Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935



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Note—

1 See section 7 of the Summary Offences Act 1953.



Division 6—Serious vehicle and vessel offences

19AAB—Interpretation

In this Division—

consumption in relation to a drug includes injection and any other form of administration;

harm, physical harm and serious harm have the same meanings as in section 21.

19A—Causing death or harm by use of vehicle or vessel

(1) A person who—

(a) drives a vehicle or operates a vessel in a culpably negligent manner, recklessly, or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public; and

(b) by that culpable negligence, recklessness or other conduct, causes the death of another,

is guilty of an indictable offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) where a motor vehicle or motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence—

(i) for a first offence that is a basic offence—imprisonment for 15 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(ii) for a first offence that is an aggravated offence or for any subsequent offence—imprisonment for life and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(b) where neither a motor vehicle nor motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence—imprisonment for 7 years.

(3) A person who—

(a) drives a vehicle or operates a vessel in a culpably negligent manner, recklessly, or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public; and

(b) by that culpable negligence, recklessness or other conduct, causes harm to another,

is guilty of an indictable offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) where a motor vehicle or motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence and serious harm was caused to a person—

(i) for a first offence that is a basic offence—imprisonment for 15 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(ii) for a first offence that is an aggravated offence or for any subsequent offence—imprisonment for life and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(b) where a motor vehicle or motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence but serious harm was not caused to any person—

(i) for a first offence that is a basic offence—imprisonment for 5 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 1 year or such longer period as the court orders;

(ii) for a first offence that is an aggravated offence or for any subsequent offence—imprisonment for 7 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 3 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(c) where neither a motor vehicle nor motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence—imprisonment for 5 years.

(5) In determining whether an offence is a first or subsequent offence for the purposes of this section a previous offence against—

(a) this section; or

(b) section 19AC; or

(c) section 46 of the Road Traffic Act 1961; or

(d) section 69A of the Harbors and Navigation Act 1993,

for which the defendant has been convicted will be taken into account.

(6) Where a convicted person is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence—

(a) the disqualification operates to cancel any driver's licence held by the convicted person as at the commencement of the period of disqualification; and

(b) the disqualification may not be reduced or mitigated in any way or be substituted by any other penalty or sentence.

(7) A person is liable to be charged with and convicted of an offence against subsection (1) in respect of each person killed, and of an offence against subsection (3) in respect of each person who suffers harm, in consequence of the same act or omission (but in determining whether an offence arising out of a particular act or omission is a first or subsequent offence for the purposes of this section, a conviction for an offence arising out of the same act or omission cannot be taken into account).

(8) Where at the trial of a person for an offence against this section it appears that the defendant was, or may have been, in a state of self-induced intoxication at the time of the alleged offence but the evidence adduced at the trial would, assuming that the defendant had been sober, be sufficient to establish the mental elements of the alleged offence, the mental elements of the alleged offence shall be deemed to have been established against the defendant.

(9) For the purposes of subsection (8), intoxication shall be taken to be self-induced if it results from the voluntary consumption of alcohol or a drug (not being a drug supplied on the prescription of, and consumed in accordance with the directions of, a legally qualified medical practitioner).

(10) It is a defence to a charge of an offence against this section for the defendant to prove that he or she was, at the time of the offence—

(a) carrying out duties as an emergency worker; and

(b) acting in accordance with the directions of his or her employing authority; and

(c) acting reasonably in the circumstances as he or she believed them to be.

(11) In this section—



emergency worker means a police officer or a person who is an emergency worker as defined by the regulations for the purposes of this section;

employing authority means—

(a) in relation to a police officer—the Commissioner of Police; or

(b) in relation to a person who is an emergency worker as defined by the regulations for the purposes of this section—the person defined by the regulations as the employing authority for that person.

