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What is an aggravated offence?

An aggravated offence will attract harsher penalties in recognition of the circumstances of the offending. Under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) there are many circumstances of aggravation. Many of these can be found in s 5AA of that Act, others are peculiar to the specific offence. At least one circumstance of aggravation must be proved beyond reasonable doubt for the offence to be an aggravated offence.

Some examples of circumstances of aggravation are where:

  • the offence was committed in the course of deliberately and systematically inflicting severe pain on the victim;
  • the offender used, or threatened to use, an offensive weapon to commit the offence;
  • the offender committed the offence against a police officer, prison officer, employee in a training centre or other law enforcement officer who was acting in their official duty or in retribution for something done by them in their official duty;
  • the offender committed the offence against a community corrections officer or community youth justice officer, knowing they were acting in the course of their official duties;
  • the victim was working in a prescribed occupation or employment (e.g. passenger transport worker, emergency worker or medical staff in hospitals), knowing they were performing their duties at the time of the offence;
  • the offender committed the offence intending to prevent or discourage a victim from taking legal proceedings or in retribution for a victim having taken legal proceedings;
  • the offender knew that the victim was under the age of 14 (for a child pornography offence) or in any other case, under 12 years of age;
  • the offender knew the victim was over the age of 60;
  • the offender knew that the victim was a person with whom the offender was, or formerly was, in a relationship [see s 5AA(4a) for definition of in a relationship];
  • the offender committed the offence for the benefit of a criminal organisation;
  • the victim was in a position of particular vulnerability because of physical disability or cognitive impairment;
  • the offender abused a position of authority or of trust in committing the offence.

See further s 5AA Criminal Law Consolidation Act (SA) and relevant offence provision that the offending relates to.

What is an aggravated offence?  :  Last Revised: Fri Oct 11th 2019
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