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Unlawful Entry on Inclosed Lands

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Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW it is an offence to enter property without permission or another lawful reason.

A person can be charged with this offence if they walk, drive or otherwise make their way onto property which is surrounded by a fence, wall, canal, building or other structure that indicates the boundary of the property.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 5 penalty units.

The offence is more serious if the property is a school, child care service, hospital or nursing home. The maximum penalty in these cases is 10 penalty units.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for an Unlawful Entry on Inclosed Lands charge.


THE OFFENCE OF UNLAWFUL ENTRY ON INCLOSED LANDS:

The offence of Unlawful Entry on Inclosed Lands is contained in Section 4 of the Inclosed Lands Protection Act 1901 and states:

Any person who, without lawful excuse (proof of which lies on the person), enters into inclosed lands without the consent of the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of those lands, or who remains on those lands after being requested by the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of those lands to leave those lands, is liable to a penalty not exceeding:

WHAT ACTIONS MIGHT CONSTITUTE UNLAWFUL ENTRY ON INCLOSED LANDS?

Examples of Unlawful Entry on Inclosed Lands include:

  • Opening a gate and driving your car through someone’s fenced off paddock because it’s quicker to get home;
  • Walking through a primary school for no reason other than to look around;
  • Climbing onto someone's balcony;
  • Remaining in a hospital after you’ve been directed to leave; and
  • Opening a gate and walking up to the front door of a house to drop off a pamphlet which has a sign stating “NO VISITORS”.

WHAT THE POLICE MUST PROVE:

To convict you of Unlawful Entry on Inclosed Lands the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you entered land or remained on land without the consent of the owner; and
  • The land was inclosed.

POSSIBLE DEFENCES FOR UNLAWFUL ENTRY ON INCLOSED LANDS:

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that you did not enter the land or that you did not remain on the land after the consent of the owner was withdrawn;
  • To argue that the land was not wholly inclosed; or
  • To argue that you had a lawful excuse for being on the land.

WHICH COURT WILL HEAR YOUR MATTER?

The offence is a summary offence and will be finalised in the Local Court.


Types of penalties:

Fines: When deciding the amount of a fine the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. 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.


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?

Leading Criminal Law NSW 2017 ISO 9001 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011