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Section 139.2 Criminal Code Act 1995
Unwarranted Demands Made By a Commonwealth Public Official

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Making an Unwarranted Demand as a Commonwealth Public Official is an offence under Section 139.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.

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

  1. You were a Commonwealth public official,
  2. You made a demand of another person,
  3. Your demand was with menaces,
  4. Your demand was unwarranted,
  5. Your demand was directly or indirectly related to:
  • Your capacity as a Commonwealth public official, or
  • Any influence you had in you capacity as a Commonwealth public official, and
  1. You intended by your demand to obtain a gain or cause a loss.

A ‘menace’ is an express or implied threat of detrimental or unpleasant conduct which is likely to cause another person to act unwillingly.

A ‘Commonwealth public official’ includes:

  1. The Governor‑General,
  2. A person appointed to administer the Commonwealth Government under section 4 of the Constitution,
  3. A Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or Member of either House of Parliament,
  4. A person who holds an appointment under section 67 of the Commonwealth Constitution which provides for the appointment of civil servants,
  1. An Administrator, Acting Administrator or Deputy Administrator of the Northern Territory,
  2. A Commonwealth judicial officer including a Magistrate, Judge or Justice,
  3. An employee of the Australian Public Service,
  4. A person employed by the Commonwealth otherwise than under the Public Service Act 1999,
  5. A member of the Australian Defence Force or Australian Federal Police,
  6. A person who holds or performs the duties of an office established by or under a law of the Commonwealth, other than:
  • the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • the Australian Capital Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1988
  • the Corporations Act 2001, or
  • the Northern Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1978
  1. An officer or employee of a Commonwealth authority,
  2. A contracted service provider for a Commonwealth contract,
  3. An officer or employee of a contracted service provider for a Commonwealth contract who provides services for the purposes of the contract,
  1. A person who exercises powers or functions conferred by or under a Commonwealth law other than:
  • the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006
  • the Australian Capital Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1988
  • the Corporations Act 2001
  • the Northern Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1978, or
  • a provision specified in the regulations
  1. A person who exercises powers or function conferred under a law in force on Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands or Norfolk Island, or
  1. A Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations.

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

If you require Expert Legal Advice from an Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer for your Unwarranted Demands Made By a Commonwealth Public Official matter, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881.

The Legislation

139.2 Unwarranted demands made by a Commonwealth public official

A Commonwealth public official commits an offence if:

(a) the official makes an unwarranted demand with menaces of another person; and

(b) the demand or the menaces are directly or indirectly related to:

(i) the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; or

(ii) any influence the official has in the official’s capacity as a Commonwealth public official; and

(c) the official does so with the intention of:

(i) obtaining a gain; or

(ii) causing a loss; or

(iii) influencing another Commonwealth public official in the exercise of the other official’s duties as a Commonwealth public official.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 years.

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.

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  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.

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    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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