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Taking Control of an Aircraft Without Lawful Excuse

Taking Control of an Aircraft Without Lawful Excuse is an offence under Section 154B(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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

  1. You directly or indirectly took or exercised control of an aircraft, and
  2. You did not have a lawful excuse to do so

An ‘aircraft’ is any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-Defence
  2. Necessity
  3. Duress, and
  4. Claim of right, which means you genuinely believed you were legally entitled to the property

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