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Indecent Assault in Tasmania

Updated on Jan 10, 2023 4 min read 286 views Copy Link

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Published in Jan 11, 2023 Updated on Jan 10, 2023 4 min read 286 views

Indecent Assault in Tasmania

In Tasmania, the Criminal Code Act 1924 contains sexual offences such as rape and indecent assault. Indecent assault is set out in section 127 of the Criminal Code Act 1924. This page deals with indecent assault in Tasmania, the penalties it attracts and the defences that apply.

The offence of indecent assault in Tasmania

A person commits an offence under section 127 of the Criminal Code Act 1924 if they unlawfully indecently assault another person. An assault may be indecent because of the area of the victim’s body that is touched or because of the circumstances surrounding the contact.

The following may result in a charge of indecent assault:

  • Touching another person’s breasts, buttocks, or genital area without consent
  • Kissing a person without consent

An indecent assault may occur even where the touching is done through clothing.

Whether an act is indecent depends on the circumstances, including the relationship between the accused and the victim, what led to the conduct and whether the accused was seeking sexual arousal or gratification.

Penalty for indecent assault in Tasmania

Indecent assault has a maximum penalty of 21 years, which is the standard maximum penalty that applies to indictable offences in Tasmania. In practise, most people who are found guilty of this offence will receive a much lesser penalty than the maximum.

When a person is sentenced for indecent assault in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalty that can be imposed for a single offence is imprisonment for 12 months (if it is the person’s first offence) or imprisonment for five years (if it is their second or subsequent offence).

Jurisdiction for indecent assault in Tasmania

Indecent assault is an indictable offence that is triable summarily. This means that it can be heard in the Magistrates Court or in the Supreme Court.

If you have been charged with indecent assault in Tasmania, seek legal advice from an experienced criminal lawyers immediately.

Go To Court Lawyers will assist you by assessing:

  • The strength of the prosecution case
  • The likely penalty range if you are found guilty
  • Whether there is any defence that applies
  • Your bail prospect if you have been remanded in custody
  • The criminal process and how long the matter is likely to take to resolve

Defences to indecent assault in Tasmania

A person charged with indecent assault in Tasmania may rely on a legal defence. Some of the legal defences that apply to this offence are summarised below.

The defence of consent

If the alleged victim consented to be touched sexually, this is a full defence. However, this defence is only available in Tasmania if the alleged victim is aged 17 or older.

The defence of accident

If the alleged offence was an accident, this is a full defence. If a person accidentally makes contact with another person in a way that could be perceived as sexual, no offence has been committed.

The defence of mental impairment

If the accused was mentally impaired at the time and could not understand the nature of their actions, could not control their actions or could not understand that their behaviour was wrong, they are not guilty of an offence.

The defence of immature age

If the accused was aged under 10, they cannot be found guilty of an offence.  If the accused was aged between 10 and 14, they can be found guilty only if the prosecution can show that the child had the capacity to understand that their actions were wrong.

Applying for bail on an indecent assault charge

If you have been charged with indecent assault in Tasmania, Go To Court Lawyers can help you to apply for bail. Decisions about bail in Tasmania are made under the Bail Act 1994.

The court will decide whether to grant you bail after considering whether you are likely to:

  • Come to court to finalise the charges
  • Commit an offence

And whether it is in the public interest to release you.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

Published in

Jan 11, 2023

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Content Editor

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.
Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Content Editor

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.

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