Section 93B of the Crimes Act 1900 makes it an offence to participate in a riot.
A riot is where 12 or more people threaten to use ‘unlawful violence’ for a ‘common purpose’, and their actions would cause an ordinary person to fear for their safety.
A ‘common purpose’ is a particular cause or issue each of the people involved seeks to address – for example, in the 2005 Cronulla Riots the group wanted to address the prior conduct of a particular racial group.
When determining if a common purpose exists, the court will look at the conduct and actions of the group as a whole.
‘Unlawful violence’ means illegal and harmful conduct. It can include damage caused to property, injuries suffered by people, and any conduct that has the potential to cause damage or injury, such as throwing objects at other people. However, words alone won’t be enough to constitute ‘unlawful violence.’
Section 93B says that if you are found guilty of riot, you could face a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment. However, this is the absolute maximum and will only apply in the most serious cases.
Section 93B of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of riot and reads as follows:
(1) Where 12 or more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety, each of the persons using unlawful violence for the common purpose is guilty of riot and liable to imprisonment for 15 years.
(2) It is immaterial whether or not the 12 or more persons use or threaten unlawful violence simultaneously.
(3) The common purpose may be inferred from conduct.
(4) No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.
(5) Riot may be committed in private as well as in public places.
If you have been charged with riot, our highly-experienced team of criminal lawyers can advise you of the steps to take to secure a positive outcome.
Unlike other law firms, we have considerable experience fighting and winning riot cases and our lawyers are best placed to give you the advice and representation that you need to avoid a conviction.
Often, there may be problems with the prosecution evidence, which, if raised at an early stage, can result in the charges being dropped, sparing you the time and expense of fighting the charges in court.
Alternatively, we can advise you of any available defences in your case, for example, where you were coerced or threatened into participating in the riot.
If the matter proceeds to court, rest assured that our exceptional advocates will give you the strongest possible defence by fighting hard to protect your innocence.
If you simply wish to plead guilty, our senior defence lawyers will put forth your case in the most positive light to ensure that you avoid a harsh penalty.
We have extensive experience fighting and winning these types of cases – in fact, we have successfully defended clients in several high profile cases, including charges resulting out of the 2005 Cronulla riots.
So when your liberty is at stake, don’t waste time talking to inexperienced lawyers. Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and get the riot experts on your side today.