Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilites) ACT 2002

Assaulting  Law Enforcement officers/Police Charges

If you have had a confrontation with Police, you will be charged with offences ranging from Assault to Offensive language.
The maximum penalty for assaulting an officer is 5 years.
The law concerning assault of a police officer falls under a few different sections of the Crimes Act NSW.

The most popular of these charges usually is section 58 of The Crimes Act “assault officer while in the execution of his or her duty” and the only defence available is commonly ‘self defence’.

What Powers do Law Enforcement Officers like Police have?

Below is an example from a real case.
(*All names and details have been redacted in the below example to protect the identity of the accused)
You can see that the charge can be laid on you, even if you are handcuffed and restrained.


The Accused is 30 years old, has three dependent children and refused to provide any other details.

FULL FACTS of the case:
The Accused in the matter is *’Victor’ and he has been charged with assaulting a Police officer.

Throughout the afternoon of Wednesday the 20th of January 2016, the Accused has consumed 8-9 beers and half a bottle of bourbon.
As time has gone on, the Accused has become more and more agitated, yelling and swearing at the victim, his father.

  • About 7 pm on the same day, the Accused and the victim were both seated in the lounge room of the house. The Accused was speaking with the victim, when for an unknown reason, the Accused stood up and start to yell and scream at the victim.
  • The Accused stood over the victim whilst yelling at him, as a result of which the victim also stood up and tried to calm the Accused down.
    This further agitated the Accused and he started to punch the victim to the mouth,with a closed fist.
    This caused the victim immediate pain and he has tried to calm the Accused down, without success.
  • The victim managed to push the Accused away from him and onto the lounge, whilst telling the Accused to calm down and stop, however the Accused lashed out at the victim, causing the victim to end up on the lounge.
  • Whilst on the lounge, the Accused started to bite the victim, on his chin, arms and stomach.
    This has caused the victim immediate pain and minor lacerations to his body, that bled.
  • The Accused then used both of his thumbs and pressed them into the victim’s eyes, in an attempt to gauge the victims eyes out.
    This has caused the victim immediate pain to his eyes and he tried to pull the Accused off him.
  • The Accused has finally released his grip on the victim and walked away.
  • The Accused’ s mother called for an Ambulance for the victim-  and police have also been called.

Whilst waiting for help, the Accused begun to pace up and down the hallway, stating he “Couldn’t wait for police to arrive as he will take them on.”
The Accused himself called triple 000 multiple times, requesting for Police to attend and remove his father as he was going to “Bash” him.

Police arrived a short time later and were met by the Accused’s mother on the front lawn.
She stated that the Accused ‘may be armed with a knife’ and wanted to “take on Police”

At this time, Police have observed the Accused to be drinking a beer on the front lawn.
He walked over to Police with his hand in front of him. The Accused then said “You better handcuff me now, otherwise I am going to get you guys.

Police did handcuff the Accused to the front and requested for him to sit down on the lawn, while they ascertained what has occurred.
The Accused complied with this and sat down on the ground.

As Police have attempted to speak with the victim, the Accused became agitated and yelled out for the Police to ‘take his handcuffs off’
Police told the Accused to wait and he stood up immediately.
He has yelled at Police and said words to the effect of “Do you wanna go you maggot?! Come on lets go you fucken Maggot, I’ll smash ya

Police then requested for the Accused to sit back on the ground, which he ignored.
The Accused took a step towards Constable  ‘X’ whilst clenching his fists and attempting to take a swing at Constable ‘X’

Constable ‘X’  requested the Accused to step back,  he refused to do so.
The Accused again attempted to swing his closed fists at Constable X.
Constable ‘X’ ,fearing a likely violent confrontation was about to occur, issued a one second burst of Oleoresin Capsicum Spray.
This was effective and the Accused sat back down on the ground.

The Accused was placed under arrest and conveyed to the Police station.
Once there, he was introduced to the Custody Manager.
Ambulance officers also attended and decontaminated the Accused.
The Accused was read his Part 9 Rights and all LEPRA Safeguards have been adhered to.

The victim did not wish to provide a statement in relation to the incident, however he did allow Police to photographs his injuries.
Police have been unable to interview the Accused, as his behaviour has become aggressive towards Police and allowing him to exit the dock may result in a physical altercation once again between Law Enforcement officers and the Accused.

The Accused is now before the Court.




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