Sex Offenders Registry Charges Breach Melbourne
Have you been charged with breaching the sex offenders registry in Melbourne? It is important that you seek advice from specialist sex offence lawyers to ensure that your rights are being protected.
Below is a representative case handled by Dribbin & Brown Criminal Lawyers. It is a perfect example of why if you are unsure about the sex offenders registration legislation, that you should seek advice from a lawyer that specialises in this area of the law.
Charges: Breaching Section 46 of the Sex Offenders Registration Act
The client informed the sex offenders unit (SOCIT) of the change to his employment status after 21 days in his new job. The client was required to inform police within 14 days.
Sex Offenders Registry Legislation
The legislation: Under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 section 17(1) states that most personal details must be reported within 14 days with some exceptions. Section 14 states that a registrable offender must report per section 14 (f) if employed
- the nature of the employment
- the name of the employer
- the address at each of the premises the registrable offender works.
Section 14(2)(d) states that an offender is not employed at a particular place until they have been employed at those particular premises for 14 days.
Considering the above the client assumed that he had 14 days to report a change and that in relation to a change of employment, he had 14 days after he had been employed for 14 days, being 28 days in total. This is what the client said in his record of interview.
Unfortunately the client had interpreted the act incorrectly.
It was a minor breach borne out of a misunderstanding of how the legislation worked. In his record of interview the client had stated as much, however ignorance of the law is not a defence at law.
So although the provisions under section 46 are broad (to allow a defendant to be found not guilty if they can provide a reasonable excuse), our view was that it would be an uphill battle and the client ultimately didn’t want to pursue that route.
The client instructed us to enter a plea of guilty, and following a forceful submission to a Magistrate, a good behaviour bond was imposed without conviction.
This case highlights the complexity of the legislation, given it required an experienced lawyer to ascertain that the client was in fact in breach following a careful analysis of the legislation. The fact that the police would prosecute a case like this is ridiculous and shows how careful people subjected to these orders have to be.