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In NSW it is an offence to throw rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels.
A person can be charged with this offence if they drop or throw a rock or other object at or towards a vehicle or vessel. The vehicle or vessel must be on a road, railway or waters, there must be a person in that vehicle and the act must risk the safety of any other person.
The offence is commonly charged in circumstances where people throw rocks at cars from overpasses on freeways because of the high danger this causes to drivers, other motorists and other road users.
The maximum penalty for 'throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels' is 5 years imprisonment.
In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge.
The offence of 'throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels' is contained in s 49A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and states:
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.
Examples of 'throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels' include:
To convict you of ‘throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles and vessels’ the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:
The most common ways to defend this charge are:
The offence of ‘throwing rocks and other objects at vehicles’ is a Table 2 offence. This means that the matter will likely be dealt with in the Local Court, however the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court.
Home Detention: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 as a standalone order but may be imposed as a condition of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.
Intensive Corrections Order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.
Suspended Sentence: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018. This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.
Community Service Order (CSO): As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.
Good Behaviour Bond: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.
Community Corrections Orders (CCO): A CCO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the Community Corrections Orders (CCO). Additional conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the court, both at the time of sentence and subsequently upon application by a community corrections officer, juvenile justice officer or the offender. Read more.
Conditional Release Order (CRO): A CRO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO. Read more.
Section 10 avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.
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.