the offence of common assault is contained in 61 of the crimes act 1900; Whosoever assaults any person, although not occasioning bodily harm, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.

    In NSW, common assault carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment. Frequently, individuals are charged where a person assaults another person but does not cause an injury amounting to bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.

  1. SEXUAL RELATED ASSAULTS
These offences include intercourse, touching and acts of a sexual nature towards another person without their consent.

What actions might constitute sexual touching?
  1. The slightest touch / physical contact (however minimal) is sufficient to amount to an assault. This excludes touching in the course of ordinary everyday life.
  2. The intentional touching, even over clothes, of breasts, anus, vagina or penis.
  3. A kiss, when it has been made clear the kiss is unwanted.
  4. Intentionally rubbing your groin against another, example; on a busy train when the other person has not given consent.

Sexual assault

  1. SEXUAL ASSAULT

The offence of Sexual Assault is contained in section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 which states:

Any person who has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the other person and who knows that the other person does not consent to the sexual intercourse is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

In other words, this means:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Without the other person's consent
  • Knowing the other person does not consent
  1. SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, sexual harassment is defined as

 

Any unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favours or any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, where a reasonable person in the same situation would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

 

The following can be examples of sexual harassment, but by no means provides an exhaustive list: –

  • Unnecessary familiarity;
  • Unwelcome touching;
  • Staring and leering
  • Intrusive questions or statements about your private life;
  • Sending sexually explicit messages

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

 

Ph: +61 414 709 543

 

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

  1. ASSAULT CAUSING DEATH ‘ONE PUNCH’

Section 25B assault causing death when intoxicated-mandatory minimum sentence;

  1. A court is required to impose a sentence of imprisonment of not less than 8 years on a person guilty of an offence under section 25A
  2. Any non-parole period for the sentence is also required to be not less than 8 years.
  3. If this section requires a person to be sentenced to a minimum period of imprisonment, nothing in section 21 (or any other provision) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 or in any other Act or law authorises a court to impose a lesser or no sentence (or to impose a lesser non-parole period).
  4. Nothing in this section (apart from subsection (2)) affects the provisions of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 or any other Act or law relating to the sentencing of offenders.
  5. Nothing in this section affects the prerogative of mercy.
  1. SELF DEFENCE IN OFFENCES INVOLVING VIOLENCE
  1. A person is not guilty of an offence if the person carries out the conduct constituting the offence in self-defence.
  2. A person carries out conduct in self-defence if
    1. (a) the person believes that the conduct is necessary in self-defence; and
    2. (b) the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as the person perceives them.

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Homicide

What is homicide?

Homicide is divided into manslaughter and murder. Murder is the act of intentionally killing or seriously injuring the victim, or where a person has acted with reckless indifference to the victim’s life. Manslaughter is the unintentional or accidental act that resulted in the death of another person, or where a person has acted with reckless indifference to the victim’s life. If you have committed an unlawful or dangerous act that results in the death of another person, this can be considered manslaughter.

If you have been found guilty of murder or manslaughter, the penalty can be up to 25 years of imprisonment.

What does the law say?
  1. MURDER

    The offence of Murder is found under section 18 of the Crimes Act 19001. MURDER. 

    1. Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.

    2. Every other punishable homicide shall be taken to be manslaughter.

    1. No act or omission which was not malicious, or for which the accused had lawful cause or excuse, shall be within this section.

    2. No punishment or forfeiture shall be incurred by any person who kills another by misfortune only.
  1. MANSLAUGHTER

    The offence of Murder is found under section 18 of the Crimes Act 19001. MURDER.

    1. Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.

    2. Every other punishable homicide shall be taken to be manslaughter.

    1. No act or omission which was not malicious, or for which the accused had lawful cause or excuse, shall be within this section.

    2. No punishment or forfeiture shall

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Drug offences

Being accused of a committing a drug related offence may be a challenging and stressful experience for anyone involved.

That’s why by having the right legal support at Spencer Lawyers, we can help relieve you of this burden and help to defend charges made against you with optimal success.
What is a drug offence?
Drug charges can range from possessing a few ecstasy tablets to commercially importing heroin. We work with clients that have been charged with drug offences ranging from driving with illicit drugs, possession, supply and/or cultivating a prohibited drug.

