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Failure to Disclose Identity to a Police Officer

Failure to disclose identity to a police officer is an offence under section 11 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities Act 2002 which carries a maximum penalty of a fine equivalent to two penalty units.

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

  1. You were required under section 11 of the Act to disclose your identity to a police officer, and
  2. You failed or refused to comply with the requirement.

Section 11 of the Act requires you to disclose your identity to a police officer if your identity is not already known to the officer and:

  1. The officer suspects on reasonable grounds you may be able to assist in the investigation of a serious offence because you were at or near the place of the alleged offending, whether before, during or soon after the offence, or
  2. The officer proposes to give you a direction under Part 14 of the Act to leave or move on from a public place.

You are not guilty of the offence if you establish, on the balance of probabilities, that you had a reasonable excuse for your conduct.

General legal defences to the offence include duress, necessity and self-defence.

If you are able to raise evidence of a general legal defence, the onus then shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defence does not apply to the circumstances of the case.

You are entitled to an acquittal if the prosecution is unable to do this.

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