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Section 93X Crimes Act 1900
Consorting

Recently the media has focussed on the activities of criminal gangs such as bikies. In response to the alleged increase in organised crime, the government has passed new laws intended to disrupt the activities of criminal gangs.

One of these new laws is contained in section 93X of the Crimes Act, which deals with the offence of consorting.

Consorting refers to situations where you associate with at least 2 persons convicted of a criminal offence, and you associate with each of these persons on at least 2 separate occasions.

However, before you can be charged with a consorting offence, the prosecution must also prove that you had previously received an “official warning” about each of the persons who you are alleged to have consorted with.

An “official warning” is a verbal or written warning from police that the person in question is a convicted offender, and that consorting is a criminal offence.

Section 93Y of the Crimes Act also contains a list of defences to consorting charges.

It says that you cannot be charged with consorting in the following situations:

  • Where the person with whom you are alleged to have consorted is a family member;
  • Where you consorted with another person as part of your employment or operation of a lawful business;
  • Where you consorted with someone as part of your training or education
  • Where you consorted with another person in the course of provision of a health service
  • Where you consort with someone in the course of providing them with legal advice
  • Where you consort with someone who is in lawful custody or who is complying with a court order

If you are found guilty of consorting, you could face a maximum penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $16,500.

However, the maximum penalty will only apply in the most serious cases.

Our highly experienced criminal defence team can assist you in avoiding these heavy penalties if you have been charged with a consorting offence.

The Legislation

Section 93X of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “consorting” and reads as follows:

93X Consorting

(1) A person who:

(a) habitually consorts with convicted offenders, and

(b) consorts with those convicted offenders after having been given an official warning in relation to each of those convicted offenders,

is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years, or a fine of 150 penalty units, or both.

(2) A person does not “habitually consort” with convicted offenders unless:

(a) the person consorts with at least 2 convicted offenders (whether on the same or separate occasions), and

(b) the person consorts with each convicted offender on at least 2 occasions.

(3) An “official warning” is a warning given by a police officer (orally or in writing) that:

(a) a convicted offender is a convicted offender, and

(b) consorting with a convicted offender is an offence.

Section 93Y of the Crimes Act contains a list of defences for consorting and reads as follows:

93Y Defence

The following forms of consorting are to be disregarded for the purposes of section 93X if the defendant satisfies the court that the consorting was reasonable in the circumstances:

(a) consorting with family members,

(b) consorting that occurs in the course of lawful employment or the lawful operation of a business,

(c) consorting that occurs in the course of training or education,

(d) consorting that occurs in the course of the provision of a health service,

(e) consorting that occurs in the course of the provision of legal advice,

(f) consorting that occurs in lawful custody or in the course of complying with a court order.

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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