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Improper use of an Emergency Call

Improper Use of an Emergency Call is an offence under Section 474.18 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison.

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

  1. You made a call to an emergency service number
  2. The call was other than to report an emergency, and
  3. It was vexatious

In determining whether the call was vexatious, the court must consider:

  1. The content of the call
  2. The number, frequency and content of any previous calls that were made to emergency service numbers other than to report emergencies, and
  3. Any other matters it considers to be relevant

Defences to the charge include:

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

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