Spiking Drink or Food is an offence under Section 38A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You caused another person to be given or consume drink or food,
- That drink or food contained an intoxicating substance of which the other person was unaware, or contained more of an intoxicating substance than the other person would expect it to contain, and
- You intended the other person to be harmed by the substance.
‘Harm’ includes includes any impairment of the senses or understanding which might reasonably be objected to in the circumstances.
‘Impairment’ includes to further impair.
Causing the drink or food to be given includes:
- Preparing it for the other person, or
- Making it available for the other person to consume.
You are not guilty if you had reasonable cause to believe the other person would not have objected to consuming the drink or food if he or she had known of the presence and quantity of the intoxicating substance.
Using an intoxicating substance during dental, medical or other health professional practice is not an offence under the section.
Defences to the charge include:
If you are going to court for the offence of Drink Spiking, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers 24/7 on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange a free first conference with an experienced defence lawyer who will advise you of your options and the best way forward, and fight to secure the optimal outcome.
Read on for more information.
Section 38A deals with the offence of “drink spiking” and reads as follows:
38A Spiking drink or food
(1) In this section:”harm” includes an impairment of the senses or understanding of a person that the person might reasonably be expected to object to in the circumstances. “Impair” includes further impair.
(2) A person:
(a) who causes another person to be given or to consume drink or food:
(i) containing an intoxicating substance that the other person is not aware it contains, or
(ii) containing more of an intoxicating substance than the other person would reasonably expect it to contain, and
(b) who intends a person to be harmed by the consumption of the drink or food,is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years or 100 penalty units, or both.
(3) For the purposes of this section, giving a person drink or food includes preparing the drink or food for the person or making it available for consumption by the person.
(4) A person does not commit an offence against this section if the person has reasonable cause to believe that each person who was likely to consume the drink or food would not have objected to consuming the drink or food if the person had been aware of the presence and quantity of the intoxicating substance in the drink or food.
(5) A person who uses an intoxicating substance in the course of any medical, dental or other health professional practice does not commit an offence against this section.
(6) An offence against this section is a summary offence.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:
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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 email@example.com.