Prohibited drugs are those listed in Schedule 3 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act.

What does the law say?

  1. POSSESSION OF A PROHHIBITED DRUG:
The offence of possessing a prohibited drug is contained in section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act which states that: “a person who has a prohibited drug in his or her possession is guilty of an offence.”
  1. SUPPLY PROHIBITED DRUG:
In NSW, the offence of supplying a prohibited drug carries a maximum penalty of 5,500 penalty units and/or life imprisonment.

Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act sets out the small, trafficable, indictable, commercial and large commercial quantities for each prohibited drug. The type of drug and amount supplied will substantially affect the type of penalty the Court will consider.

The maximum penalties for each offence can be found beneath the heading “Maximum Penalties for Each Offence” below.
Graphical Table - Law firms in Erina
  1. SUPPLY PROHIBITED DRUG ON A REGULAR BASIS

In NSW there is a specific offence for supplying drugs on an ongoing basis. The offence applies to all prohibited drugs except cannabis. A person can be charged with the offence if they supply any number of drugs on three separate occasions within any 30 day period in exchange for money or some other compensation.


The charge is extremely serious and carries a maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment or 3,500 penalty units.


This is one of the highest maximum penalties for drug related offences in NSW. As an illustration, a person who supplies one ecstasy pill three times in a month is liable to the same penalty as someone who supplies 1,000 ecstasy pills.

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Firearm and weapons

What is a firearm and weapon offence?
Regarding the current socio-political climate of Australia, to be accused of an offence involving firearms or weapons is considered extremely serious. Legislation in NSW specifically prohibits and regulates the use, manufacturing possession, purchase and supply of weapons and firearms, with the intention to promote the protection of public safety.

Under NSW legislation a firearm may be broadly characterised as a

‘Gun or other weapon, that is (or at any time was) capable of propelling a projectile by means of an explosive”, including blank fire firearms and air guns.’

*** note that replica (imitation firearms) which are not specifically identified as a child’s toy will be treated under NSW legislation in the same custom as the firearm that they represent
What does the law say?
  1. USE AND/OR POSESSION OF UNLICENSED FIREARMS
Under NSW legislation the use or possession of an any prohibited firearm without regulated authorisation carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
  1. POSSESSION OF A PROHIBITED WEAPON

Statute in NSW purports that the possession of a prohibited weapon carries the maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

 

The offence of Possessing a Prohibited Weapon contained in section 7(1) of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 states:

‘a person must not possess or use a prohibited weapon unless the person is authorised to do so by a permit.’

 

Section 7(2) outlines that even with a permit, if an individual actions go beyond the scope of the permit in the use of the weapon that they will be guilty of an offence.

 

The requirements for an individual’s legal possession of weapons permit is set out on the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998. This legislation also provides clarity as to circumstances whereby an individual is exempt from holding a permit.

  1. DANGEROUS USE OF FIREARM

The offence of Trespass with or Dangerous Use of Firearms is contained in section 93H (1) of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:

 

A person who, possessing a firearm, imitation firearm, spear gun or imitation spear gun, enters any building or land (other than a road), unless the person:

  • is the owner or occupier of the building or land or has the permission of the owner or occupier, or
  • does so with a reasonable excuse, or
  • does so for a lawful purpose,

is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Break enter and steal

What are break enter and steal offences
Break and enter charges can involve entering a premises and not stealing anything but with the intent to do so. Unsuccessful attempts are also considered a break and enter offence. Aggravated breaking and entering occurs when there is more than one alleged offender, if a weapon is involved or if the alleged offender knew there was a person on the premise. The court takes breaking and entering seriously and can result in imprisonment for up to 14 years if you’re convicted.
What does the legislation say?
The offence of Break, Enter and Steal or Break, Enter and Commit Serious Indictable Offence is contained in section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:
  1. A person who:
    1. breaks and enters any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence therein, or
    2. being in any dwelling-house or other building commits any serious indictable offence therein and breaks out of the dwelling-house or other building
  2. is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

  3. Aggravated offence A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (1) in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.

  4. Specially aggravated offence A person is guilty of an offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (2) in circumstances of special aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 25 years.

