Entering a Place Without Authority or Lawful Excuse
Sentencing in the higher courts of VictoriaSentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of VictoriaPlease note that suspended sentences were abolished in Victoria for all offences committed on or after 1 September 2014.1
 Sentencing Advisory Council. Abolished Sentencing Orders, accessed February 9, 2021, https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/abolished-sentencing-orders.
Elements of the offenceThe prosecution must prove the following two elements:
- The accused wilfully entered a private or scheduled public place; and
- The accused was given notice (whether it be verbally or in writing) prohibiting that accused entry
The Prosecution must prove that a person intended to trespass and that they did not know that they had no lawful authority to be there.2
Examples of Entering a Place Without Authority or Lawful Excuse
- Entering a school yard at night
- Entering a staff only area of a shop
- Entering a job site without permission or lawful excuse
LegislationEntering a place without authority or lawful excuse as described above is an offence pursuant to section 9(1)(e) of the Summary Offences Act 1966.
 Anderson v Winther.
- honest and reasonable mistake of belief
- lack of intent
- sudden or extraordinary emergency
- incorrect factual matrix
Questions in cases like this
- Did you enter the exclusion area?
- Did you have a reason for being there?
- Was it in fact you that entered the property?
The offence of Entering a Place Without Authority or Lawful Excuse (s9(1)(e) of the Summary Offences Act 1966) carries a fine of 25 penalty units (around $4,000) or six months imprisonment as the highest possible sentence.