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  • Consorting Offences and Penalties in Tasmania

    There are dangers for a person to consort with an offender of a serious convicted crime within or outside the state of Tasmania. Section 20C of the Police Offences Act 1935 (Tas) prohibits any person of legal age to consort with a convicted offender habitually.

    If an individual is convicted in a Tasmanian court for a Consorting offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a national criminal background check in Tasmania.

    Consorting Offences and Penalties

    It is an offence if a person habitually consorts with a person convicted of a serious indictable crime in Tasmania. The cases for consorting offence means the accused person;

    • Consorts with another person within 5 years of getting an official warning to that particular convicted offender
    • A person is guilty of habitually consorting with another only if caught on at least two occasions. It includes cases where they have already gotten an official warning regarding the person.

    It is an offence under the law that attracts penalties up to;

    • 150 penalty units or
    • Imprisonment term reaching three years or
    • Both depend on the conditions of the offence.

    Subsection 3 of section 20C of the Police Offences Act 1935 (Tas) defines cases where consorting may not be an offence under the law. Many cases or persons the accused person can habitually associate with that will not constitute a consorting offence.

    It includes cases where the accused person consorted with a person who is a;

    1. Family member
    2. Regarding a legal business or property dealing
    3. Genuinely engaged in lawful employment and they consorted within acceptable hours under legal conditions and operating hours.

    Or

    The consorting occurred in the premise of;

    1. Learning premises or academy or an area for learning
    2. Involving the dependant of the person accused of consorting

    Or

    Consorting that occurs as a result of providing necessary or emergency services like;

    1. Hospital or medical healthcare services
    2. A clinic services or offering related facilities
    3. Providing therapy, psychiatric evaluation or psychotherapy
    4. Receiving services that deal with the registration or authorizations
    5. Accompanying the accused or any defendant to receive any of these services.
    6. Consorting that arise from the lawful detention, custody or lawful complying with the court order

    Official warning

    Section 20D of the Police Offences Act 1935 (Tas) specifies when and where a commissioned Police officer may issue official writing to the convicted offender. The authorised officer may give the convicted offender notice in writing if it is imperative.

    The official warning should specify that;

    • ✔ Another convicted person specifically named in the notice is a convicted offender, and
    • ✔ It is an offence to consort with the convicted offender within five years of receiving the official warning about that offender.
    • ✔ The person can only request a review of the final decision of an official warning within 28 days of getting the notice.
    • ✔ The Police officer must give the official warning to the person it was initially authorised to under subsection 1 of the Act.
    • ✔ As soon as possible, the commissioner should request a review of the official warning from a Police officer of higher rank. And any officer subject to review an official notice must do so as soon as practicable.

    The terms used for Consorting offences in Tasmania

    Section 20A of the Act defines the term used in consorting offences, especially when dealing with related offences in court. A court hearing or legal advice regarding a consorting offence will include any of these;

    • Consort

    There are various forms to consort a person, including through electronic or other physical forms of consorting.

    • Convicted offender

    This section considers a person who is convicted of a serious offence (usually an indictable offence), and

    Who is above the age of 18 to be accused of a consorting offence

    • Official warning

    This section defines an official warning as a written or oral form of warning given to a convicted offender regarding another sentenced offender.

    • Serious offence

    A severe offence under this section includes a person guilty of an indictable offence.

    It includes, but is not limited to

    • Firearms Act 1996 (Tas),
    • Misuse and Drugs Act of 2001 (Tas),
    • Sex Industry Offences Act 2005 (Tas).

    Other offences under Commonwealth law, State or Territory laws or those of another country. It also includes offences committed in other States or Territories that would be an offence.

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

    If an individual is found guilty of a consorting offence in Tasmania, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their police clearance check.

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

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