Offensive conduct is one of the least serious criminal charges. It is also an offence that police often charge people with unnecessarily.
Our criminal lawyers frequently have this charge dismissed by way of a not guilty verdict or by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, meaning no conviction is recorded and our clients have no criminal record.
How do I beat a charge of offensive conduct?
You will be found not guilty of the offence of Offensive conduct if the police cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You conducted yourself in an offensive manner.
- In or near, or within view or hearing from, a public place or a school.
In determining whether the offence of Offensive conduct has been committed, the relevant question is whether, if there had been an ordinary reasonable person in the street at the relevant time, that person could have seen and been offended by your conduct. The reasonable man is to be taken as reasonably tolerant and understanding and reasonably contemporary in his reactions.
It is a defence for Offensive conduct if you satisfy the court you had a reasonable excuse for conducting yourself in the manner alleged.
Pleading guilty to Offensive Conduct
If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on your sentence, and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts, or even a less serious charge.
Offensive conduct carries a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine of $660.00; however, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders.
Our solicitors have a proven track record of having offensive conduct charges dealt with by way of section 10, meaning no conviction will be recorded and you will have no criminal record.
You can read about all the sentencing options that a court has, including having no conviction recorded.
Do I need references if pleading guilty to this offence?
We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court. Read about how to write good references and other court processes first.
Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group?
Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Offensive conduct offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or gaol.
Mr Correy represented a man charged with 3 instances of exposing himself wearing women’s underwear to female drivers in a Westfield car park. Two of the charges were more than six months after the allegation. Mr Correy had two of the charges withdrawn on the basis they were barred by reason of being prosecuted too late. Mr Correy convinced the magistrate to dismiss the remaining offence under section 10 without recording a conviction.
Mr Correy represented a man accused of offensive behaviour – in that he was a peeping tom in bushes watching women urinating in a park – and assaulting police in that he struck them when he they tried to arrest him. Mr Correy cross-examined the police over two days. In the end the Magistrate found that the lighting was too poor to find beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused man was not simply in the bushes to urinate himself. The police evidence was found to be so inconsistent in regard to the assault police allegation that the Magistrate found the evidence of the Accused man should be accepted over the six police who gave contradictory evidence. The Accused man was found not guilty of all charges.
Australian Criminal Law Group represented a young man charged with offensive conduct following an argument at a poker night in an RSL. At the time, he had become involved in some push and shove, made threats and used profanity. Our solicitor argued that there had been significant provocation, including racial abuse, and that in addition our client had shown remorse by shaking the hand of the other person involved in the altercation and walking away. It was submitted that even though the defence was made out, the police appeared overzealous in charging. The Magistrate agreed with the submissions and dismissed the charge pursuant to section 10, meaning our client had no criminal record.