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Public Order Offences – NSW

Welcome to the NSW Riot article page. Everything you need to know about Riot according to NSW law – Dated: 01/09/2009

What the Law States according to NSW Law for Riot

According to NSW Law for the charge of Riot:

On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
431 Riot-T1

The Maximum Penalty – Riot

According to NSW Law for the charge of Riot:

The maximum penalty for the charge of riot (Section 93B of the Crimes Act) is 15 years imprisonment.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a riot charge.

  • Section 10: riot proven but dismissed
  • Fine
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Community service order (CSO)
  • Suspended sentence
  • Intensive correction order (previously periodic detention)
  • Home detention
  • Prison sentence

You’ll find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

Likely Penalty

Local Court

Based on our experience and statistics from the Judicial Commission of New South Wales we believe that the penalty in a case that is within the mid range of seriousness for the offence of riot, if heard in the Local Court, is likely to be a suspended sentence with supervision under section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.

For first time offenders the likely penalty is a suspended sentence under section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.

District Court

If the matter is finalised in the District Court the likely penalty is imprisonment for a period of 2 years.

What the Police must prove according to NSW Law for Riot

To convict you of a riot charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You were one of 12 or more persons who were present together.
  2. Those persons used or threatened unlawful violence for a common purpose.
  3. The conduct of them (taken together) was such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety.

They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the riot offence.

Possible Defences under NSW Law – Riot

Possible defences to a riot charge include but are not limited to:

  • Duress
  • Necessity
  • Self Defence

In NSW which court will hear the matter – Riot

This matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Section 10 for a Riot charge: 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.

Fines for a Riot charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a possession of data with intent charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set.

Good behaviour bond for a Riot charge: 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.

Community service order for a Riot charge (CSO): 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.

Suspended sentence for a Riot charge: 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.

Periodic detention for a Riot charge (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.

Intensive correction order for a Riot charge (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.

Jail for a Riot charge: This is the most serious penalty for the charge of Riot and involves full time detention in a correctional facility.

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