LiveChat Loading...

Australian National Character Check livechat loading
Australian National Character Check livechat loading
Home Resources & Technical Articles Criminal Offence Topics (A to Z) Consorting Offences Consorting Offences and Penalties in New South Wales (NSW)

Consorting Offences and Penalties in New South Wales (NSW)

The information on this webpage is to be read in conjunction with this disclaimer:
Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

Summary offences and offenders receive penalties. However, it does not end there for NSW laws. It can also be a criminal act for a person to consort with an offender.

If an individual is convicted for a Consorting offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

The Offence of Consorting

Section 93X of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prohibits adults from consorting with a known and convicted offender.

Section 93X defines the offence to be when a person in reasonable firmness and knowledge;

  • Habitually consorts with a convicted offender or person found guilty by a court, and
  • Continued to consort with offenders after they get official warnings of the action.

A person guilty of consorting is liable to punishments of;

  • Three years imprisonment, or
  • Fines reaching 150 penalty units.

The subsection further defines an offence of consorting, especially where the person;

  • Consorts with at least two convicted offenders. It is immaterial whether they are consorted simultaneously or at various intervals.
  • The person consorted with the convicted offender on at least two separate occasions.

Subsection 3 of section 93X allows a Police officer or other legal authority to issue an official warning whether orally or in any other relatable form that;

  • The person they consort with is a convicted offender, and
  • Constantly consorting with convicted offenders is an offence.

An official warning ceases to take effect for various purposes, especially if it is given to a person;

  • Under 18 years – 6 months after the accused person receives the warning.
  • Two years after the warning is issued in any other case

Defence to Consorting offences

Not all acts of association with a convicted person can be regarded as consorting under the law. The accused person can argue a defence to their actions if they can prove their innocence through any of the activities;

Consorting that involves the family members

  • ✔ where the theme of such action was in lawful employment, or the operation of a business
  • ✔ That the consorting occurs within an academy; in training or education
  • ✔ If the steps (regarding consorting) occurs while providing healthcare or welfare services
  • ✔ If the act was during a legal service or for the administration of law
  • ✔ The consorting occurs while obeying or court order or according to legal practises.
  • ✔ Where the consorting occurs while the person was providing transitional, immediate or emergency services to the person.

It also includes where the act that led to consorting was authorised by the Parole Authority, a staff member for corrective services.

What are some actions that cause consorting offences?

Various actions constitute a consorting offence as long as the person relates with convicted criminals. Some of the activities include;

  • ✔ The person meets with bikers, gangs, or groups after the Police issues warnings against them.
  • ✔ A person who employs multiple people whom they know are repeat offenders.

What court handles the matter of consorting?

Consorting offences are considered minor offences or charges (summary offences) and are usually heard in the Local Court. However, depending on the matters, the Director of Public Prosecutions can elect to have the case before a District Court.

If the matter is decided in a Local Court, the defendant can incur penalties for two years imprisonment. Otherwise, the court can commit their matter to a higher court for sentencing.

Terms used for consorting offences

If the Police issue you a court summons for a charge against the consorting offence, your next step is to attend the court date with your lawyer. The court uses various terms during its proceeding for all offences, and it can be quite a disadvantage if you do not know any of these terms.

The following terms used for this section includes

  • ✔ Consorting

Consorting, in this case, means to openly and intentionally associate or become popular with a person or entity. It becomes an offence where such association may be problematic or cause fear.

  • ✔ Convicted offender

This section means anyone convicted or found guilty of an indictable offence except for those relating to consorting. It is immaterial the severity of the crime or the sentencing.

Indictable offences are usually heard in District or higher courts and attract stronger penalties and sentencing.

  • ✔ Official warning

The Police is, another arm of the judicial government, have the legal prerogative to warn a person consorting with a convicted offender. While warnings do not show up on a person's criminal history, they may serve as an admissible document before a legal proceeding.

Offences relating to or constituting consorting

The court may conclude from the evidence available to the matter that the accused person is not guilty of consorting but of other offences (more or less severe). If the court concludes that the person is guilty of a different charge, it will prosecute them accordingly.

