Stalk and Intimidate Offences
Stalking or intimidation are serious offences under New South Wales legislation and can have a significant impact on the lives of victims. The Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 sets out the legal framework for dealing with these charges.
It is important to note that the legislation notes that stalking or intimidation can occur in a range of contexts, including in relationships, at work, and in the community.
What is Stalking?
The definition is in Section 8 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act
Stalking can include:
- Following a person around
- Watching or frequenting places the person resides or frequents for leisure.
- Contacting or approaching a person through technologically assisted means.
When determining if a person’s behavior amounts to stalking, a court may consider any pattern of violence, particularly if it constitutes domestic violence.
What is intimidation?
The definition is in Section 7 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act
Intimidation can include:
- Conduct that amounts to harassment or molestation of a person.
- Cyberbullying, such as bullying via social media or email, is an example of intimidation.
- An approach made to a person by any means that causes them to fear for their safety also constitutes intimidation.
- Conduct that causes a reasonable apprehension of injury, violence, damage to property, or harm to an animal can also be intimidation.
- conduct amounting to the coercion, deception, or threat of a child or person to enter into a forced marriage under the Crimes Act 1900 or the Commonwealth Criminal Code.
What is the Stalking or Intimidation offence?
- Section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 outlines the offence of stalking or intimidation with intent to cause fear of physical or mental harm.
- This offence involves a person intentionally stalking or intimidating another person with the aim of causing them to fear physical or mental harm, including harm to another person with whom they have a domestic relationship.
- This can include actions such as following someone, making repeated unwanted contact, or using threatening language or behavior.
- The prosecution does not have to prove that the person alleged to have been stalked or intimidated actually feared physical or mental harm.
- Attempting to commit this offence is also an offence and is punishable as if the offence attempted had taken place.
Penalties for Stalking or Intimidation
The maximum penalty = imprisonment for 5 years and 50 penalty units ($5,500 maximum fine), or both.
- Subsequent offence = up to 10 years imprisonment
These penalties reflect the court’s approach towards the serious nature of domestic violence related offences.
At O’Brien solicitors, we have a commitment to providing compassionate and effective legal representation for clients who police have charged with the these range of offences. Also those who are subject to offences of this kind and seek further legal advice.