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Section 214A Crimes Act 1900
Damage or Disruption to Major Facility

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Damage or destruction to a major facility is an offence under section 214A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You entered, remained on or near, climbed, jumped from or otherwise trespassed on or blocked entry to any part of a facility
  2. The facility was a major facility, and
  3. Your conduct:
  1. Caused damage to the facility,
  2. Seriously disrupted or obstructed persons attempting to use the facility,
  3. Caused the facility or part of it to be closed, or
  4. Caused persons attempted to use the facility to be redirected.

A ‘major facility’ is defined as:

  1. A railway station or public transport facility,
  2. A private port, or
  3. An infrastructure facility including one which provides water, sewerage, energy, manufacturing, distribution or other services to the public.

The offence applies to both publicly and privately owned facilities.

You are not guilty of the offence if your conduct formed part of industrial action or an industrial dispute or campaign.

You are also not guilty if your conduct occurred at your workplace or at a workplace owned, occupied, operated or used by your employer.

You are also not guilty if your conduct or any omission occurred with the consent or authority of:

  1. The New South Wales Police Force,
  2. Another public authority, or
  3. The owner or operator of a private facility where the conduct occurred.

The offence also does not prohibit conduct in relation to Parliament House or an office of a Member of Parliament.

Duress, necessity and self-defence are legal defences to the charge.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Defence Firm, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence team help you.

The Legislation

Section 214A deals with the offence of “Damage or Disruption to Major Facility” and reads as follows:

214A Damage or disruption to major facility

(1) A person must not enter, remain on or near, climb, jump from or otherwise trespass on or block entry to any part of a major facility if that conduct—
(a) causes damage to the major facility, or
(b) seriously disrupts or obstructs persons attempting to use the major facility, or
(c) causes the major facility, or part of the major facility, to be closed, or
(d) causes persons attempting to use the major facility to be redirected.
Maximum penalty – 200 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years, or both.

(2) It is a defence to the prosecution of an offence against this section if the person charged proves that the person had a reasonable excuse for the conduct.

(3) A person does not commit an offence under this section if the conduct forms part of the following –
(a) industrial action,
(b) an industrial dispute,
(c) an industrial campaign.

(4) A person does not commit an offence under this section if the conduct occurs –
(a) at the workplace at which the person works, or
(b) at a workplace owned, occupied, operated or used by an employer of the person.

(5) This section does not apply to the extent that it prohibits conduct in relation to –
(a) Parliament House, or
(b) an office of a member of parliament.

(6) A person does not commit an offence under this section for anything done or omitted to be done in accordance with the consent or authority of –
(a) the NSW Police Force, or
(b) another public authority, or
(c) for a privately owned major facility – the owner or operator of the facility.

(7) In this section –
major facility means the following, whether publicly or privately owned –
(a) a railway station or other public transport facility prescribed by the regulations,
(b) a private port within the meaning of the Ports and Maritime Administration Act 1995, or another port prescribed by the regulations,
(c) an infrastructure facility, including a facility providing water, sewerage, energy, manufacturing, distribution or other services to the public, prescribed by the regulations.

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:

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD offices, 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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