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Using Equipment Connected to a Telecommunications Network to Commit a Serious Offence

Using equipment connected to a telecommunications network to commit a serious offence is a crime under section 474.14(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty equivalent to that which applies to the serious offence committed.

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

  1. You used equipment connected to a telecommunications network
  2. You did so in the commission or facilitation of an offence by you or another person, and
  3. The offence committed or facilitated was a serious offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, or a serious offence against a foreign law.

A ‘telecommunications network’ is a system, or series of systems, that carries, or is capable of carrying, communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy, which includes telephone and internet networks.

A ‘serious offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory’ is an Australian offence that carries a maximum penalty of at least 5 years imprisonment.

A ‘serious offence against a foreign law’ is an offence against the law of a foreign country constituted by conduct that if it had occurred in Australia, would be punishable by a maximum penalty of at least 5 years in prison.

You may be found guilty even if committing the offence was impossible.

Duress and necessity are defences to the charge.

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