Division 5 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) lists the offence associated with criminal groups from which a person may be guilty of consorting offences.

Section 93S of the Act defines a criminal group to be;

A group of three or more people with the objectives of;

  • Seeking again through any action that will constitute an indictable offence under the law.
  • Committing any offence elsewhere for the reason of (i) above that would constitute an indictable offence in another Territory.
  • Constituting or causing any serious violent crimes or offences
  • Engaging in any other act or serious or threatening violations would cause reasonable fear.

Serious violence offence

A person is guilty of a severe violence offence if they engage in an act punished with life imprisonment or a term of 10 years and more.

It includes such offence where it leads to the following;

  • Loss of life to the person or severe risk to such,
  • Serious injury to a person or such risk for the person.
  • Leads to severe damages to the person's property, especially in the circumstances endangering safety.

Subsection 2 includes people who can be part of the criminal group under this Division to be whether or not;

  • They are subordinates or employees of any other member of the group,
  • Only a few of the team members were involved in the notorious act that led to the offence
  • The membership of the group changed from time to time.

Participation in criminal groups

Section 93T of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prohibits all actions where a person participates in a criminal group. Such a person is guilty of an offence that incurs five years of imprisonment.

It includes all cases where the accused person

  • knows such group to be a criminal organisation or have such tendencies and objectives
  • Knows that their participation in the group would cause an unlawful activity or incident.

A person is also guiltier under this section if they attempted or participated in a significant manner in directing such nefarious activities. It includes where the person knows such group to be;

  • Criminal, and
  • Reckless as to the participation or occurrence of such group

It is a crime that incurs the maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.

  1. Assaulting another to be part of a criminal activity

Subsection 2 of s93T makes it a serious offence for a person to assault another intending to participate in any illegal activity of a criminal group. It is an offence that incurs as much as ten years imprisonment and more for cases of aggravation.

  1. Destroying properties to be part of a criminal activity

It is an offence for a person to destroy any belonging, properties or other destructive action against another person. Such an act is directed to join a criminal group, and they are guilty of an offence that incurs ten years of imprisonment.

  1. Assaulting a law officer

A person who attacks a law officer or any authorised person on duty in a bid to join a criminal activity is guilty of an offence. The person is guilty of an offence that incurs 14 years imprisonment under the law.

  1. Directing the activities of an organised criminal group

Anyone guilty of an offence under s93T (subsection 4A) if they direct any of the activities of an organised criminal group. It is a crime that incurs penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment. It includes all cases where the person;

  • Knows that it was a criminal group,
  • It is reckless how their participation affects the occurrence of criminal activity.

Subsection 6 clarifies any other issue in this section by pronouncing a person to still participate in a criminal group even when they are not group members.

  1. Receiving materials from criminal activities or groups

A person is guilty of such crime if they receive any material benefit derived from illegal activities from a criminal group. It is a severe offence, especially if the person knows that;

  • Such group is a criminal group, and
  • Is reckless as to the benefit they derive from the criminal group or its activities

It is an offence that incurs penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment.

By their association with a criminal group, A person can also be guilty of Consorting offences if the court considers it so.

Will a Consorting Offence show up on a national criminal backgroud check?

If an individual is found guilty of a consorting offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

Individuals can obtain a nationally coordinated criminal history check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

Copyright & Disclaimer

The content on this website is communicated to you on behalf of Australian National Character Check™ (ANCC®) pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act).

The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further reproduction of this material may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

You may include a link on your website pointing to this content for commercial, educational, governmental or personal use.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.

Need discount police checks? We beat prices!

About ANCC

ANCC® enables individuals and approved legal entities to apply for a nationally coordinated criminal history check, which is commonly referred to as a national police check. The nationally coordinated criminal history check is valid all over Australia and can be used when applying for Employment, Probity, Licencing, or Commonwealth check purposes. Get discount police checks online. We beat prices!


based on 493 Google Reviews


based on 175 Product Reviews

Helped of customers and counting.

Not sure where to start?

Book in a free consultation with us to discuss your organisation's employment background check needs, or to get an overview of the ANCC Business Portal.