What is Consorting?17 December 2023 in Criminal Law
Consorting refers to the act of associating with known criminals or people who have been convicted of certain offences. The law surrounding consorting is designed to deter people from engaging in criminal activity and to help police investigate and prevent crime.
In NSW, the law prohibits consorting with convicted offenders or people who have been warned by police not to associate with others. The aim of this law is to prevent people from engaging in criminal activity by cutting off their access to potential partners in crime. If someone is caught consorting with a known offender, they can be charged with an offence and face legal penalties.
The law on consorting in NSW is outlined in Section 93X of the Crimes Act (NSW) 1900. The act defines consorting as “habitually consorting with convicted offenders in circumstances that raise reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.” The law also specifies that someone can be charged if they associate with someone who has been warned by police not to associate with others.
Consorting warnings and penalties
Police have the power to issue warnings to individuals they suspect of consorting with criminals. These warnings are intended to deter people from engaging in criminal activity and to prevent them from associating with known offenders. If someone is issued with a warning and continues to consort with known offenders, they can be charged with an offence and face legal penalties.
The penalties in NSW can be severe. If someone is found guilty, they can face fines of up to $5,500 or imprisonment for up to 3 years. Repeat offenders can face even more severe penalties, including longer prison sentences.
Possible defences for consorting
An individual accused of consorting can make a defence by claiming any of the following:
- They did not receive a warning from the police.
- They were not associating with two or more individuals.
- The individuals they were with have not been found guilty of serious crimes.
- They were under duress and forced to consort.
It is important to note that not all associations with known offenders are considered consorting under the law. The law only applies to habitual associations that raise reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. If someone has a legitimate reason for associating with a known offender, such as a family or business relationship, they are unlikely to be charged with this offence.
How can BSM help?
We understand the gravity of being charged with consorting and the potential consequences that can come with it, including imprisonment and a criminal record. Our team of criminal lawyers work closely with our clients to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of their case and develop a robust defence strategy. If you are facing charges, do not hesitate to contact us for expert legal advice and representation.
Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.