Hindering Police Key Facts

Maximum Penalty

  • $10,000 fine or imprisonment for two years.

Possible Defences

  • Honest and reasonable mistake of fact (Proudman vs Dayman Defence)

What Is The Charge Of Hindering Police?

It is an offence for a person to hinder a police officer in the execution of their duties.

Hindering includes any interference, obstruction or disturbance that makes it substantially more difficult for police to perform their duties. For example, a person who deliberately stands in the way of police officers or who argues with them when they are trying to arrest another person may be guilty of an offence.

There is no exhaustive list of the powers and obligations of the police, however, the core duties of a police officer are to take all steps necessary in order to keep the peace, prevent crime or to protect people or property from criminal injury. A police officer is authorised to carry out these functions even when off-duty.

However, where the police officer’s actions are outside of those duties or they act illegally there will be no charge for hindering police.

This offence is contained in Section 6 of the South Australian Summary Offences Act 1953.

Our experienced criminal lawyers at Caldicott Lawyers are experts in all criminal matters, including the offence of hindering police.

Call us on (08) 8110 7900 to make an appointment with one of the knowledgeable lawyers at Caldicott Lawyers for assistance with your matter.

What Is The Penalty For Hindering Police?

The maximum penalty for this offence is $10,000 or imprisonment for two years.

What Are The Possible Defences For Hindering Police?

Honest and reasonable mistake of fact (Proudman vs Dayman Defence)

If you genuinely believed you were not hindering police, and it was reasonable for you to hold that belief then you may have a defence to this charge.

What the Police Prosecution Must Prove

The police prosecution must prove:

  1. an act that constitutes the hindering; and
  2. that you realised your behaviour either did or would probably have impeded the police in performing their duties or attempting to perform their duties.

It is not necessary for the police prosecution to prove that you knew the person you hindered was a police officer or that they were engaged in the course of their duties.

What Court will Hear the Matter

Assaulting a police officer is a summary offence and will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.

Come and see the professional team at Caldicott Lawyers for assistance in your assaulting police matter.

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