Section 547B Crimes Act | Public Mischief


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Often, the police rely on information provided by members of the public to aid in criminal investigations.

Information given to police concerning criminal activity is treated very seriously and may instigate criminal investigations which require the expenditure of public resources.

Accordingly, the making of false statements to police is a criminal offence under section 547B of the Crimes Act. This offence is also known as “public mischief.”

You may be charged with the offence of “public mischief” if you make a false representation or statement to police about an act or event that has or will occur, where this representation or statement may lead to a criminal investigation by police.

You can still be charged with an offence under this section if you make a representation to someone other than a police officer, and that other person tells the police.

The maximum penalty for “public mischief” is 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,500.

This matter is a summary offence and will be dealt with in the Local Court before a magistrate.

While it can be daunting facing court in relation to a criminal offence, our expert lawyers can guide you through every step of the court process and advise you of your options when it comes to fighting the matter in court.

For more information on the offence of public mischief, please see our offences page here.

The Legislation

Section 547B of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “public mischief” and reads as follows:

547B Public mischief

(1) Any person who, by any means, knowingly makes to a police officer any false representation that an act has been, or will be, done or that any event has occurred, or will occur, which act or event as so represented is such as calls for an investigation by a police officer, shall be liable on conviction before the Local Court to imprisonment for 12 months, or to a fine of 50 penalty units, or both.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person shall be deemed to make a representation to a police officer if the person makes the representation to any other person and the nature of the representation reasonably requires that other person to communicate it to a police officer and that person does so communicate it.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

When you have been charged with making a false representation to police, it can be beneficial to have a specialist criminal lawyer on your side who has an expert understanding of the law.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we specialise exclusively in criminal law and have considerable experience defending and winning “public mischief” cases.

Often, it can come as a shock to be charged with “public mischief” where you communicated information which you believed to be true to police.

In these cases, our expert lawyers will push to have the charges dropped at an early stage by raising problems with the prosecution case before the matter goes to a defended hearing.

However, should you require representation in court at a defended hearing, our lawyers will go above and beyond to build a strong defence case that raises all relevant evidence and allows for the careful examination of all witnesses.

We can also assist you in avoiding a harsh penalty should you wish to plead guilty.

Our firm specialises in obtaining ‘section 10s,’ even in difficult criminal cases.

A ‘section 10’ means that you are found guilty of the offence, but you will not have any convictions recorded on your criminal record – it is essentially a best-case scenario outcome.

A good result in a public mischief case requires hard work and dedication by outstanding lawyers.

For the best result in your case, call us on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with us today.