Section 58 Crimes Act 1900 | Assault on Officers


Section 58 of the Crimes Act deals with assaults committed on officers.

While ‘assault officer’ matters are treated seriously by the courts, our lawyers can help you fight the charges to obtain the most positive result in your case.

Each of the offences under section 58 of the Crimes Act is discussed below.

Assault on officers

Section 58 makes it an offence to assault, obstruct or resist an officer while they are carrying out their work duties.

This includes situations where you touch an officer without their permission, where you refuse to be lawfully arrested or detained, or if you otherwise prevent an officer from carrying out their work duties.

An assault describes any situations where you act in a way that causes another person to fear ‘unlawful personal violence.’

Although most assaults involve you touching the other person, an assault can also include situations where you simply threaten someone and cause them to fear for their personal safety.

Under this section, the word ‘officer’ refers to a:

  • Constable or other peace officer
  • Custom house officer
  • Prison officer
  • Sheriff’s officer
  • Bailiff
  • Anyone assisting or helping any of the above officers

However, it’s important to note that this list does not include police officers – if you have assaulted a police officer, you will most likely face charges under section 60 of the Crimes Act 1900.

Assault with intent to carry out serious indictable offence

Section 58 also makes it an offence to assault any person with the intention of carrying out a ‘serious indictable offence.’

A ‘serious indictable offence’ is an offence that carries a maximum penalty of at least five years’ imprisonment, such as larceny (stealing) or sexual assault.

For example, you could be charged under section 58 for assaulting a security guard whilst trying to break into a house or building.

Assault to prevent lawful apprehension or detention

Section 58 also says that it is an offence to assault another person or resist arrest while someone is trying to lawfully detain you – for example, if you rob someone and another person performs a ‘citizen’s arrest’ to detain you until police arrive.

The Legislation

Section 58 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘assault with intent to commit a serious indictable offence on certain officers’ and reads as follows:

58 Assault with intent to commit a serious indictable offence on certain officers

assaults any person with intent to commit a serious indictable offence, or

assaults, resists, or wilfully obstructs any officer while in the execution of his or her duty, such officer being a constable, or other peace officer, custom-house officer, prison officer, sheriff’s officer, or bailiff, or any person acting in aid of such officer, or

assaults any person, with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any person for any offence,

shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

If you have been charged with any of the offences under section 58, it’s important to seek advice about your options from an experienced criminal lawyer.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we specialise exclusively in criminal law. This means that our expert lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to get the best possible result in your assault case.

We have a proven track record of obtaining excellent results in assault matters – in many cases, we have been able to have charges dropped at an early stage by identifying problems with the prosecution case.

Where the matter ends up in court, our senior lawyers will fight hard to ensure that you get the best possible outcome by presenting compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors in your case.

In some cases, our skilled advocates can help persuade the court to deal with the matter by way of a section 10, which is where you are found guilty but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.

We consistently achieve better results than any other law firm in Sydney.

For the best representation in your assault matter, you need the best criminal lawyers on your side. Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book a FREE first conference with us to find out how we can help you win your assault case.