It is an offence in New South Wales to:
A conviction carries a maximum sentence of 5 years. If the threat is made during a time of public disorder, however, the maximum increases to 7 years.
The government must prove that
If the government charges that the offence was made during a time of public disorder, it must prove that a civil disturbance, such as a riot, was underway when the threat was made.
The law can be used to charge an accused for making terrorist threats, but it is broadly written to apply to ordinary threats.
For example, the law was recently used to charge a man who allegedly threatened to set fire to the car of his former business partner.
Not every threat needs to be communicated in words. For example, holding an axe over another person’s car might be enough to communicate a threat to damage the car.
An actual threat is the communication of an intent to cause harm. The threat only violates section 199 if it is intended to cause the listener to fear that the threat will be carried out.
Not every comment made in anger is an actual threat. “I’d like to burn down that guy’s house” might convey displeasure, but if the speaker does not expect his words to be taken seriously, he has not communicated an actual threat.
In addition to arguing that the accused’s words or actions did not constitute an actual threat, defences can be based on:
A lawyer is in the best position to decide whether a strong defence can be asserted to overcome the accusation.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.