Though it may seem like a minor offence, throwing rocks or objects at vehicles is treated seriously by the courts and may potentially result in lengthy gaol terms.
However, there are several ways in which you can fight these types of charges, and with the assistance of our criminal law experts, you may be able to avoid these harsh penalties.
Section 49A of the Crimes Act contains a specific offence of ‘throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels.’
It says that you can be charged with a criminal offence if you deliberately throw something towards a vehicle or vessel that is on a road, railway or waters.
A vehicle or vessel essentially refers to any form of transportation – including cars, bikes, trucks, boats, and trains.
To be found guilty under this section, the prosecution must prove that there was someone inside the vehicle in question and that your conduct endangered their safety.
It does not matter whether or not the vehicle was moving at the time that you threw the object towards it, or whether or not you knew that your conduct would pose a risk to the other person’s safety.
If you are found guilty under this section, you could face a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment.
This is obviously quite a lengthy penalty, however it is important to remember that it will only apply in the most serious cases – for example, where the object thrown caused serious injury to another person or significant damage to the vehicle in question.
Section 49A of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘throwing rocks at vehicles’ and reads as follows:
49A Throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person intentionally throws an object at, or drops an object on or towards, a vehicle or vessel that is on any road, railway or navigable waters, and
(b) there is a person in the vehicle or vessel, and
(c) the conduct risks the safety of any person.
Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.
(2) This section extends to a vehicle or vessel that is stationary at the time that the object is thrown or dropped.
(3) In the prosecution of an offence under this section, it is not necessary to prove:
(a) that the accused was aware that his or her conduct risked the safety of any person, or
(b) that the object made contact with the vehicle or vessel.
(4) In this section:”road” means a road or road related area within the meaning of the Road Transport (General) Act 2005.”throw” includes propel. “vehicle” includes:
(a) a motor vehicle, and
(b) a train or tram, and
(c) a bicycle, and
(d) a vehicle drawn by an animal or an animal ridden by a person.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we have considerable experience representing clients in serious criminal matters, including “throwing rocks at vehicles” cases.
We have a demonstrated track record of winning even the most difficult cases and our knowledge and experience working in this area of the law is unparalleled.
Our exceptional advocates will take the time to listen to your story and will work together with you to fight the charges.
We will go above and beyond to find problems with the prosecution case; for example, where there is not enough evidence to identify you as the person who threw the objects.
In these situations, we can push to have the charges dropped outside of court.
If the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, rest assured that our exceptional advocates will fight hard to protect your innocence in court by raising all available defences and evidence that supports your case.
We can also help you get a positive outcome if you simply wish to plead guilty – in every case we fight hard to ensure that the charges are dealt with in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is much lower.
We will also fight hard to have the matter dealt with by way of some alternative penalty to minimise the chances of you going to gaol.
We specialise in obtaining section 10s for our clients, which is where you are found guilty but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.
We have managed to successfully obtain section 10s in serious criminal matters and will always fight hard to secure you a section 10, even when the charges are serious.
For the best defence in your “throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles” case, call us on (02) 9261 8881 and get Sydney’s best criminal defence lawyers on your side.