Graffiti Charges Malicious Damage charges
It was alleged that the client was seen by a passing motorist applying spray paint to a railway underpass. Upon arrival, Police observed fresh graffiti and had reasonable grounds to conduct a lawful search of the suspect. Police officers located a can of spray paint under his shirt. The client was charged with Malicious Damage and was required to attend at the North Sydney Local Court.
The client was 20 years of age and a University student. A conviction for these types of offences could have had serious ramifications for any future employment. On the advice of our solicitors, the client attended at a local graffiti removal project and was able to obtain a letter from that organisation to provide to the Court in mitigation of his matter.
The client was charged with damaging or defacing property by means of a graffiti implement under s.4(1) of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 which carried a maximum penalty of $2,200.00 or twelve months imprisonment. He was further charged with possess graffiti implement under s.5(1) of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 for which the maximum penalty is $1,100.00 and/or imprisonment for six months. Because of the prevalence of these types of offences in the community the Courts are generally reluctant to deal with the matter by way of a non-conviction.
Local Court Proceedings:
At the Local Court NGM Criminal Defence Lawyers represented the client. After handing up reference material, including the letter from the graffiti removal project organiser, lengthy submissions were made about the effect that a conviction of this type would have on the client’s future employment – potentially a waste of his university studies. Very reluctantly, the Magistrate dismissed the matters under s.10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. The client received a good behaviour bond of two years. This meant the client was not convicted of the offence and the matter was dismissed conditionally upon the client entering into a good behaviour bond for a period of two years.
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