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."
Stalking, Harassment and Threatening Behaviour
Stalking is an indictable offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
The vast majority of people who plead guilty or are found guilty of this offence do not serve a full time term of imprisonment. Very few people charged with this offence escape a conviction being recorded and a punishment being imposed.
What is Stalking?
Stalking occurs when a person contacts, follows or engages in a course of conduct towards another person when that person does not want them to and it causes them fear or distress.
This can also include online stalking and harassment through social media networks and sites and remotely accessing and hacking another’s computer.
The Offence of Stalking
The offence of stalking is contained in the Crimes Act 1958 under section 21A. The offence has 2 elements:
- The accused intentionally engaged in a course of conduct that included conduct of the type described in s21A(2)(a)-(g); and
- The accused either:
- Committed that course of conduct with the intention of causing physical or mental harm to the victim, or of arousing apprehension or fear in the victim for his or her own safety or that of any other person; or
- Knew that engaging in a course of conduct of that kind would be likely to cause such harm, or arouse such apprehension or fear; or
- Ought to have understood that engaging in a course of conduct of that would be likely to cause such harm, or arouse such apprehension or fear, and it actually did have that result.
What Actions Constitute Stalking?
The course of conduct must be one of the types of conduct specified in s21A (2) of The Crime Act 1958, (these include following the victim, contacting the victim, publishing information on the internet, etc.). The matters set out in s21A(2) are not necessarily unlawful. It is these actions in a course of conduct directed at a person combined with a specific intent that constitutes the criminality of the offence.
While sections1A(2)(a)-(f) Crimes Act 1958 identifies particular forms or types of conduct, s 21(2)(g) is a ‘catch all’ provision, aimed at all other type of conducts which have the effect of arousing apprehension or fear in the victim for his or her own safety or that of any other person.
Types of conduct which may constitute stalking can include:
- Phoning, text messaging, leaving answering machine and voicemail messages;
- Sending letters, notes, faxes, email, ‘gifts’ or other unwanted material
- Harassment in online chat rooms or forums;
- Following, loitering outside a person’s home or workplace;
- Maintaining surveillance or spying, cyber-stalking and internet tracing
- Interfering with or damaging your property;
- Spreading malicious gossip;
- Making direct or indirect threats to harm another or their loved ones;
- Direct approaches which may result in physical assault.
What the Police Must Prove
In order to be found guilty of this offence, the Police must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The accused engaged in course of conduct; and
- That conduct must have included conduct of the type and nature specified in s21A(2)(a)-(g); and
- The accused committed those acts intentionally.
Possible Defences for Stalking
Section 21A(4A) of the Crimes Act 1958, provides a defence to the charge of stalking for the accused to prove that the course of conduct was engaged in without malice, (meaning it was not intended to cause harm or apprehension) where the alleged conduct was done in the normal course of a lawful business, trade profession or enterprise; for the purpose of an industrial dispute; or for the purpose of engaging in political activities or discussion or communicating with respect to public affairs.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
As an indictable offence this matter can be heard in the County Court.
It is also an indictable matter which may be heard summarily in the Magistrates Court where the maximum penalty to be imposed is 2 years on a single charge, and 5 years on multiple charges.
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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