Defence Lawyers for Use Carriage Service to menace, harass or offend

The offence of using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend is outlined in
section 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). It is a Commonwealth offence and is thus applicable Australia-wide.

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Charged or Accused with Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence?

Facing charges of using a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence is not uncommon in today's digital age. Misusing communication services can lead to potential serious legal consequences which can have significant repercussions on one's personal and professional life. This includes receiving penalties such as Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO’s), fines and even the possibility of imprisonment. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with this offence, seek legal counsel promptly to ensure the best possible defence. Faraj Defence Lawyers specialise in handling cases related to the misuse of carriage services and can provide the expertise needed to navigate through the legal complexities associated with these charges.

Why choose faraj defence lawyers?

Choosing the right legal representation can make all the difference when facing using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence charges, at Faraj Defence Lawyers we stand out as the optimal choice for defendants seeking expert guidance and unwavering support. So what makes us different?

01

Free Initial Consultation

We understand the importance of an initial assessment, which is why we offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your case.

02

Expert Defence Strategies

We craft meticulous defence strategies aimed at securing favourable outcomes, including aiming and securing Section 10 dismissals & non-convictions.

03

Unwavering Support and Guidance 

Unwavering support and guidance from the beginning to the resolution of your case, ensuring you are informed and empowered throughout.

04

Negotioation Expertise

Our extensive knowledge on dealing with the prosecution has allowed us to develop expert negotiation strategies that will tip the scales in our favour.

05

Direct Access to Senior Criminal Lawyer

Direct access to a senior criminal lawyer who will oversee your case. Ensuring your matter is handled with the utmost expertise and attention it deserves.

06

Fixed Fees and Transparent Pricing 

We believe in transparency. Our firm operates on fixed fees, providing clarity on costs from the outset. Eliminating any unexpected financial burdens.

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What is the offence of Using Carriage Service to Menace, Harass or offend?

This is an offence under section 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), this section prescribes that: ‘a person is guilty of an offence if: (a) the person uses a carriageservice; and (b) the person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all thecircumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive.’. 

The act of "using a carriage service to menace" constitutes a criminal offence recognised in various jurisdictions, including Australia. This offence occurs when individuals utilise telecommunication services such as emails, text messages, phone calls, or social media platforms to engage in behaviours that involve harassment, intimidation, or causing offence to others. The severity of this offence is underscored by its potential to inflict significant emotional harm on the victim. It is commonly identified as cyberbullying or online harassment.

What is a carriage service?

A carriage service is defined as ‘a service for carrying communications by means of guided and/or unguided electromagnetic energy’. This includes telephone calls, text messages, emails, social media, and internet-based messaging services such as Facebook or iMessage.

What’s the difference between menacing, harassing & offending?

Understanding the differences in legal terminology is essential when facing charges linked to the use of a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence. Below is a succinct breakdown of these terms:

  • Menacing: Where the conduct has a serious potential effect on the receiver such as apprehension or fear for their safety, according to an objective standard of reasonable person.

  • Harassing: usually in circumstances in which conduct is repeated. 

  • Offensive: where the conduct is likely to ‘arouse significant anger, significant outrage, disgust, or hatred in the mind of a reasonable person in all the circumstances’.

Cases of aggravation

The Act also specifies ‘aggravated’ versions of this offence, including where the commission of the offence involves the ‘transmission, publication, distribution, advertisement or promotion of material’ that is ‘private sexual material’.

Private sexual material refers to a material that depicts an adult person engaged in (or appears to be engaged in) a sexual pose or sexual activity in circumstances in which reasonable persons would have an expectation of privacy.

It also includes material that mainly depicts an adult’s sexual organ, anal region, or the breasts of a female, in circumstances in which reasonable persons would have an expectation of privacy.

How do I beat a Use Carriage Service to menace, harass, or offend charge?

WHAT THE PROSECUTION MUST PROVE

To mount a robust defence against charges of using a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence, it is essential to understand what the prosecution must prove. Crafting a defence strategy involves demonstrating to the court that the prosecution cannot establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements. 

  • Use of a Carriage Service: The prosecution must establish that you utilised a carriage service, which includes various telecommunication methods such as emails, text messages, phone calls, or social media platforms.

  • Content of Communications: It must be proven that the content of the communications in question was indeed menacing, harassing, or offensive.

  • Reasonable Person Standard: The prosecution needs to demonstrate that a reasonable person, when considering the circumstances, would perceive your actions as menacing, harassing, or offensive.

It is important to note that the prosecution is not obligated to prove that the recipient of the communication genuinely feared that the threat would be carried out. To successfully challenge the charges, our defence strategy will focus on undermining the prosecution's ability to meet these criteria beyond a reasonable doubt.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR USING CARRIAGE SERVICE TO MENACE, HARASS, OR OFFEND?

The maximum penalty for this offence is three years imprisonment. If the offence is aggravated, the maximum penalty applicable is instead 5 years. However, these matters can be dealt with in the Local Court if the prosecution and defence consent to this. 

Practically, this means that most offences of section 474.17 will be dealt with summarily in the Local Court. In the Local Court, the maximum penalty is limited to one year imprisonment and/or a $18,780 fine.

In more serious cases, the imposed penalties will be much harsher, these include:

  • Using a carriage service to threaten to kill another person, intending that they fear that the threat will be carried out (maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment),

  • Using a carriage service to threaten to cause serious harm to another person, intending that they fear that the threat will be carried out (maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment)

Apart from a full-time custodial sentence, you may also be eligible for the following penaltiesbased on the circumstances:

  • S10(1)(A) dismissal.

  • Conditional release order without conviction.

  • Conditional release order with conviction.

  • Fine.

  • Community corrections order.

  • Intensive corrections order.

In addition to the legal implications associated with charges of using a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence, it's crucial to be aware that the police may seek to place an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) against you. At Faraj Defence Lawyers we also specialise in assisting clients to contest and defend against AVOs and ADVO’S, as we understand the seriousness of such orders. 

WHAT ARE THE AVAILABLE DEFENCES FOR USING A CARRIAGE SERVICE TO MENACE, HARASS, OR OFFEND?

False allegation

If you believe the accusation is baseless, asserting a defence of false allegation is crucial. This involves presenting evidence and building a case to demonstrate that the charges brought against you lack merit or are intentionally fabricated.

You didn't use a carriage service

Contesting the use of a carriage service can be a viable defence. If it can be established that the alleged communication did not occur through a carriage service, such as emails, text messages, or social media, it may undermine the foundation of the charges.

A reasonable person would not consider what you did as “menacing, harassing or/and offensive”

Defending on the grounds that a reasonable person would not consider the actions as menacing, harassing, or offensive involves providing context and evidence to support the notion that, given the circumstances, the alleged behaviour does not meet the threshold for the offence. This defence hinges on presenting a compelling case that the actions were not objectively threatening, intimidating, or offensive.

Contact Faraj Defence Lawyers today | Free Initial Consultation

Facing charges of using a carriage service to menace, harass, or offend can be an immensely serious matter, necessitating the right legal representation. At Faraj Defence Lawyers, we understand the extremities of such charges and the potential impact on your life. Being accused of a criminal offence is often an unsettling and overwhelming experience. Our team is here to provide expert advice, guidance, and dedicated representation.

Take the first step in securing your defence by calling us today at (02) 8896 6034 and booking a free initial consultation. Our experienced legal professionals are ready to discuss your case, assess the details, and formulate a strategic defence tailored to your situation.

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