What does the term ‘alleged’ mean?

The term ‘ally’ refers to a person who has an obligation to perform an act or to perform a function. 

It can also refer to a contractual relationship or a party that has an agreed relationship. 

Alleged parties can include people who are legally married, people who live together, or parents who live with their children. 

According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the most common alleged parties are:A person who claims a child as their own, and is not married to the child, and who is under 16 years old.

The person may be married to someone else, but is not a registered child. 

A person in possession of a child and who does not legally care for the child.

A person living with a child who is not living with the person who is allegedly in possession.

A family member, friend, neighbour, or family member of the alleged party.

A relationship that is between a parent and child, which is a legal relationship.

A partner who is in a relationship with a parent, but not in a legal partnership.

A marriage where one spouse is a minor.

A civil partnership where one partner is aged 16 or under.

A partnership in which one partner lives in a place that is not their primary residence.

An employment relationship where one person is in the workforce, and the other is employed.

A financial relationship where the financial resources of the two parties are shared.

The AFP also said the terms “allegedly” and “reported” are used interchangeably, with “allege” referring to an allegation. 

“If you are an alleged party to a crime, you may be required to give evidence in court,” the AFP says.

“However, if you are not, you do not have to do so.” 

The AFP says it is “not in a position to confirm” that a particular alleged party has done or will do something. 

What are the consequences of being alleged?

The AFP notes that “the law requires you to report” if you suspect a crime.

“If an allegation is made that you have committed a crime in Australia, you should not believe the allegation and report it to the police,” it says. 

If you think you or a family member have been accused of a crime and you think it is true, the AFP warns: “It is important to remember that the AFP cannot investigate every allegation and that there are no guarantees that your allegations will be true.” 

There is no time limit on when police must take you to court. 

You do not need to tell police the name of the person you believe has committed the crime you believe is wrong. 

Police must take your evidence to a court where the charges can be laid. 

The court will decide whether the charges should be laid and if so, what the charges will be. 

How do I find out if I am accused of any crime?

You can:If you believe someone is in breach of the law and you have reason to believe that they have been charged with a crime (e.g. they have a warrant for their arrest), contact the police or the Crime Commission of Victoria.

The police can also contact the AFP and the Crime Information and Referral Service (CIRS), which is run by the AFP, to ask about alleged offences. 

There are a number of websites that can help you find out more about the laws and court processes in your jurisdiction. 

To find out whether your local police have a website about allegations of crime, click here.

What if the accused party denies the allegations?

If the accused is denying the allegations, you can contact the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Office. 

Cases that have been dropped due to alleged offences may still be investigated by the courts. 

For more information, click  here.

How do you report a crime? 

If police allege that you may have committed an offence, you have a legal obligation to report the allegation.

“It would be very helpful if you could tell the police the names of the accused and tell them what you believe to be the truth of the allegation,” the police service says.

“When police allege the crime they may be talking about a very serious offence that can lead to serious consequences for the accused person and others.” 

If the allegations are false or made by a member of a criminal organisation, the accused must be investigated. 

Read more about how to report a serious crime. 

Reporting to the AFP

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