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Intentionally Causing a Bushfire

Intentionally or recklessly causing a bushfire is an offence in Victoria.[1] However, the offence does not apply to controlled burns or burn-offs authorised under legislation or a Code of Practice. In this article we discuss the elements of the offence, relationship with other offences and possible defences available. Elements of the Offence The Police are […]

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Duress as a Defence

In some of our articles we discuss the possibility of arguing duress as a defence to a criminal charge. Whilst the ability to raise duress will depend heavily upon the circumstances of your case, this article provides a definition of duress and discusses its application and operation. If you intend to raise duress as a […]

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Carjacking

An individual commits the offence of ‘Carjacking’ if they steal a vehicle using force or a threat of force. An Aggravated offence of Carjacking applies when a weapon is used, or if the alleged victim is injured during the commission of the Carjacking. In this article, we discuss the offence, the elements the Prosecution must […]

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Firearm Possession in Victoria

There are three main offences relating to firearms without a licence; firearm possession, carriage and use. In July 2017, the law was amended to increase penalties for individuals who are found to possess unregistered firearms. Prior amendments in 2014 also removed a Court’s ability to order suspended sentences for firearms offences. In this article we […]

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Destruction or Damage to Property in Victoria

Under Victorian law, it is an offence to intentionally cause the destruction of, or cause damage to property belonging to another.[1] Destruction means to render the item useless for the purposes of which it exists. Damage means to cause temporary or permanent harm to the property, thereby reducing its value, utility or functionality.[2] ‘Property’ is […]

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Self-Defence

Self-defence is an available defence to protect individuals for charges that involve the use of threat or force, but were founded on the belief that conduct was necessary under the circumstances. Successfully establishing self-defence can result in a finding of not-guilty for a charge. A person can only be found to be acting in self-defence […]

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Filming Police Using Excessive Force – Your Rights and the Law

The media has recently reported on a case involving a disabled man being held down, beaten and capsicum sprayed by a group of Police at a home in Victoria. CCTV footage of the October 2017 incident captured the six police officers using excessive force by ‘beating’ the man as he lay on the ground. Another […]

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Blackmail – Not so Black and White

Building on our discussion about fraud, we examine the components of Blackmail (sometimes known as extortion) and assess possible defences to the charge. The Blackmail Offence in Focus ‘Blackmail’ is where a person makes an unwarranted, menacing demand on another person with the intent to either make a gain or cause loss to another.[1] The […]

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Drug Possession and the Law

In Victoria, the most common charge relating to possession of drugs is possession of a ‘drug of dependence’. The legislation differentiates between types and amounts of drugs, providing several other categories of offences, relating to possession, use, production and trafficking. In this article, we examine the law relating to possession of a drug of dependence […]

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