Section 38 Crimes Act 1900 | Use Intoxicating Substance to Commit Indictable Offence


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Section 38 of the Crimes Act is often confused with section 38A of the Crimes Act, which deals with the less serious offence of drink spiking.

In contrast, section 38 deals with more serious cases where you give another person an intoxicating substance, or cause them to take an intoxicating substance with the intention of enabling an indictable offence to be committed, either by yourself or another person.

Indictable offences are offences that are punishable by at least 5 years’ imprisonment – for example, sexual assault, indecent assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and so on.

This section therefore covers instances of ‘date rape’ – in other words, where you give someone a drug to facilitate an indecent or sexual assault.

It may also include situations where you drug another person in an attempt to make it easier to kidnap, assault or rob them.

Because these offences are taken very seriously by the courts, the maximum penalty under the law is 25 years imprisonment.

However, as it is a maximum, this penalty is usually reserved for the most serious cases only.

With the help of our highly experienced criminal law advocates, you may be able to secure a more lenient penalty or avoid a conviction entirely.

The Legislation

Section 38 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of “using an intoxicating substance to commit an indictable offence” and reads as follows:

38 Using intoxicating substance to commit an indictable offence

A person who:

(a) administers an intoxicating substance to another person, or

(b) causes another person to take an intoxicating substance,

with intent to enable himself or herself, or to assist a third person, to commit an indictable offence is guilty of an offence.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Facing court in relation to criminal charges can be a stressful experience, however you can rest assured that our experts will fight for you every step of the way.

As Sydney’s leading criminal law firm, our specialist lawyers have the expert knowledge and insight necessary to effectively fight the charges.

We will work with you from start to finish to ensure that you get the optimal result in your “intoxicating substance” matter.

Where you wish to contest the allegations against your, our criminal law experts will take the time to carefully examine all the evidence.

In doing so, we are often able to identify problems with the prosecution case, which, if raised early on, may result in the charges being dropped without even going to court.

Alternatively, should your matter proceed to a criminal trial, we guarantee that you will be represented only by our senior lawyers who have the experience and skill to fight the charges effectively.

Other law firms often allow junior lawyers to act in these serious matters, who lack the knowledge and experience of a criminal law expert.

We can also help you achieve a positive outcome where you wish to plead guilty and accept the charges against you.

In these cases, our experts will work hard to obtain all relevant evidence to put forth your case in the most positive light to secure the most lenient outcome in your case.

Our lawyers appear in court on a daily basis in order to make sentencing submissions and we pride ourselves on our unmatched ability to obtain excellent results, no matter how serious the charges are.

So for the best representation in your “intoxicating substance” matter, call the experts today on (02) 9261 8881 and take the first steps towards a positive future.