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Participation in a Criminal Group

Participation in a criminal group is an offence under section 93T 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:

  1. You participated in a criminal group
  2. You knew or ought reasonably have known it was a criminal group, and
  3. You knew or ought reasonably have known that your participation contributed to the occurrence of criminal activity

The maximum penalty increases to 10 years where:

  1. You directed the activities of a criminal group
  2. You knew it was a criminal group, and
  3. You knew or were reckless as to whether that participation contributed to the occurrence of criminal activity

A 10 year maximum is also applicable where:

  1. You assaulted another person, or destroyed or damaged property of another, or intended to do so, and
  2. Intended by that action to participate in a criminal group

The penalty increases to a maximum of 14 years where the person assaulted was a law enforcement officer in the execution of his or her duty.

Or to 15 years where:

  1. You directed the activities of a criminal group
  2. Those activities were organised and ongoing
  3. You knew it was a criminal group, and
  4. You knew or were reckless as to whether that participation contributed to the occurrence of criminal activity

A ‘criminal group’ is one which is comprised of 3 or more people whose objective is to:

  1. Obtain material benefits from conduct that constitutes a ‘serious indictable offence’, including conduct outside NSW which would amount to such an offence if committed within the state, or
  2. Commit ‘serious violence offences’, including conduct outside NSW which would amount to such offences if committed within the state

A ‘serious indictable offence’ is one that carries a maximum penalty of at least 5 years in prison

A ‘serious violence offence’ is one punishable by at least 10 years which involves:

  1. Loss of a person’s life or serious risk thereof
  2. Serious injury to a person or serious risk thereof
  3. Serious damage to property where a person’s safety is endangered, or
  4. Perverting the course of relating to a case involving any of the above

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