Concealing Offences For Benefit
Concealing an Offence for a Benefit carries a maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment.
The Offence of Concealing Offences for Benefit
The offence of Concealing Offences for Benefit is contained in section 326(1) of the Crimes Act which states:
Where a person has committed a serious indictable offence, any other person who, knowing or believing that the offence, or some other serious indictable offence, has been committed and that he has information which might be of material assistance in securing the prosecution or conviction of an offender for it, accepts any benefit for not disclosing that information shall be guilty of a summary offence and liable to level 8 imprisonment (1 year maximum).
A serious indictable offence is an offence punishable on first conviction by more than 5 years imprisonment. Some examples include theft, robbery, burglary, intentionally causing injury and murder.
What Actions Might Constitute Concealing Offences for Benefit?
The following actions may form the basis of a charge:
- Accepting money or other goods in return for not giving evidence or information to the police about a serious indictable offence
- Accepting a promise for money or other goods in return for not giving evidence or information to the police about a serious indictable offence
What the Police Must Prove
To find you guilty of concealing offences for benefit, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- A person has committed a serious indictable offence;
- You know or believe that this offence or some other serious indictable offence has been committed;
- You have information which might be of material assistance in securing the prosecution or conviction of an offender for the offence; and
- You accept any benefit for not disclosing that information.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
The matter is a summary offence, meaning it can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.