19AB—Leaving accident scene etc after causing death or harm by careless use of vehicle or vessel

(1) A person who—

(a) drives a vehicle or operates a vessel without due care or attention; and

(b) by that conduct, causes the death of another; and

(c) fails to satisfy the statutory obligations of a driver of a vehicle or an operator of a vessel (as the case may be) in relation to the incident,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) where a motor vehicle or motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence—

(i) for a first offence—imprisonment for 15 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(ii) for a subsequent offence—imprisonment for life and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(b) where neither a motor vehicle nor motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence—imprisonment for 7 years.

(2) A person who—

(a) drives a vehicle or operates a vessel without due care or attention; and

(b) by that conduct, causes physical harm to another; and

(c) fails to satisfy the statutory obligations of a driver of a vehicle or an operator of a vessel (as the case may be) in relation to the incident,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) where a motor vehicle or motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence and the physical harm caused to a person amounts to serious harm—

(i) for a first offence—imprisonment for 15 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(ii) for a subsequent offence—imprisonment for life and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 10 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(b) where a motor vehicle or motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence but the physical harm caused to any person does not amount to serious harm—

(i) for a first offence—imprisonment for 5 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 1 year or such longer period as the court orders;

(ii) for a subsequent offence—imprisonment for 7 years and, in the case of an offence involving the use of a motor vehicle, disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 3 years or such longer period as the court orders;

(c) where neither a motor vehicle nor motor vessel was used in the commission of the offence—imprisonment for 5 years.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) and (2)—

(a) a person fails to satisfy the statutory obligations of a driver of a vehicle in relation to an incident if the person commits an offence against section 43 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 in relation to the incident; and

(b) a person fails to satisfy the statutory obligations of an operator of a vessel in relation to an incident if the person commits an offence against section 75 or 76 of the Harbors and Navigation Act 1993 in relation to the incident.

(4) In determining whether an offence is a first or subsequent offence for the purposes of this section, all previous offences against this section or section 19A that involved the driving of a motor vehicle or operation of a motor vessel must be taken into account except that such an offence will not be taken to be a previous offence for the purposes of subsection (1), or an offence against subsection (2) in which serious harm was caused to a person, unless it resulted in the death of, or grievous bodily or serious harm to, the victim.

(5) Where a convicted person is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence—

(a) the disqualification operates to cancel any driver's licence held by the convicted person as at the commencement of the period of disqualification; and

(b) the disqualification may not be reduced or mitigated in any way or be substituted by any other penalty or sentence.

(6) A person is liable to be charged with and convicted of an offence against subsection (1) in respect of each person killed, and of an offence against subsection (2) in respect of each person who suffers physical harm, in consequence of the same act or omission (but in determining whether an offence arising out of a particular act or omission is a first or subsequent offence for the purposes of this section, a conviction for an offence arising out of the same act or omission cannot be taken into account).

19AC—Dangerous driving to escape police pursuit etc

(1) A person who, intending to—

(a) escape pursuit by a police officer; or

(b) cause a police officer to engage in a pursuit,

drives a motor vehicle in a culpably negligent manner, recklessly, or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) for a basic offence—imprisonment for 3 years;

(b) for an aggravated offence—imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) Where a court convicts a person of an offence against subsection (1) the following provisions apply:

(a) the court must order that the person be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for such period, being not less than 2 years, as the court thinks fit;

(b) the disqualification prescribed by paragraph (a) may not be reduced or mitigated in any way or be substituted by any other penalty or sentence;

(c) the disqualification operates to cancel any driver's licence held by the convicted person as at the commencement of the period of disqualification.

(3) If a person is tried on a charge of an offence against section 29—

(a) the person may not be convicted of both the offence against section 29 and an offence against subsection (1) if the charge under subsection (1) arises out of the same set of circumstances that gave rise to the charge under section 29; and

(b) an offence against subsection (1) is not available as an alternative verdict to the charge under section 29 unless the offence against subsection (1) was specified in the instrument of charge as an alternative offence.

