What is People Smuggling?

People smuggling must involve an illegal border crossing. Human trafficking is different. Trafficking does not necessarily involve an illegal border crossing.

What The Prosecution Must Prove

1) A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence of People Smuggling if:

(a) the first person organises or facilitates the entry of another person (the other person) into a foreign country (whether or not via Australia);

(b) the entry of the other person into the foreign country does not comply with the requirements under that country’s law for entry into the country; and

(c) the other person is not a citizen or permanent resident of the foreign country.

Penalties For People Smuggling

The Commonwealth Criminal Code provides for the following People Smuggling offences and maximum penalties:

Section 73 set out the offences and punishments for people smuggling and supporting people smuggling as follows:

Section 73.1 – the offence of people smuggling carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. This offence would include a person who either organises or facilitates the entry of another person into a foreign country, whether or not via Australia.

Section 73.2 – aggravated offence of people smuggling. Circumstances of aggravation include exploitation after the entry into a foreign country, the subjection of a victim to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, or placing a victim in danger of death or serious harm. The maximum penalty of this offence is 20 years imprisonment.

Section 73.3 – aggravated offence of people smuggling with at least 5 people. This carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.

Section 73.3A – supporting the offence of people smuggling. This includes a person who has provided any material support or resources to another person or organisation and that support assists in the person or organisation engaging in people smuggling. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

We Will Respond
Within 24hrs


A charge of people smuggling will certainly destroy your reputation and damage your community standing. Understand your rights and defend them. Contact Nott and Co Lawyers if you have been charged and our team will respond to you within 24 hours.


  • Where you were suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offence (mental illness)
  • Where your conduct was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where someone threatened or coerced you into committing fraud (duress)

Defence Of Human Trafficking Charges

Full time imprisonment is an option open to the Courts, so the charge of Human Trafficking is a serious one. Nott and Co Lawyers will defend your rights if charged. Our experts can negotiate with police, seek to have facts amended, run a dispute facts hearing if required and provide you with a robust defence if you wish to plea not guilty.

We Will Respond Within 24hrs

If you are in trouble with the law, you need to get legal advice as soon as possible. The most important thing for Nott and Co Lawyers is to get back to you quickly.

Our commitment to anybody who reaches out to us is that we will be back in touch within 24hrs – personally and not via automated message.

People work around the clock these days and Nott and Co Lawyers always has the lights on to make sure that if you need us, you can find us.

Technology is in the DNA of Nott and Co Lawyers. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Facetime, dictation software, and mobile phones are everyday tools that we use to keep costs down for our clients and ensure that our lawyers are accessible.

We have a network of barristers and solicitors from all fields of legal practice. We call upon them for our clients to make sure that legal issues are examined from all angles.

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