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In New South Wales there are a number of criminal offences of a sexual nature. Generally, offences of a sexual nature are treated very seriously by police and the courts alike. Most people convicted of serious sex offences are sentenced to prison. For some sex offences, a conviction will also mean that the offender will become a registered sex offender. This imposes ongoing reporting requirements and other conditions post release.
The potential consequences of being charged with a sex offence are significant. Obtaining sound legal advice at an early stage is critical.
Sex offences range in seriousness.
Some less serious offences carry as little as two years in prison as a maximum sentence. The offence of Act of Indecency is one such example.
Sexual Assault, or 'rape', carries up to fourteen years imprisonment. If the offence is ‘aggravated’ the maximum penalty increases to twenty years imprisonment. Examples of circumstances which may amount to aggravation include if the victim is under sixteen years of age, if an injury is also inflicted or if there is more than one offender or more than one person present.
The most serious sex offences include aggravated sexual assault in company and sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years of age. Both of these offences have a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
There are also a number of commonwealth based sex offences where the use of a carriage service is involved. These offences target conduct and communications over the phone or internet which are illegal. Examples of offences include things such as sending harassing messages of a sexual nature, sending sexually explicit conduct to minors, circulating child pornography or grooming a child for sexual activity.
Further information on specific sex offences can be found below:
Offences against children:
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.