Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent

Being Disguised With Unlawful Intent is found in section 197 of the Crimes Act 1958 in Victoria. It is committed by a person who intentionally, and without lawful excuse, destroyed or damaged another person’s property by use of fire.

Have you been accused of Being Disguised With Unlawful Intent?

Police Interview
If the police suspect you of Being Disguised With Unlawful Intent, they will want to conduct a formal interview. They will either telephone you to make an appointment or they will attend your home or place of employment to arrest you and take you to a police station. It is best not to ignore the police request for an interview to avoid the embarrassment of them attending your work or home to arrest you.

Before the interview is started, you will be given an opportunity to speak to a lawyer. Do not dismiss this right and think that you can handle this process without speaking with a lawyer first. The interview process is designed to help police compile their evidence against you, it is not designed to assist you. They will use anything you tell them against you if it suits their purpose.

Our lawyers have experience in attending police interviews. We know what they are likely to say and do and we know what your rights and obligations are. We can provide you with detailed advice on the interview process so you know what to expect.

Pleading Not Guilty
If you have been charged with Being Disguised With Unlawful Intent, the next step is to obtain representation from a lawyer about defending the allegation in Court. The police will compile a brief containing evidence they say shows you are guilty of Being Disguised With Unlawful Intent. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we take the time to carefully consider the brief and provide you with a comprehensive defence.

Pleading Guilty
Before making the decision to plead guilty to a charge of Being Disguised With Unlawful Intent, it is essential that you get advice from a lawyer. At Doogue + George Defence Lawyers, we will review the evidence against you to make sure it can be established.

Then we will assist you to prepare for your plea hearing. We will:

  • Obtain character references,
  • take detailed instructions from you about your personal history and the circumstances that lead to the offending, and
  • Direct you to offence specific course.
Examples of Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent
  • A person buys a clown mask with the intent of hiding their identity for a bank robbery.
  • A person covers their face in shoe polish so they can anonymously rob somebody in the street.
  • A person puts on a mask with the intent of burgling a house, but runs away when he sees somebody is home.
Defences
  • There was no intent to commit a crime.
  • Somebody else committed the offence.
  • You were disguised because you were going to a fancy dress party.
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • How do they prove someone intended to commit a crime?
  • How can they prove the offender’s identity?
Maximum penalty and court that deals with Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent
The maximum penalty for Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent (s49C of the Summary Offences Act 1966) is 2 years imprisonment.

The charge is heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 49C of the Summary Offences Act 1966.

What is the legal definition of Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent?
The legal definition of Being Disguised with Unlawful Intent is wearing a disguise or blackened face, or possessing a disguise, with the intention of committing a crime.