Mandatory Sentences part of NSW “one punch” laws

one punch

Mandatory Sentences

Mandatory eight-year jail sentences for fatal one-punch attacks fuelled by alcohol or drugs are among are raft of measures to be introduced to curb alcohol-related violence in Sydney.

It is also proposed that mandatory minimum sentences are to be introduced for other drug- or alcohol-fuelled offences, including:

  1. Reckless wounding (three years),
  2. Assaulting a police officer in the execution of duty (two years),
  3. Affray (four years); and
  4. Sexual assault (five years).

Police will be able to test for drugs and alcohol if they suspect someone has committed an alcohol- or drug-fuelled assault.

One punch measures

Included in the raft of measures set to be introduced are:

  1. Eight-year minimum sentencing for alcohol or drug-fuelled assaults ending in death.
  2. Serious assault maximum penalty increased by two years, with mandatory minimum sentences.
  3. On the spot fines for disorderly behavior increased from $200 to $1,100.
  4. Increased on the spot fines for anti-social behaviour (eg, from $150 to $500 for offensive language and from $200 to $500 for offensive behaviour);
  5. Police powers to immediately ban ‘troublemakers’ from CBD/Kings Cross.
  6. Penalty for possession of steroids increased from two (2) to 25 years.
  7. CBD/Kings Cross venues to have 1:30am lockouts with drinks stopping at 3:00am.
  8. Bottle shops across NSW to close at 10:00pm.
  9. Voluntary intoxication will be removed as a mitigating factor in sentencing;
  10. Free buses leaving every 10 minutes from Kings Cross to the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights;
  11. A freeze on liquor licences for new clubs and pubs (with small bars, restaurants and tourist accommodation exempted);
  12. Increase from two years to 25 years’ maximum sentence for the illegal supply and possession of steroids;
  13. A ‘‘road safety-style’’ social media and advertising campaign targeted at alcohol fuelled violence;

Mandatory lock out laws

Under the laws, there will be a mandatory 1:30am lockout for licensed premises across an expanded Sydney CBD entertainment precinct, spanning from Kings Cross to Darling Harbour.  Venues will be subject to a risk-based licensing scheme whereby higher fees will be imposed on venues that trade later, are larger or are in high risk areas, as part of a reform package announced on Tuesday.

Drinks will not be allowed to be served after 3:00am, but premises can remain open.  Small bars, casinos, restaurants and tourist accommodation facilities will be exempt from the laws.  Small bars are defined as up to 60 people.

Parliament will be brought back early next week, probably on Wednesday, to introduce the legislation required to implement the package. With the support of the opposition the new mandatory sentencing laws could be in place by February 1, and the rest of the package, including the lockouts and reduced trading hours, by the end of April.

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For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

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