Sometimes, individuals fall into the trap of thinking that their actions online can remain anonymous and free from prosecution. Particularly when using social media, users should be mindful of saying anything that may be construed as offensive or harassment. Doing so, could in fact result in a charge of using a ‘carriage service to menace, harass or cause offense’ under the Criminal Code (Cth).
A carriage service is not, however, limited to just social media but can also include telephone calls, text messages, emails or any other form of communication over the internet.
If it is established that carriage service was used, the court must then objectively determine whether the communication would be perceived as menacing, harassing or causing offence by a reasonable person. This may be determined by the content of the communication or the way in which the carriage service was used, or both.
Some examples include:
For more information on this offence, click here.
A charge of using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence can lead to imprisonment for up to 3 years. If you or someone you know has been charged with this offence, it is important to seek legal advice to discuss your options.
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