An Australian judge has dismissed charges of offensive language against three marriage equality protesters who were caught on camera chanting swear words. Apparently, yelling expletives into a loudspeaker on public property no longer constitutes offensive language. Good to know.
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After causing widespread panic across America, the 'Creepy Clown' phenomenon has made its way to Australia. If you suffer from extreme coulrophobia, you're probably losing sleep over this. But there's no need to worry. We explain why there's no need to panic. Yet.
Dear Lifehacker, I've been trying to find info on Airsoft and realistic firearm laws in Australia. My question is, if I were to custom make an Airsoft gun that didn't bear resemblance to an actual gun, what would happen? My intended design would make it look similar to a paintball marker and wouldn't fool anybody into thinking it was real. Will I still get fined?
From December 1, all provisional licence holders in NSW will be banned from using their phones in any way while driving. This includes accessing GPS applications while the phone is secured in a hands-free cradle. The state government is hoping this blanket ban will reduce fatalities among new drivers who are statistically eight times more likely to have a car accident than fully licenced drivers. Is this a win for road safety or will it just lead to even more problems?
Consider the following scenarios: A police officer stops you on the street and asks you to empty your pockets. A police officer stops you in your car and asks to search you and the vehicle. Regardless of nearly all factors, one of the items recovered will inevitably be a mobile phone. But in what circumstances can police search your phone? Must they obtain a search warrant? And what will happen if you refuse to provide your passcode or fingerprint required to access your phone? Let's find out.
Let's say you have information about a serious crime that, for whatever reason, you don't wish to disclose to police. Perhaps you fear repercussions from the perpetrator, have close ties to one of the guilty parties or were told about the crime in confidence long after it had been committed. Is it legal to hold your tongue and pretend you saw/heard nothing?
Dear Lifehacker, I was recently disqualified from driving for six months and haven't driven my car since. The other day, the police rocked up to my house out of the blue, handed me a fine for unlicensed driving and confiscated my plates for seven days. I stood in front of my plates and demanded they show me proof, but they just threatened to lock me up if I didn't stand aside. Is this allowed?
The shooting murder in Melbourne this week of Joseph Acquaro, a lawyer with links to the Calabrian mafia in Australia, has brought the activities of a group that largely operates under the public radar back into the spotlight. But exactly what role does the mafia play in organised crime? And should Australian law enforcement agencies be reassessing their priorities?
Yesterday afternoon, while boarding a train at Circular Quay station, a stranger plucked my wallet straight out of my back pocket. I never felt a thing. Within ten minutes, they had already used my credit card to make a fraudulent transaction. Here are five hard lessons that the experience taught me.
To paraphrase those old road safety ads, if you text and drive, you're a bloody idiot. Thankfully, the punishment for this crime is about to be doubled in NSW. During this year's holiday period, anyone caught using their phone behind the wheel in NSW will receive six demerit points on their licence — up from the current penalty of three points. This means you will effectively lose half your full licence in one fell swoop. Hope that Facebook status update was worth it.
Dear Lifehacker, Last night, I was driving home at 3am on a provisional licence. As I entered my driveway the police pulled up and started grilling me about why I was driving outside of the P plate curfew. I have an exemption for work which I immediately showed to them. They subsequently couldn't fine me for driving after hours, but then they noticed my back P plate had fallen down (it fell down as I went over the bump in my driveway). So they fined me for that instead. Was just wondering if what they did was allowed, coming onto my property and all that?
Dear Lifehacker, I recently copped a 30-day driving suspension for a DUI in Queensland while on a road trip to Western Australia where I'm staying for work. Does my suspension also apply here in WA or can I still drive? My other question is when my suspension is over. Can I just start driving again, or do I need to pay for another licence? (The one I have expires in 2017.)
Last night, I was subjected to an extensive drug search at Sydney's central station after a sniffer dog plucked me out of the crowd. Over the next 20 minutes, I was made to answer questions, hand over my licence, take off my shoes, empty the contents of my bag and stand spreadeagled against a wall while a police officer patted me down; all in full view of the public. Eventually, they found what had set the dog off — a bag of novelty garden seeds. No really.