Case facts

It was alleged that the client was seen by a passing motorist applying spray paint to a railway underpass. Upon arrival, police observed fresh graffiti and had reasonable grounds to conduct a lawful search of the suspect. Police officers located a can of spray paint under his shirt. The client was charged with malicious damage and was required to attend at the North Sydney Local Court.


Subjective circumstances

The client was 20 years of age and a University student. A conviction for these types of offences could have had serious ramifications for any future employment. On the advice of our solicitors, the client attended at a local graffiti removal project and was able to obtain a letter from that organisation to provide to the court in mitigation of his matter.


Potential penalties

The client was charged with damaging or defacing property by means of a graffiti implement under s.4(1) of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 which carried a maximum penalty of $2,200 or 12 months imprisonment. He was further charged with possess graffiti implement under s.5(1) of the Graffiti Control Act for which the maximum penalty is $1,100 and/or imprisonment for six months.

Because of the prevalence of these types of offences in the community the courts are generally reluctant to deal with the matter by way of a non-conviction.


Local Court proceedings

We represented the client at the Local Court. After handing up reference material, including the letter from the graffiti removal project organiser, lengthy submissions were made about the effect that a conviction of this type would have on the client’s future employment – potentially a waste of his university studies.

Very reluctantly, the Magistrate dismissed the matters under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. This meant the client was not convicted of the offence and the matter was dismissed conditionally upon the client entering into a good behaviour bond for a period of two years.



Nyman Gibson Miralis provides expert advice and representation in all areas of criminal law. 

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