Because of the important role that witnesses and jurors play in determining the facts of a case and reaching a verdict, there are laws which make it an offence to interfere with witnesses or jurors.
You can therefore be charged with a criminal offence if you prevent, obstruct or dissuade a witness or juror from attending court without a lawful excuse.
You can also be charged under this section if you prevent a witness from complying with a summons or subpoena that requires them to produce evidence.
In either case, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.
However, this is the absolute maximum and will only apply in the most serious cases.
Generally, these matters will be heard in the Local Court before a magistrate, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.
Our team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can assist you in avoiding these heavy penalties by preparing a strong defence case, or, should you wish to plead guilty, persuasive sentencing submissions.
Section 325 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Preventing Witness or Juror from Attending Court’ and reads as follows:
325 Preventing, obstructing or dissuading witness or juror from attending etc
(1) A person who without lawful excuse wilfully prevents, obstructs or dissuades a person called as a witness in any judicial proceeding from attending as a witness or from producing anything in evidence pursuant to a summons or subpoena is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
(1A) A person who without lawful excuse wilfully prevents, obstructs or dissuades another person who the person believes may be called as a witness in any judicial proceeding from attending the proceeding is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
(2) A person who without lawful excuse wilfully prevents, obstructs or dissuades a person summoned as a juror in any judicial proceeding from attending as a juror is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.
Choosing the right legal team to defend your reputation and interests can be a difficult process.
However, it is always important to look at a firm’s experience and results when making this decision.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, we have extensive experience defending and winning some of the most complex criminal matters – so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.
Our criminal law specialists will take the time in every case to carefully scrutinise all the evidence in order to identify problems with the prosecution case at an early stage in the proceedings.
Where issues are found, our lawyers will write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis – often sparing our clients the considerable time and expense associated with defended hearings.
However, should your matter proceed to court, our senior lawyers will represent you and present a strong defence case to maximise your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’
Our senior lawyers are highly skilled advocates who have been recognised for their expert knowledge of the criminal law, as well as their ability to obtain excellent results in difficult cases.
We can help you identify any defences to the charges, such as where you were coerced or threatened into preventing the witness or juror from attending.
We can also assist you in avoiding the harsh penalties imposed by the law if you simply wish to plead guilty – in these cases, our experienced advocates can prepare and present compelling sentencing submissions which focus on any positive factors of your case.
For the best defence in your case, get the experts on your side today. Call us now on
(02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our criminal law specialists.