Offensive Conduct

Offensive conduct can capsulates are large range of conduct.  It is a summary offence dealt with in the Local Court.

 

THE LAW

Offensive Conduct is contained in section 4 of the Summary Offenses Act 1988 (NSW) which states:

“A person must not conduct himself or herself in an offensive manner in or near, or within view or hearing from, a public place or a school.”

However, a person does not conduct himself or herself in an offensive manner merely by using offensive language.

Also the law says that ‘It is a sufficient defence to a prosecution for an offence of offensive conduct if the defendant satisfies the Court that the defendant had a reasonable excuse for conducting himself or herself in the manner alleged.

 

The nature and elements of the offence of offensive conduct were considered In Worcester v Smith [1951] VLR 316 at 318 wherein O’Bryan J held that “offensive” meant “…such as is calculated to wound the feelings, arouse anger or resentment or disgust in the mind of a reasonable person…”

As for reasonable excuse in Karpik v Zisis (1979) 5 Petty Sessions Review 2055, 2056 it was found that ”a reasonable excuse for profanity in a public place would be as part of ‘a reflex action...[such as following] a heavy implement falling on one’s foot”. This was confirmed in Conners v Craigie (1994) 76 A Crim R 502 where it was qualified by saying that the offensive behaviour must have been an immediate reaction to something, not a reaction to something which happened long ago.

 

Maximum/Possible Penalties

Offensive Conduct can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 3 months or a fine of $660.

Please note that the penalties mentioned are reserved for the worse case offending and are unlikely to be the penalty you receive.

In NSW, a Court can impose any of the following penalties for Offensive conduct:

  • Full time Imprisonment
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
  • Community Correction Order (CCO)
  • Conditional release Order (CRO) (ie: bond); and/or
  • Fine

 

THE FACTS THAT MUST BE PROVEN

Since Offensive Conduct is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt being that:

  • You were in, near, or within view of a public place
  • You acted in an offensive manner
  • You had no reasonable excuse to do so.

 

Defences

Some of the possible defences available can include:

  • If you had “a reasonable excuse” for your actions.
  • Disputing that you were the person who acted in the way alleged
  • Suggesting that the conduct was not offensive
  • The location was private and not in any hear shot or view of the public or a public place.
  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”;
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”;
  • If you were defending yourself or another OR yours or another’s property you may have a Defence of “Self-Defence” even in situations where “Pre-Emptive Force” is used. Moreover, at times there be a circumstances where you may argue that there was “No duty or need to retreat”.

 

CHOICES AT LAW OPTIONS

For using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)

 

WHY REP-REVIVE CRIMINAL & EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS®

There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email info@rpr5.sydney for more information. The first consultation is free.

 

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