Act of Indecency 


Lawyers NSW

What is Act of Indecency?

An Act of Indecency is an act which a reasonable person would consider falls short of the normal community standards of decency. It is somewhat ambiguous in nature, and often based on singular testimony of what an external party saw and witnessed. This is often heavily scrutinised in Court during cross-examination.

In determining whether the act alone crossed any threshold of a standard of decency, the Courts have the discretion of considering any of the surrounding circumstances where the act is alleged to have occurred.


It is a summary offence, which means that it is normally dealt with in the Local Court before a Magistrate, unless the Director of Public Prosecution decides to elect to have the matter brought before a Judge in the District Court, due to the seriousness of the accusations and the age of the victim.

Act of Indecency & The Law

The offence of committing an act of Indecency is set out in Section 61N of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):

  • The accused committed an act; and

  • The act was indecent in its nature; and

  • The act was done towards another person; and

  • That person did not consent to that act

The offence can also be proven even if at the time of the offence, the accused was not in the immediate presence of the victim.

Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”

If the matter remains in the Local Court, the maximum  penalty that can be imposed if a term of imprisonment of 12 months and /or a fine of up to $2,200. However, if the matter gets elected and moved up to the District Court, the maximum penalty is a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months imprisonment. If the age of the victim is under 16 years, the maximum penalty in the District Court can be up to 2 years imprisonment.


Lawyer Call – here to help..

Contact our experienced team of defence solicitors to obtain appropriate and honest legal advice regarding the prospects of defending this charge, with a clear breakdown of the alleged facts, the application of the relevant Legislation, and the options you have taking into account all the evidence.






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