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Assaulting a Police Officer

Assaulting a Police Officer is an offence under Section 60 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

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

You assaulted, threw a missile at, stalked, harassed or intimidated a police officer.

An ‘assault’ is where:

  1. You caused the officer to fear immediate and unlawful violence, or you made unauthorised physical contact with the officer,
  2. The officer did not consent, and
  3. Your actions were intentional or reckless

An act is considered to be against a police officer even though he or she is not on duty, if it is carried out due to:

  1. Actions by the officer while executing his or her duty, or
  2. The fact he or she is a police officer

The maximum penalty increases to 7 years in prison where you inflicted ‘actual bodily harm’ on the officer which is harm that is more than ‘transient or trifling’ and includes lasting cuts or bruises.

The maximum increases to 12 years in prison where you inflicted ‘grievous bodily harm’ on the officer which is ‘very serious harm’ that includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Any permanent or serious disfigurement
  2. The destruction of a foetus, other than by a medical procedure, and
  3. Any grievous bodily disease

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity

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