19AD—Street racing

(1) A person who participates in a street race, or in preparations for a proposed street race, is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) for a first offence that is a basic offence—imprisonment for 3 years and disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 1 year or such longer period as the court orders;

(b) for a first offence that is an aggravated offence or for any subsequent offence—imprisonment for 5 years and disqualification from holding or obtaining a driver's licence for 3 years or such longer period as the court orders.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person participates in a street race, or in preparations for a proposed street race, if the person—

(a) drives a motor vehicle in the street race; or

(b) promotes, or assists in the promotion of, the street race or proposed street race in any way; or

(c) engages in any other conduct that assists, or is intended to assist, in the street race or proposed street race taking place.

(3) However, subsection (1) does not apply to a street race that occurs in a place with the consent of the owner or occupier of the place or the person who has the care, control and management of the place.

(4) Where a person is, on conviction of an offence against this section, disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver's licence—

(a) the disqualification operates to cancel any driver's licence held by the convicted person as at the commencement of the period of disqualification; and

(b) the disqualification may not be reduced or mitigated in any way or be substituted by any other penalty or sentence.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt, a person may be found guilty of an offence against this section relating to a proposed street race whether or not the street race in fact took place.

(6) In determining whether an offence is a first or subsequent offence for the purposes of this section—

(a) a previous offence against section 45A, 46, 47 or 47B (other than a category 1 offence against that section) of the Road Traffic Act 1961 for which the defendant has been convicted and that was committed within the period of 5 years immediately preceding the commission of the offence under consideration will be taken into account; and

(b) a previous offence (whenever occurring) against this section or another provision of this Division, or a corresponding previous enactment, for which the defendant has been convicted will be taken into account.

(7) In this section—



promote, in relation to a street race or proposed street race, includes—

(a) organise or conduct the street race; or

(b) offer an inducement to another person to participate in the street race;

road and road related area have the same meaning as in the Road Traffic Act 1961;

street race means any or all of the following when conducted on a road or a road related area:

(a) a race between 2 or more motor vehicles (whether the race is a drag race or otherwise, and whether the race is over a predetermined or indeterminate course);

(b) a trial to determine how quickly a motor vehicle can cover the distance between 2 points;

(c) a competition between, or display involving, 2 or more motor vehicles consisting of or including the production of sustained wheel spin;

(d) a trial of a motor vehicle's speed or performance, or of a driver's skill,

but does not include conduct declared by the regulations not to be included within the ambit of this definition.

(8) A regulation made for the purposes of the definition of street race may confer a discretionary power on the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police or any other specified person or body.

19B—Alternative verdicts

(1) If at the trial of a person for murder or manslaughter the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence charged but is satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence constituted by section 19A(1) or (3), the jury may bring in a verdict that the accused is guilty of that offence.

(2) The following offences (which are listed in order of seriousness) are offences to which subsection (3) applies:

(a) the offence constituted by section 19A(1);

(b) the offence constituted by section 19A(3);

(c) the offence constituted by section 46 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 or section 69A of the Harbors and Navigation Act 1993;

(d) the offence constituted by section 45 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 or section 69 of the Harbors and Navigation Act 1993.

(3) If at the trial of a person for an offence to which this subsection applies (being an offence mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b)) the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence charged but is satisfied that the accused is guilty of a less serious offence to which this subsection applies, the jury may bring in a verdict that the accused is guilty of that less serious offence.

(4) If at the trial of a person for an offence against section 19A(1) or (3) that is alleged to be an aggravated offence committed in the course of attempting to escape pursuit by a police officer, the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the aggravated offence charged but is satisfied that the accused is guilty of an offence against section 19AC(1), the jury may bring in a verdict that the accused is guilty of an offence against section 19AC(1).

(4a) If at the trial of a person for an offence against section 19A(1) or (3) that is alleged to be an aggravated offence committed whilst the person was driving a motor vehicle in a street race, the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the aggravated offence charged but is satisfied that the accused is guilty of an offence against section 19AD, the jury may bring in a verdict that the accused is guilty of an offence against section 19AD.

