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Assaulting a prescribed emergency worker

There are two different offences of assaulting a police officer under South Australian legislation and the police may choose which offence they are to charge an offender with.

Aggravated Assault

A person commits this offence when they assault a police officer or other person engaged in a prescribed occupation or employment, knowing that the victim was acting in the course of their official duties, or, in the case of a police or other law enforcement officer, in retribution for something the offender believes they have done in the course of their duty [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 5AA(1)(c) and (ka) and Criminal Law Consolidation (General) Regulations 2006 (SA) reg 3A].

Maximim penalty:

Basic offence: Five years imprisonment [s 20(3)]

Causing harm: Seven years imprisonment [s 20(4)]

Assault Emergency Worker

From 3 October 2019, police may charge an offender for assaulting a prescribed emergency worker under section 20AA. An assault may include intentionally causing human biological material to come into contact with a victim or threatening to do so. There is also a separate offence of committing a prohibited act involving human biological material, see Prohibited act involving human biological material.

An emergency worker is prescribed in section 20AA(9) to include a police officer, prison officer, community corrections officer or youth justice officer, an employee in a training centre, a person performing duties in a hospital, a person performing duties in the course of retrieval medicine, a medical or other health practitioner attending an out of hours or unscheduled call out or assessing, stabilising or treating a person at the scene of an accident in a rural area, a member of the SA Ambulance Service, a member of SA MFS, SA CFS or SA SES, a law enforcement officer, an inspector within the meaning of the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (SA), or any other person engaged in an occupation or employment prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of section 5AA(1)(ka) (relating to aggravated offences).

Maximum penalty:

Basic offence: Five years imprisonment [s 20AA(3)]

Hinder or resist police officer in course of official duty causing harm: 10 years imprisonment [s 20AA(4)]

Recklessly cause harm: 10 years imprisonment [s 20AA(2)]

Intentionally cause harm: 15 years imprisonment [s 20AA(1)]

Harm in relation to these offences has the same meaning as in Division 7A, section 21, namely physical or mental harm (whether temporary or permanent).

Assaulting a prescribed emergency worker  :  Last Revised: Mon Nov 18th 2019
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.