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."
Age of Consent (NSW)
In New South Wales, a person can legally consent to sexual activity once they are 16 years of age. A person who is under 16 years of age cannot lawfully consent to sexual activity, whether it be kissing, touching or sexual intercourse. Any person who engages in sexual activity with a person who is under the age of consent may be guilty of a crime.
Having sex with an underage person is an offence even if the person under 16 wanted to engage in the conduct. This is because a person under the age of 16 is legally incapable of consenting to sexual activity. A person under the age of 16, who wants to engage in sexual activity may be considered to be a ‘willing participant’. However, that does not mean the act is consensual at law.
As outlined above, the age of consent in New South Wales is 16 years meaning that sexual activity with any consenting person who is above the age of 16 is legal. However, there is an exception relating to relationships involving ‘special care’.
Age of consent and persons under special care
It is an offence to have sexual intercourse with, or sexually touch a young person who is between 16 and 18 years old where the person is under the persons ‘special care’. The offences are contained pursuant to section 73 and 73A of the Crimes Act 1900.
A young person is deemed to be under the ‘special care’ of another person if that other person is:
- A parent, or grandparent of the young person;
- The guardian or authorised carer of the young person;
- The spouse or de factor partner of a parent, grandparent, guardian or authorised carer of the young person;
- A teacher, principal or deputy principal of the young person;
- Performing work at the school of the alleged victim and has the young person under their authority;
- Has established a personal relationship with the young person through provision of religious, sporing, musical or other instruction;
- A custodial officer of an institution in which the young person is an inmate;
- A health professional to the young person;
- Performing work in association with residential care to the young person; or
- Performing work for an organisation that provides refuge or crisis accommodation to the young person.
Similar age defence
The defence of ‘similar age’ can be raised where the age difference between the alleged victim and the accused is less than 2 years, provided the victim is 14 years of age or older.
The defence of similar age can be argued in relation to sexual offences involving children under the age of 16. This most commonly occurs where:
- two persons between the ages of 14 and 16 engage in sexual activity and both are willing participants; or
- two persons engage in sexual activity and both are willing participants but one person is above the age of 16 and the other is below, provided the age difference is no more than 2 years.
The defence of similar age has not always been a defence. It is located in section 80AG of the Crimes Act 1900 following an amendment in 2019.
Other possible defences
A person may have a defence to a child sexual offence with which they are charged if they are found to have made an ‘honest and reasonable’ mistake as to the age of the young person. The mistake must be both honest and reasonable. It is not enough that a person truly believed that another was over the age of 16 if the circumstances of that belief are not reasonable.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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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