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Causing a Telecommunication to be Wrongfully Delivered

Causing a telecommunication to be wrongfully delivered is an offence under section 474.5 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.

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

  1. You caused a communication to be received by a person or carriage service
  2. The communication was received by a person or carriage service other than the person or service to whom in was directed, and
  3. The communication was in the course of a telecommunications carriage.

A ‘carriage service’ is:

‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’, which includes telephone calls, text messages and internet transmissions, such as emails and the use of social media sites.

You are not guilty if you establish to the court ‘on the balance of probabilities’ that your conduct was with the consent or authorisation of the person or organisation to whom the communication was directed.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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