A Fighting Chance – Proposed Amendments to Domestic Violence Laws

Jan 22, 2024

Recent legislative changes have been introduced to NSW Parliament, which aim to impose more stringent penalties for domestic violence perpetrators before their crimes escalate. The proposed amendment of the Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Act 2006 would make strangulation of a partner an indictable offence, and put it in the same category as murder, intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm, and manslaughter. Reports in support of the amendment show that over one-quarter of homicide victims killed by intimate partners have been choked or strangled by the abuser in a previous attack.

What are the current laws regarding choking offences in NSW?

Choking, Suffocation and Strangulation is an offence under s37 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. 1.You choked, suffocated or strangled another person,
  2. 2.You did so intentionally, and
  3. 3.You did not have the other person’s consent to do so.

The maximum penalty increases to 10 years imprisonment where you rendered the person unconscious, insensible or incapable of resistance, and you were reckless as to rendering them in that state.

The maximum penalty increases to 25 years imprisonment where you rendered the other person unconscious, insensible or incapable of resistance, and you did so in order to commit an indictable offence (which is generally an offence attracting a maximum penalty of more than 2 years imprisonment). Potential defences to the charge can include duress and self-defence. Offences involving choking, suffocation, and strangulation can be quite complex and attract significant sanctions and consequences.

Contact us on (02) 8080 7585 to speak with an expert defence lawyer who can help to protect your rights.

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Green & Associates

We are a community-focussed law firm based in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs focused on results through practicality and simplicity.Since our inception in 2014, we have been driven by and focused on one thing only: to not only win our case or achieve our target, but to do it in the quickest, cheapest and most impressive way possible. Each and every one of our clients can expect that from us in every matter we undertake.We are committed to serving Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs through our criminal, commercial & personal practice areas.We believe everyone has the right to a second chance and the opportunity to make dreams a reality.

Green & Associates

We are a community-focussed law firm based in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs focused on results through practicality and simplicity.Since our inception in 2014, we have been driven by and focused on one thing only: to not only win our case or achieve our target, but to do it in the quickest, cheapest and most impressive way possible. Each and every one of our clients can expect that from us in every matter we undertake.We are committed to serving Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs through our criminal, commercial & personal practice areas.We believe everyone has the right to a second chance and the opportunity to make dreams a reality.

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