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Section 60A Crimes Act 1900
Assault Law Enforcement Officers

It’s common knowledge that assaulting a police officer is an offence that could result in heavy penalties, but many people are unaware that you can also be charged for assaulting a “law enforcement officer.”

Though offences under section 60A are treated seriously by the courts, our criminal law specialists will make every effort to protect your rights and interests by advising you of the steps to take when defending the charges.

We guarantee that you will be represented by one of our expert senior lawyers at every court date – highly respected lawyers who have a proven track record of winning serious criminal cases.

Under section 60A, the term “law enforcement officer” is used broadly to refer to any of the below persons:

  • ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) officers  who perform investigative functions
  • Police Integrity Commission officers
  • The Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the Police Integrity Commission
  • The Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the NSW Crime Commission
  • Any member of the NSW Crime Commission who performs investigative duties or has confiscation functions
  • The Commissioner of Corrective Services
  • Governors of Correctional Centres, correctional officers and probation and parole officers
  • Juvenile Justice Officers
  • Crown Prosecutors and Acting Crown Prosecutors
  • Lawyers employed by the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Sheriff’s officers

Section 60A of the Crimes Act says that if you assault, throw a missile at, stalk, harass or intimidate any one of these persons, you could face a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

An assault under section 60A is defined as any intentional or reckless action which causes a law enforcement officer to fear immediate and unlawful personal violence.

If the assault results in “actual bodily harm” – that is, harm that is more than temporary, such as bruises or scratches, the maximum penalty is 7 years’ imprisonment.

Further, you could face a maximum penalty of 12 years’ imprisonment if you wound or inflict grievous bodily harm upon the law enforcement officer.

A wound is where both layers of the skin are broken; for example, a split lip or deep cut.

Grievous bodily harm is defined as “really serious harm” and includes injuries such as broken bones or permanent internal organ damage.

In every case, the prosecution must prove that the offence was committed while the law enforcement officer was working, or because of their role as a law enforcement officer (e.g. for revenge).

While these penalties may seem harsh, our experienced criminal lawyers can work with you to maximise your chances of escaping a conviction.

The Legislation

Section 60A of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Assault Law Enforcement Officers’ and reads as follows:

60A Assault and other actions against law enforcement officers (other than police officers)

(1) A person who assaults, throws a missile at, stalks, harasses or intimidates a law enforcement officer (other than a police officer) while in the execution of the officer’s duty, although no actual bodily harm is occasioned to the officer, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) A person who assaults a law enforcement officer (other than a police officer) while in the execution of the officer’s duty, and by the assault occasions actual bodily harm, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

(3) A person who recklessly by any means:

(a) wounds a law enforcement officer (other than a police officer), or

(b) inflicts grievous bodily harm on a law enforcement officer (other than a police officer),while

in the execution of the officer’s duty is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.

(4) For the purposes of this section, an action is taken to be carried out in relation to a law enforcement officer while in the execution of the officer’s duty, even though the officer is not on duty at the time, if it is carried out:

(a) as a consequence of, or in retaliation for, actions undertaken by that officer in the execution of the officer’s duty, or

(b) because the officer is a law enforcement officer.

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with. Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.

    Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.

    Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

    We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.

    Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.

    We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.

    We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.

  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm

    We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.

    The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.

  4. Fixed Fees

    We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.

    We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First Appointment

    For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.

    We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.

  6. Specialist Lawyer Guarantee

    We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.

    This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.

  7. All NSW Courts

    From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.

    And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.

  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.

    All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.

    An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.

    Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

    Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.

  9. Results-Focused Law Firm

    Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.

    The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.

    Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.

    No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind You

    Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.

    Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

    A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.

    In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.

  11. Familiar with Magistrates and Judges

    Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.

    Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.

  12. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    • the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
    • Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
    • Parramatta, near the justice precinct.

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.

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