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Fraud Offences

What are fraud offences
Fraud is a serious criminal offence that occurs when a person dishonestly acquires someone else’s property, obtains some kind of financial advantage or cause he’s someone any kind of financial disadvantage by deceiving another person. The maximum penalty for a general fraud offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.
What does the law say?

Under s 192E of the Crimes Act 1900 NSW

  1. A person who, by deception, dishonestly
    1. obtains property belonging to someone else or
    2. obtains a financial advantage or causes a financial disadvantage, is guilty of fraud.

Is guilty of an offence of fraud whereby the maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.

There is a statutory alternative for this offence of larceny, which means that you could be found guilty of larceny instead if the police are unable to prove Fraud.

 

  1. INTENTION TO DEFRAUD BY FALSE OR MISLEADING STATEMENT

In NSW, intention to defraud by false or misleading statement is a serious offence that attracts a maximum penalty of five (5) years imprisonment.

 


The offence of ‘intention to defraud by false or misleading statement” is set out in section 192G of the Crimes Act 1900 which states:

 

 “a person who dishonestly makes or publishes, or concurs in making or publishing, any statement (whether or not in writing) that is false or misleading in a material particular with the intention of:

 (a) obtaining property belonging to another; or

 (b) obtaining a financial advantage or causing a financial disadvantage, is guilty of an offence.”

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Robbery Offences

What are robbery offences
Stealing offences in New South Wales include stealing, larceny, extortion, embezzling, break and enter, fraud and robbery. If you have been accused with a stealing offence, our lawyers will provide helpful advice on your prospects of successfully defending the charge. Whether you wish to plead guilty or not guilty, we’ll be there to fight your case.
What does the legislation say?
  1. ROBBERY STEALING FROM THE PERSON
  2. The offence of robbery or stealing from the person is defined in section 94 of the Crimes Act 1900(NSW) which states: Whosoever
    1. robs or assaults with intent to rob any person, or
    2. steals any chattel, money, or valuable security from the person of another.
    shall, except where a greater punishment is provided by this Act, be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
  3. ARMED ROBBERY
Under NSW legislation it is an offence rob someone of something whilst concurrently threatening them or using physical force to take the property. The legislation describes the offence of ‘Armed Robbery’ is contained in s 97(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and states:
  1. Whosoever, being armed with an offensive weapon, or instrument, or being in company with another person, robs, or assaults with intent to rob, any person, or
stops any mail, or vehiclerailway train, or person conveying a mail, with intent to rob, or search the same, shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty years. An individual may be charged with Armed Robbery if they are
  1. in possession of a weapon, such as a gun or knife, and
  2. they threaten or use physical force to steal or take something from someone else.

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au

Commonwealth Centrelink Fraud

What is Centrelink Fraud?
Centrelink fraud is a common offence prosecuted by the courts. You can be charged with Centrelink fraud for failing to declare earnings from employment, submitting false documents, exaggerating a medical condition and over-claiming benefits. For advice on how best to proceed with your case, your options and possible outcomes, contact us today. We’ll explain the process and what you can you expect to happen.
What does the legislation say?

Under s 134.2 of the Criminal Code Act, you will be guilty of the offence of obtaining a financial advantage by deception if the Commonwealth DPP can prove each of the following elements:

 

  1. You did something deceptive, for example, you provided false information to Centrelink; and
  2. That deception resulted in you obtaining a financial advantage; and
  3. The financial advantage was taken from a Commonwealth entity, in this case- Centrelink; and
  4. The deception was dishonest in accordance with the standards of ordinary people; and
  5. At the time, you were aware that by engaging in that deceptive conduct, there was a substantial risk of receiving a financial advantage and that it was inexcusable to take that risk.

 

Statute further purports under s 135.2 of the Criminal Code Act that an individual will be found guilty of the offence when the Commonwealth DPP can prove the following elements:

 

  1. You did something that caused you to receive a financial advantage; and
  2. You knew that you were not eligible to receive that financial advantage; and
  3. The financial advantage was taken from a Commonwealth entity, in this case, Centrelink.

 

This content is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice from our Legal team should be sought about your specific circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us on:

Ph: +61 414 709 543

Em: david@spencerlawyers.com.au