Using a Carriage Service to Menace, Harass or Cause Offence is a crime under Section 474.17 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:
A ‘carriage service’ is defined as:
‘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.
The use is ‘menacing’ if it includes:
An express or implied threat of detrimental or unpleasant conduct which is likely to cause the other person to act unwillingly.
The use is ‘offensive’ if a reasonable person would regard it as being so.
The matters to be considered when deciding whether the use is offensive include:
The legislation does not define ‘harass’ however, it has been defined:
‘to disturb, bother or pester repeatedly’.
Defences to the charge include:
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