Section 315 Crimes Act 1900 | Hindering Investigations


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The legal system seeks to uphold notions of fairness and justice – accordingly, any attempts to hinder criminal investigations are taken very seriously.

Section 315 of the Crimes Act 1900 makes it an offence to hinder any investigation of a serious indictable offence committed by another person.

It also makes it an offence to hinder the discovery of any evidence relevant to a serious indictable offence committed by another person, and to hinder the arrest of another person.

A “serious indictable offence” refers to any offence that carries a penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment or more. This encompasses a wide range of offences, including, for example, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, fraud, sexual assault and so on.

Examples of conduct that may constitute “hindering an investigation” include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining false statements in relation to a criminal investigation
  • Hiding someone who is the subject of a criminal investigation
  • Pretending to be the perpetrator of a crime to allow another person to escape conviction.

Section 315 of the Crimes Act says that the maximum penalty for hindering an investigation is 7 years’ imprisonment.

While this is obviously a lengthy penalty, our highly experienced criminal defence team can give you the advice and assistance you need when it comes to defending the charges in court.

The Legislation

Section 315 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “hindering investigations” and reads as follows:

315 Hindering investigation etc

(1) A person who does anything intending in any way to hinder:

(a) the investigation of a serious indictable offence committed by another person, or

(b) the discovery of evidence concerning a serious indictable offence committed by another person, or

(c) the apprehension of another person who has committed a serious indictable offence,

is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person is to be considered to have committed a serious indictable offence if a public officer engaged in the detection or investigation of offenders suspects on reasonable grounds that a person has committed the offence.

(3) It is not an offence against this section merely to refuse or fail to divulge information or produce evidence.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we exclusively practice in the area of criminal law. This means that our lawyers have the specialist insight and knowledge necessary to help you win your ‘hindering investigation’ case.

With considerable experience fighting and winning some of the most serious criminal cases, our lawyers are well-versed in the laws of evidence and criminal law.

We have a proven track record of fighting and winning these matters by finding problems with the prosecution case at an early stage.

In cases where you have been wrongly accused of hindering an investigation, we may also be able to have costs awarded to you for the inconvenience of being wrongly accused.

Should you simply wish to plead guilty, our highly skilled criminal lawyers can assist you in obtaining the most lenient penalty possible by preparing persuasive sentencing submissions which highlight positive features – for example, where your conduct had a minimal impact in carrying out the investigation, where the hindrance was only for a short period, or where your conduct was unplanned.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 to book a FREE first conference with our dedicated lawyers to discuss how we can help you win your case.