(5) If at the trial of a person for an offence against section 19AC(1), the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence charged but is satisfied that the accused is guilty of—

(a) an offence against section 46 of the Road Traffic Act 1961; or

(b) an offence against section 45 of the Road Traffic Act 1961,

the jury may bring in a verdict that the accused is guilty of the relevant offence against the Road Traffic Act 1961.


Division 7—Assault

20—Assault

(1) A person commits an assault if the person, without the consent of another person (the victim)—

(a) intentionally applies force (directly or indirectly) to the victim; or

(b) intentionally makes physical contact (directly or indirectly) with the victim, knowing that the victim might reasonably object to the contact in the circumstances (whether or not the victim was at the time aware of the contact); or

(c) threatens (by words or conduct) to apply force (directly or indirectly) to the victim and there are reasonable grounds for the victim to believe that—

(i) the person who makes the threat is in a position to carry out the threat and intends to do so; or

(ii) there is a real possibility that the person will carry out the threat; or

(d) does an act of which the intended purpose is to apply force (directly or indirectly) to the victim; or

(e) accosts or impedes another in a threatening manner.

(2) However—

(a) conduct that lies within limits of what would be generally accepted in the community as normal incidents of social interaction or community life cannot amount to an assault; and

(b) conduct that is justified or excused by law cannot amount to an assault.

(3) A person who commits an assault is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) for a basic offence—imprisonment for 2 years;

(b) for an aggravated offence (except one to which paragraph (c) applies)—imprisonment for 3 years;

(c) for an offence aggravated by the use of, or a threat to use, an offensive weapon—imprisonment for 4 years.

(4) A person who commits an assault that causes harm to another is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

(a) for a basic offence—imprisonment for 3 years;

(b) for an aggravated offence (except one to which paragraph (c) applies)—imprisonment for 4 years;

(c) for an offence aggravated by the use of, or a threat to use, an offensive weapon—imprisonment for 5 years.

Note—

This offence replaces section 40 (assault occasioning actual bodily harm) as in force prior to the commencement of this subsection and, consequently, see Coulter v The Queen (1988) 164 CLR 350.



Division 7A—Causing physical or mental harm

21—Harm

In this Division—

cause—a person causes harm if the person's conduct is the sole cause of the harm or substantially contributes to the harm;

If a victim suffers serious harm as a result of multiple acts of harm and those acts occur in the course of the same incident, or together constitute a single course of conduct, a person who commits any of the acts causing harm is taken to cause serious harm even though the harm caused by the act might not, if considered in isolation, amount to serious harm.



harm means physical or mental harm (whether temporary or permanent);

lesser offence, in relation to an offence against this Division, means—

(a) in relation to an aggravated offence—the basic offence or some other offence against this Division for which a lesser maximum penalty is prescribed;

(b) in any other case—some other offence against this Division or section 32A for which a lesser maximum penalty is prescribed;

mental harm means psychological harm and does not include emotional reactions such as distress, grief, fear or anger unless they result in psychological harm;

physical harm includes—

(a) unconsciousness;

(b) pain;

(c) disfigurement;

(d) infection with a disease;

recklessly—a person is reckless in causing harm or serious harm to another if the person—

(a) is aware of a substantial risk that his or her conduct could result in harm or serious harm (as the case requires); and

(b) engages in the conduct despite the risk and without adequate justification;

serious harm means—

(a) harm that endangers a person's life; or

(b) harm that consists of, or results in, serious and protracted impairment of a physical or mental function; or

(c) harm that consists of, or results in, serious disfigurement.

22—Conduct falling outside the ambit of this Division

(1) This Division does not apply to the conduct of a person who causes harm to another if the victim lawfully consented to the act causing the harm.

(2) A lawful consent given on behalf of a person who is not of full age and capacity by a parent or guardian will be taken to be the consent of the person for whom the consent was given.

(3) A person may consent to harm (including serious harm) if the nature of the harm and the purpose for which it is inflicted fall within limits that are generally accepted in the community.





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