Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
In the ACT, blackmail is an offence and carries a maximum penalty of 1400 penalty units and/or 14 years imprisonment.
Is Blackmail a Crime?
The offence of blackmail is contained in Section 342 of the Criminal Code 2002, which states that it is an offence to make an unwarranted demand with menace, with the intention of obtaining a gain, causing a loss or influencing the exercise of a public duty.
To commit blackmail, a person does not need to make a demand for money or property. It is enough that a demand is made accompanied by a threat. For example:
- threatening to slash someone’s car tyres if they do not give you a lift;
- threatening to post unwanted pictures on the internet if someone does not go out with you;
Section 341 of the Code provides that a person makes an unwarranted demand with a menace of someone else only if the person:
- Makes a demand with a menace of the other person; and
- Does not believe that he or she has reasonable grounds for making the demand; and
- Does not reasonably believe that the use of the menace is a proper means of reinforcing the demand.
It does not matter whether the menace relates to action to be taken by the person making the demand.
What Actions Might Constitute Blackmail?
The following actions can form the basis of a charge of blackmail:
- taking a person hostage and demanding a ransom;
- threatening to damage property;
- threatening to harm a person if they don’t do a certain thing.
What the Police must Prove
To find a person guilty of blackmail beyond a reasonable doubt, the court must be satisfied:
- that the accused made an unwarranted demand with menace;
- that they did so with the intention to obtain a gain, cause a loss or influence the exercise of a public duty.
Possible Defences to Blackmail
A person charged with blackmail may validly argue the following in their defence:
- that what they did was not detrimental or unpleasant;
- that they did not intend to cause a gain, loss or undue influence;
- that they acted under duress.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
When a matter is dealt with summarily (in the Magistrates Court) the maximum penalty is $15,000, five years imprisonment or both. When the matter is dealt with on indictment (in the Supreme Court) the maximum penalty could be imposed.
The maximum penalty for blackmail is 1400 penalty units, and/or 14 years imprisonment. One penalty unit in ACT currently equates to $160 for an individual or $810 for a corporation.
However the court can impose any of the following penalties:
- Prison Sentence
- Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
- Suspended Sentence
- Community Service Order (CSO)
- Good Behaviour Order
If you require legal advice about blackmail or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
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.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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